Opinion | Will giving Happy the elephant human rights actually make her happy?

Opinion | Adam Larson: Happy the elephant isn't happy. But does she need to be granted human rights to fix that? - @NBCNewsTHINK

11/28/2020 9:50:00 PM

Opinion | Adam Larson: Happy the elephant isn't happy. But does she need to be granted human rights to fix that? - NBCNewsTHINK

A legal case is asking the courts to grant limited legal personhood to one elephant. But there might be a better way to change her life.

If an ill-tempered elephant is recognized as having a right to liberty and enough legal agency to protest against its living conditions, then any of its actions which infringe on the rights of others (like by injuring or killing someone while trying to escape) would seem to be punishable under the law, even though there are obviously a plethora of challenges involved in putting an elephant on trial for assault and battery or manslaughter.

Lauren Boebert faces $5,000 fine after setting off Capitol metal detector: report Loyal dog waits for days outside hospital for her sick owner Biden’s Plans For His First 100 Days

Another challenges that would arise with granting even limited personhood to an animal is who would have the right to represent them, and how that would be determined. While I’m sure the Nonhuman Rights Project cares deeply about elephants, its connection to Happy is unclear; there is no evidence that they have interacted with her as much as her caregivers, or even more than the average visitor to the zoo. Another group could sue to represent Happy, claiming to have a more vested interest, creating another complication the courts would have to sort out.

There are, of course, more conventional — albeit less headline grabbing — tactics that have worked around the world to secure better living conditions for elephants.And, if Happy is granted the right to habeas corpus, shouldn’t she have to ask for it or at least indicate a desire for it in some way? Google Translate has a lot of new languages, but elephant is not one of them. Without an ability to state or indicate what she wants, and in the absence of human knowledge about her consciousness (or any elephant's consciousness), another organization could argue that the Nonhuman Rights Project is imposing its will upon elephants without their consent. headtopics.com

Read more: NBC News »

Indian village cheers for Harris during swearing-in as US VP

With chants of “Long live Kamala Harris,” fireworks and prayers, residents of a tiny Indian village celebrated her inauguration as U.S. vice president

THINK sandiegozoo specializes in the care of geriatric elephants. Maybe BronxZoo can talk to SDZ about caring for her with the other elephants in their care center. THINK How about just stop all the damn infringing and leave other living beings the hell alone to live their own life without humans thinking we've any business at all deciding for them.

THINK Declaration of Human Rights. More that Humans have in UK. Article 17. (1) Everyone has the right to own property alone as well as in association with others. Article 20. (1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.