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PERSONHOOD

As a result of significant advancements in several scientific fields, including the neurosciences, it is becoming increasingly obvious that the human species no longer can ignore the rights of non-human persons. A number of non-human animals, including the great apes, cetaceans (i.e. dolphins and whales), elephants, and parrots, exhibit characteristics and tendencies consistent with that of a person’s traits like self-awareness, intentionality, creativity, symbolic communication, and many others. It is a moral and legal imperative that we now extend the protection of ‘human rights’ from our species to all beings. All non-human animals are entitled to the their own lives and basic interests, such as the interest of not suffering. They should be afforded the same considerations and rights as those of human beings. Animals should no longer be viewed as property, or used as food, clothing, research subjects, or for entertainment and labor.

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