As a number of animals (Gorillas, Chimps, Orangutans, Whales, Dolphins, Porpoises etc.) have a large intelligence it makes sense to regard them as ‘people’ – individuals with their own consciousness and sense of identity.
By accepting their level of sentience and conferring ‘human’ status on them we would automatically confer status.
It would, in law, be an act of murder to kill one of these animals. Hunting them would be a major crime. To imprison, torture or be cruel to one of them would open the abuser to a different level of justice through the courts.
I believe it would make a big difference to the life of these creatures and help humans too. We need to become more civilised and develop a far better attitude to nature and the needs of life on this planet.
What do you think?