On Wednesday, the Spanish Parliament called on Spain to protect the great ape’s right to life and freedom. Pedro Pozas, Spanish director of the Great Ape Project called it an “historic day in the struggle for animal rights and in defense of our evolutionary comrades.” The Project works to remove the great ape “from the category of mere property” and to “provide these amazing creatures with the right to life, the freedom of liberty and protection from torture.”
While the Great Ape Project laments “the arbitrary denial of fundamental rights and protections to non-human great apes,” it is difficult not to notice arbitrariness of another sort in such fervent defense of animal rights from a nation that sanctions(and subsidizes) some 92,000 abortions annually.
And who, we may ask, is one of the people behind this madness?
The Project’s chief philosophical proponent, Dr. Peter Singer, doesn’t see the inconsistency. In a 2007 article in the Melbourne Herald-Sun, Singer argued that though “the opponents of abortion are right to say that abortion ends a human life…mere membership of our species doesn’t settle the moral issue of whether it is wrong to end a life.”
Singer argues that consciousness (and thus the ability to experience pain) is the proper criteria for evaluating “personhood.” Thus, for Singer, an adult ape has more intrinsic value than a human infant, more consciousness, and thus more of a right to life.
Yep, Peter Singer.