Expanding Humanity?

An Argentinian court just declared that an orangutan is a “non-human person” and has legal rights.  The orangutan, Sandra, has been in captivity for her entire life.  The last twenty years of her life have been spent in an Argentine zoo, and this court case rules that she has been deprived of her liberty and must be set free.  Since she can’t be released to the wild, Sandra may be turned over to an animal sanctuary in Brazil.

What if Sandra likes where she’s living?  What if Sandra is terrified by her new environs, and the very actions intended to ease her (perceived) suffering instead make it worse?  In reality, Sandra will probably not benefit terribly much from this ruling precisely for such intangible reasons.  But many other animals may be profoundly impacted.

And of course, humans will be impacted as well, if such cases essentially make zoos illegal.

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