The old prevailing attitude was that human beings were not animals. That we were made by god in his image.
The DNA evidence, couple with any cursory look at our far from perfect ‘design’, shows quite clearly that this is not the case.
It used to be thought that we alone displayed intelligence. That is now known to be false. Many creatures display quite marked intelligence. We are probably not even the most intelligent creature on the planet!
It used to be believed that the animals had been put here by god for us to use or abuse as we saw fit. This is dangerous nonsense. Animals have nervous systems and experience pain and discomfort in exactly the same way that we do. There can be no excuse for inflicting pain or torment on any living creature.
So now we come to the thorny question. As many animals are conscious, sentient and intelligent – should we afford them ‘human’ status and give them similar rights to that of human beings?
I say yes.
So which creatures are ‘worthy’ of being given this status?
In my view all animals, but if we go for those animals that have been shown to have a high level of intelligence then we could form a list of suitable candidates:
Our closest primate cousins:
Now we know that a number of birds, monkeys and other creatures display a remarkable set of intelligences. Maybe some of them are worthy of being called human? I would be interested to hear your views.