Argentine Orangutan Receives Basic Human Rights

An Argentine orangutan named Sandra has been awarded basic human rights by a high-level court in that South American country.


(Sandra the orangutan)

In Argentina, at least, Sandra now has the right to life, liberty and freedom from harm. “The ruling was historic because before a nonhuman primate like Sandra was considered an object and therefore there was no dispute about its captivity, says Andrés Gil Dominguez of the Association of Professional Lawyers for Animal Rights in Argentina, which filed a habeas corpus petition for Sandra, asserting that she had been unjustifably denied her freedom.”

The court’s decision will lead to another proceeding on the orangutan’s behalf to find a home outside the zoo’s cages where Sandra, born in captivity in Germany in 1986, has lived for the last 20 years. The Argentine justice system will now convene a committee of experts to find a sanctuary or another home for Sandra, as long as the aging orang is healthy enough to travel elsewhere.

Science fiction fans are irresistibly reminded of the wonderful 1962 novel Little Fuzzy by H. Beam Piper. Although written as a juvenile, this novel has a grown-up preoccupation with the basic question "What makes us human?"

In the story, a distant planet is colonized under a charter to a large corporation. However, one of the conditions of the charter is that the planet does not have any sapient, human-like intelligent life.

The corporate lawyers are not very happy when a sol stone miner named Jack Holloway finds an odd little creature in his house, and then sees him using tools.

The question arose: if the Fuzzies were sapient, then they should have the rights of sapient beings throughout the Federation, and their planet belonged to them.


(Little Fuzzy cover art)

"...As soon as Kellogg told them what we'd found, Mallin turned fish-belly white and wanted to know how we were going to suppress it. I asked him if he was nuts, and then Kellogg came out with it. They wouldn't dare let the Fuzzies be proven sapient."

"Because the Company wants to sell Fuzzy furs?"

Van Riebeck looked at him in surprise. "I never thought of that. I doubt if they did, either. No. Because if the Fuzzies are sapient beings, the Company's charter is automatically void."

i'e also add that Clifford Simak wrote about this in his 1942 story Ogre; see this very early discussion of relations with extraterrestrial life.

Via Scientific American.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 1/13/2015)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Culture ")

We Could Downgrade Puerto Rico - And Thereby Save It
'It was cheaper to pay the refugees to go without up-to-the-minute equipment.' - John Brunner, 1976.

The Neuroon Open Sleep Tracker For Lucid Dreaming
'Leads trail away from insertion points on her face and wrist... to a lucid dreamer on the bedside shelf.' - Peter Watts, 1999.

'Do Not Pay' Chatbots To Replace Law Firm Associates?
'I want my lawyer program.' - David Brin, 1990.

Translate One2One From IBM's Watson Your Communication Solution
'It then excretes into the mind of its carrier a telepathic matrix...' - Douglas Adams, 1979.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Orwell's Memory Hole Looms Larger Thanks To Nvidia
'All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.'

Pipefish Robot Checks Pipes Cheap
Just like capsule endoscopy, but for bigger pipes. That go underground.

Nifty New SDS Space Debris Sensor For ISS
'Their radars... could easily pinpoint the debris of the early Space Age.'

NanoRacks Space Station Module Concept Validated
Space junk into space architecture.

Nuclear Drones Could Fly For Years
'I sent my eyes on their rounds and tended my gallery of one hundred-thirty changing pictures...'

SciFiQ Science Fiction Writing Aid
'Books were just a commodity that had to be produced, like jam or bootlaces.'

Robot Only Faster, Not Better, At Recycling
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off... it puts whatever it is in the hopper outside your window.'

Poland Starts With 1000 Warmate 'Suicide Drones'
'Royal Security had told the pods to electrocute you or blast you into chum.'

Dream Of Building Your Own Rocket?
Fiorello Bodoni, you inspire all of us.

Zero Mass 'Vaporators' Pull Drinking Water From The Air
Did you think of Star Wars?

Elon Musk Fears A 'Fleet-Wide Hack' Of Autonomous Vehicles
'Khan grinned. 'It's alive! Bu-wahhahahah!''

China Melts Tibetan Permafrost To Plant Forest
'Can you give us a microwave spotlight?'

iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams
Doctor shortage? No problem, we'll just use the autodoc.

Slaughterbot AI KIller Quadcopter Drones
'The real border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.'

Do We Really Want Backflipping Robots?
Also includes wonderful blooper reel.

RNA-Based Biocomputing Device
Living things can sense and analyze complex signals in living cells.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.