The Church of Primates

Zapatero has started a project to guarantee certain fundamental rights to the great apes: bonobos, gorillas, orangutans and chimpanzees. The project ensures that the primates are protected in Spain and in International law. It lays down that they should not be killed, tortured, used for experiments, reduced to slavery or brought to extinction. Zapatero has been inspired by the “Great Ape Project” that wants to “include the non-human great apes in a community of equality, so as to provide them with the moral and legal protection that is only granted to humans at the moment.”
The Spanish government would like to establish “a charter of fundamental rights of apes” to be presented to the United Nations.
There are numerous declarations about the initiative: “To be proud of one’s origins is what distinguishes people of good family”, by the Socialist politician Francisco Garrido; “We have never thought to give parity of rights to humans and to apes, but to save the apes from slavery and death”, the Minister of the Environment Cristina Narbona; “Whether we like it or not, human beings are great apes and to protect their rights is an ethical responsibility”, the Spanish President of the Great Apes Project, Joaquin Araujo.
However, an opposing voice is making itself heard, loud and clear, against the liberation of the primates. The Church has in fact labelled the project as ridiculous and the Archbishop of Pamplona in person, Fernando Sebastian has associated the initiative with “the request for the rights of bulls for humans” and has warned the PSOE {Partito Socialista Operaio Spagnolo} “not to fall into being ridiculous for an excess of progressism”
This attitude of the representative of the bishops is totally understandable. Is it possible that the bishops are worth less than the primates? Are they not also legitimate descendents, evolved like all the other humans, from the great apes? The emargination to which Zapatero has forced them is intolerable.

The Spanish Government will pardon me if I am so bold, but it should, together with promoting the rights of the apes, or perhaps even before that, it should propose a “charter of fundamental rights of the bishops”. A charter that puts an end to secular discrimination and guarantees to them as well, the rights that other descendents of the primates already have: the liberty of thought, liberty of expression, to get married, to have children, to use condoms, even to cohabit with persons of the same or different gender. Even the bishops should be protected from extinction.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 12:20 PM in | Comments (12)
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I'm just admiring certain moves made by him like withdrawing the Spanish army from IRAQ.At least chemistry's better, and in math I can laugh at that cooky accent (I like feet, I don't know why) anyways...I don't feel much like writing anything else now....maybe later.

Posted by: fire | April 29, 2006 02:07 PM

I do agree with Zapatero.

I'm just admiring certain moves made by him like withdrawing the Spanish army from IRAQ.

Posted by: fish | April 29, 2006 02:06 PM


I'm just admiring certain moves made by him like withdrawing the Spanish army from IRAQ.

When this will be done in Italy as well?

Posted by: Delfino * Dublino | April 28, 2006 09:35 AM

Dear Mr. Grillo,
I fully support your initiative and the blog in the sense that ITALIAN politics should be cleaned of polemics and nonsense nobody cares about and instead to work towards a governance that cares for real problems.
Now you tell us that Spain has the same problems, namely politicians (in this case from the left) that make laws only for ideological reasons such as to secularize the state in Spain? Is that what Spain or Italy or indeed any other European country needs now?
I am fine with secularization, BUT I want to see politicians to replace the religious ideas with a vision of the future and neither Berlusconi, nor Prodi, Bertinotti or Blair do this. So in the meantime please don't throw away the remains of humanity, ok?
And for the apes? There are already laws protecting animals and I don't see the need to discriminate between "primates" and other animals. As far as I know there are more cats, dogs and horses in Europe than great apes.


Posted by: Jan Hendrik | April 28, 2006 09:34 AM

All this is plausible enough, but I would expect Spain to set the example even on other grounds, the protection of the rights and the humane treatment of all animals, bulls included, why not?

I don't know why the Bishops are snickering about this. The great St. Francis of Assisi himself promoted a great regard and love of animals, much in the same way as St. Anthony... and these were men of the Church. What harm is there safeguarding God's creatures, great and small?

Human beings have long trampled on Nature and its creatures. Mine is no romantic view of life, it is a realistic one. Ours should be a balanced life, a world of equity.

The Spanish Bishops might think that we are superior beings because of our intelligence, but it does take intelligence too to safeguard the rights of the speechless, the weaker, the non-human animate beings that inhabit our same world.

These are concrete proposals which should not be dismissed as being outrageous or over-the-top.

Hola Zapatero!

Posted by: Joselle Camilleri | April 27, 2006 11:07 PM

I find it to be a wonderful initiative. I'm all for animals' rights.
I must say that I really hope that one day our society will finally feel the need to expand it to the other living beings.
Hurray for the Apes, but those who belong to organized religion!

Posted by: Stephanie Noble | April 27, 2006 10:26 PM

I strongly agree with Beppe. Anyone who has looked into the eyes of an Orangatang, Ape or Monkey and not felt some sort of not really human.

Posted by: John ryckman | April 27, 2006 08:57 PM

I totally agree with al Zapatero’s project to guarantee certain fundamental rights to the great apes:
The great apes are absolutely gorgeous
I hope some of us will leave them in their natural habitat.
I found it sad & depressing to see them in cages or other fancy named “captivity”.

Posted by: Marcia Visanji | April 27, 2006 07:26 PM

that's really unbelievable!
At the moment I'm taking part in the discussion about church on the italian blog. There are many people who are taking bishops's side and spoked about the right of the church to interfere in political choices.
How can they defend this criminal association which doesn't condemn the paedophile beahvior of so many priests in the world. That's enough to lose every credibility.

Posted by: Raffaella Biferale | April 27, 2006 07:07 PM

Those people have already the right to abuse the kids without being punished by the law for centuries.
Do we want to give them even more rights?


Posted by: Giovanni Principe | April 27, 2006 06:27 PM

I do agree with Zapatero.

Posted by: Rosie Trenta | April 27, 2006 01:11 PM

But why ? No need to be so even-handed, Beppe - the bishops aren't.

Posted by: Margaret-Rose STRINGER | April 27, 2006 12:59 PM

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