Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Bananas

While we weren’t looking, Argentina recognized the basic legal rights of an orangutan named Sandra.

Lawyers for Argentina’s Association of Professional Lawyers for Animal Rights (Afada) argued that Sandra was a “non-human person” and was being detained illegally in Buenos Aires’ zoo, the BBC reports.

The case rested on whether the court decided the orangutan was a “person” or a “thing” and after judges rejected the writ several times, they finally ruled the ape had rights that needed protecting.

I don’t know how the human race did not see this coming. Didn’t James Franco Charlton Heston forewarn us?



But we let down our guard, and while we were hustling and bustling around during the holiday season, those orangutans down in Argentina kept their eyes on the prize.

The question really should be: Who doesn't want a banana?

Who doesn’t want a banana?

Clyde: Now is the time we must strike. The humans are busy buying each other pedicure sets and ugly sweaters and making that green bean casserole that only Aunt Mary likes!

Dr. Zeus: Patience, my dear Clyde. The wheels of justice turn slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine.

Dunston: Who wants a banana?

Now that Argentinian orangutans have basic legal rights, I guess it’s only a  matter of time before the winds of change blow north. I live not too far from America’s very first zoo in Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Zoo was established in 1859, the same year Charles Darwin’s The Origin of Species was published. Darwin’s book argued that orangutans and humans descended from a common ancestor, and that theory has been making animals feel uppity ever since. Is it any wonder that they’re now demanding basic legal rights? The real surprise is that it took them this long.

I imagine once all the animals are turned loose to rampage through the streets liberated from the Philadelphia Zoo, they’ll find out that these basic legal rights aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness may not be all that appealing once koalas discover there is nary a eucalyptus leaf to be found in Love Park. Of course, they probably won’t get that far, on account of the fact that jaguars and snow leopards don’t eat eucalyptus.

Bow down to your superiors, human!

With equal protection guaranteed under the law, domestic pets will enjoy basic legal rights as well, and I’m interested to see if our two spayed cats, Bella and Noodles, will choose to stay or go. With no litters of kittens tying them down, I wonder if the excitement of the open road might draw them.

Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose, ladies, and, anyway, I’m tired of scooping your litter box.

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