Steve, formerly the Whole Wheat Blogger, is confused. He reads an article about people in Austria trying to get a chimpanzee declared to be a person for legal purposes, and wonders:
On pondering this, I was wondering what possible reason these people could have for doing this. Do they desire something that is taboo unless it’s with another person?
Which is to say, “to remove the taboo of bestiality.” I don’t know why that’s what he thinks first. After all, the news account he links explains:
Hiasl’s supporters argue he needs that status to become a legal entity that can receive donations and get a guardian to look out for his interests. …
The campaign began after the animal sanctuary where Hiasl (pronounced HEE-zul) and another chimp, Rosi, have lived for 25 years went bankrupt.
Activists want to ensure the apes don’t wind up homeless if the shelter closes.…
Their food and veterinary bills run about $6,800 a month. Donors have offered to help, but there’s a catch: Under Austrian law, only a person can receive personal donations.
A lawyer for the groups suing explained: “Our main argument is that Hiasl is a person and has basic legal rights. … We mean the right to life, the right to not be tortured, the right to freedom under certain conditions. … We’re not talking about the right to vote here.” Steve read that, and immediately thought about sex.
I read that, and I immediately think that the chimp would be a person in the same sense that Enron and Microsoft are considered a person — for legal purposes, in the sense that the animal has a right to self-determination and basic legal protections.
There’s no question that corporations screw us over at times, and the fact that a corporation can be treated as a person may have something to do with that. But I wouldn’t go so far as to actually suggest that some right-wing corporate shill wants to get his rocks off with some corporate entity just because he thinks it’s OK that we treat the corporation as a person.
Man-on-turtle action was something I had never even thought about until Senator Cornyn used it as an argument against allowing all citizens to marry, nor had I thought of the animal rights movement as an argument for bestiality until now. I guess that separates me from the filthy, sick minds of the right wing.