Lee Pitts: Animals Are People Too
Contrary to her name, Happy is a not-so-cheerful 47 year old elephant who is being held in captivity against her will, at least according to the Nonhuman Rights Project (NRP). If you believe the NRP, Happy is being illegally held in the Bronx Zoo against her wishes and is being segregated from her “multi-generational social group,” which means “family” in English. The goal of the NRP is to liberate Happy by demanding that the court recognize her “personhood” because Happy has a fundamental right to liberty as a nonhuman animal just like you and I.
The NRP brags that it’s the only civil rights group in the country seeking recognition of the personhood and rights for self-aware non-human animals. In other words, they are demanding that animals be treated as people with all the liberty, equality and fairness that we enjoy. The group has been around since 1996 and they currently have lawyers working on four continents to secure the personhood of non-human animals who are the victims of abuses of power inflicted by you and I.
The Nonhuman Rights Project has made Happy the unhappy face of their efforts and if they are successful in freeing Happy it could be the beginning of the end for the raising of all livestock. If they win in court, NRP lawyers will then attract new clients like show calves, hogs, and lambs who will sponsor a Million Hooves March on Washington to draw attention to their lack of liberty, equality and fairness. Henceforth there will be no Grand Champion ribbons awarded and all show animals will receive an identical “participant” plaque. Junior Livestock Auctions across the country will be recognized as nothing more than “slave auctions” and will be cancelled.
If NRP lawyers are successful in achieving personhood for cattle, feedlots will be emptied and bovines will be “rescued” and put out to pasture on former BLM and Forest allotments. If you thought wild horses are a problem just wait until the feedlots are liberated! Cows will start their own checkoff and with all the millions they collect they’ll buy Super Bowl ads promoting KFC, Pollo Loco and Popeye’s chicken because, try as they might, chickens will never attain personhood.
If NRP lawsuits are successful in giving nonhuman animals the same rights as people, cats could be issued library cards. They’ll claw their way through history books and realize that they’ve been treated as second class citizens all through history and they’ll form victim’s rights groups, hire the NRP as their lawyers and end up with the deed to your house.
In San Francisco an initiative will be put on the ballot enabling dogs to have all the rights of humans including having their very own transgender bathrooms and charge cards. Banks will then issue cash-back credit cards to chihuahuas and charge them 21% interest per month when they fail to pay for all the leather chew toys they’ve been buying on amazon.com.
The NRP will also go to court for deer who are being killed at an unprecedented rate on our nation’s highways. The deer will demand their own lane, the deer lane, which will give all deer the same rights as bike riders, including the right to wear those tight fitting yellow Spandex tights and goofy looking helmets. Henceforth anyone who murders a deer or makes roadkill out of Bambi will go directly to death row.
Because they follow the money, NRP lawyers will be especially active in getting horses an equal share of purses at horse races like the Kentucky Derby. From there it will only be a short reach until horses get half the winnings at team ropings and rodeos. Mares will get free child care for life and all horses will get medical insurance and receive better medical care than you and I receive.
NRP lawyers will hunt down hunters and take away their shotguns, deer blinds and Cabela’s catalogs. All animals will see what a good deal the spotted owls and fairy shrimp got and demand endangered species status too. It won’t be all bad though as the ninth circuit court will declare California a sanctuary state for all non-human animals and Trump will finally get his wall… around California, keeping any more goofballs from migrating to Idaho, Oregon and Colorado.