Sandra, The Orangutan With Legal Personhood, Settles In Florida

AnonyJoolz

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#1
From a Snopes news story https://www.snopes.com/ap/2019/11/07/orangutan-granted-human-status-settles-into-new-florida-home/ [although the link misdescribes Sandra as having been given 'human' status, rather than non-human person status]

Sandra was born in Germany, spent her adult life in Argentina's Buenos Aires Zoo and has now retired to Florida, USA at the Center for Great Apes .

From the article: "Judge Elena Liberatori’s landmark ruling in 2015 declared that Sandra is legally not an animal, but a non-human person, thus entitled to some legal rights enjoyed by people, and better living conditions. "

Giving you the benefit of my own humble opinions I've often thought, and remarked, that the great apes should be thought of as 'people' or 'another kind of human'. It is pleasing and hopeful indeed to find out I'm not alone in this :)

Local newspaper The Miami Herald also has this article from yesterday: https://www.miamiherald.com/news/state/florida/article237126129.html

"This is the story of Sandra, a 33-year-old orangutan “non-human person” that was granted that status by an Argentine judge who determined that she had some of the same rights us “legal personhood” folks have.

And, apparently, that’s the right to live in Florida.

According to Fox 35, Sandra is settling into her new home at the Center for Great Apes in central Florida.

Patti Ragan, director of the center in Wauchula, Florida, told the Associated Press that Sandra is “very sweet and inquisitive” and adjusting well.

Sandy — she didn’t say whether she minded the nickname, but if it was good enough for Olivia Newton-John’s character in “Grease” we think she won’t mind —was born in Germany. She spent 25 years at the former Buenos Aires Zoo...."



Photo credit from the article cited above : Sandra the orangutan at her new home in Wauchula, Florida. Keith Stein/Center for Great Apes/AP
 
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INT21

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#2
She's a female ape.

By what stretch of the imagination can she be legally defined as a person ?
 

AnonyJoolz

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#4
She's a female ape.

By what stretch of the imagination can she be legally defined as a person ?
By dint of her sapience and her close relationship, genetically, to humans she was given the legal standing of a non-human person by a judge in Argentina.

Having observed the higher primate mammal family at some length (I'm lucky enough to live not too far away from the biggest primate sanctuary/home on the globe) I can kind of see the reasoning.

Not a human being but of such similarity and with at least some sapience and abstract thought that they are still 'people' of a kind and not quite just animals. An associate person, a second cousin of humankind, maybe?

The three other great ape species/groups evolved parallel to us humans - past and current humans are the fourth great ape group - where do we as a species say that 'people' actually started? Certainly before Homo sapiens sapiens I would guess. In the grand time scheme of Earth we diverged from the evolutionary line of orangutans fairly recently (around 15 million years or so IIRC)
 

EnolaGaia

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#5
"Personhood" is a legal construct, not a certification as human. In legal usage "personhood" means the entity is an identified individual object of reference that has or is accorded certain privileges, protections, or rights under the law.

For example, there's been a debate for years (in the USA) concerning whether or not corporations qualify for "personhood" status. I'm not sure where the issue stands now, but last thing I heard was that an ascription of "personhood" was the basis for a court decision that corporate entities had the right to contribute to political campaigns and / or publicly support candidates.
 
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INT21

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#6
"Personhood" is a legal construct, not a certification as human. In legal usage "personhood" means the entity is an identified individual object of reference that has or is accorded certain privileges, protections, or rights under the law.

For example, there's been a debate for years (in the USA) concerning whether or not corporations qualify for "personhood" status. I'm not sure where the issue stands now, but last thing I heard was that an ascription of "personhood" was the basis for a court decision that corporate entities had the right to contribute to political campaigns and / or publicly support candidates.

Does this imply that Orang Utans have the right to vote in the USA ?

The mind bogles at the possibilities.
 

INT21

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#8
Isn't this the point where we all wish we had a politics thread ;)
 

Xanatic*

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#9
Would a ruling by an argentinian judge carry any weight in Florida though?
 

EnolaGaia

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#10
Does this imply that Orang Utans have the right to vote in the USA ?
The mind bogles at the possibilities.
No. No one who's promoted non-human animal personhood has so much as suggested voting privileges could be involved.
 

EnolaGaia

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#11
Would a ruling by an argentinian judge carry any weight in Florida though?
No - not in and of itself. If the Argentinian ruling had been incorporated somehow into the conditions of the contract under which Sandra was transferred it might have some sort of effect.
 

INT21

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#12
Denying an almost human the right to vote ? Is there room for an orange stripe on the multicoloured flag ?
 

Xanatic*

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#13
They're really more brown-ish.

In Indonesia Orang Utan means "forest man" and it is believed they are able to talk but don't, to avoid being put to work.
 
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