A Bronx Zoo elephant named Happy was the center of attention Thursday when a New York appellate court deliberated about granting the mammal personhood.
According to UPI, the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) asked the Appellate Division of New York State Supreme Court to grant the mammal personhood rights alleging Happy is living in solitary confinement since being placed there 14 years ago. Once done, Happy would to be transferred to an animal sanctuary so as to allegedly avoid the coming New York winter weather.
The appeals court took up the case after the NhRP lost their initial attempt in the Bronx Supreme Court. While the Bronx judge in the group’s first court challenge found the NhRP’s arguments persuasive, the New York Post states the appellate court judges seemed skeptical.
Animal rights philosophy is based on an erroneous assumption made by French philosopher Rene Descartes’ that says: I feel pain, therefore I have rights. However, as a legal and philosophical concept, rights do not depend on a being’s ability to feel pain, but on their ability to think.
Animals lack the rational faculties of human beings much less the sense of morality humans have. An animal’s primary method survival is predation (i.e. predatory instincts). Animal cognition involves using reflexes and association via sensory perception.
In short, animals lack the capacity for reason and deliberation which is how humans live. This being the case, animals cannot have the same rights as humans since to do so would lead to obliterating human life itself. Here is hoping the NhRP loses its latest attempt in New York state courts.
PHOTO CREDIT: An Asian elephant eating tree bark using its tusks to cut it off By Yathin S Krishnappa – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21376480