Move afoot at Yale to give personhood protection to apes, elephants

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Yale University is hosting a conference to debate the merits of granting personhood to animals, with input from one featured speaker who doesn’t even consider human babies worthy of protection until they’re a month old: ethicist Peter Singer.

The conference will debate the merits of personhood for “great apes, cetaceans, and elephants,” a description of the conference states, as reported by LifeSiteNews.

“Special consideration will be given to discussions of nonhuman animal personhood, both in terms of understand the history, science and philosophy behind personhood, and ways to protect animal interests through the establishment of legal precedents and by increasing public awareness,” LifeSiteNews reported.

Topics of debate include the animals’ behavior and various philosophical, legal and ethical arguments related to granting beasts personhood, LifeSiteNews said.

Panelist Mr. Singer, professor of bioethics at Princeton University, has a colorful past. He’s been called Australia’s “most notorious messenger of death” by one Catholic archbishop. And his most famous view, as LifeSiteNews said: Newborns aren’t considered people until 30 days after they’re born. During that time frame, doctors should be given the right to kill babies found to be disabled, LifeSiteNews reported.

Mr. Singer also agreed with one South African philosopher who said humans should sterilize themselves into extinction, LifeSiteNews reported.

Other scheduled speakers for the Yale conference, which is set for December: animal rights lawyer Steven Wise and James Hughes, executive director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies.

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