Images: As understanding grows, PETA Germany is pleading with parliament to grant animals personhood.


Decades of PETA members and supporters flocked to Stuttgart’s New Palace earlier today to commemorate the organization’s 30th anniversary. Clad in formal wear, toting briefcases, and donning animal masks, they demanded that the nation’s parliament amend the constitution to officially recognize animals as distinct human beings with the right to basic human rights. This covers the freedom to develop one’s self freely as well as the rights to life, liberty, and bodily integrity. You can access the photos and video by clicking on them; to play the movie quickly, drag it into your web browser.With the introduction of gender-neutral driver’s licenses in multiple US states, the legal recognition of orangutans as “persons” in Argentina, and the granting of legal personhood to rivers globally, society’s basic conception of identity is fast changing. Global PETA organizations are further this process and requesting that courts acknowledge the legal rights and personhood of other animals. In the United States, PETA’s 13th Amendment lawsuit aimed to release SeaWorld’s captive orcas, and its ground-breaking “monkey selfie” copyright case attempted to uphold Naruto the macaque’s ownership and financial gain from his own work.Animals are people, just like us, with feelings of pain, fear, love, and worth for their existence. They are not objects, like pieces of furniture. “Just because we can dominate them doesn’t mean we should,” says Ingrid Newkirk, the founder of PETA Germany and president of the organization. “PETA Germany is calling on the legal system to acknowledge that all animals are sentient, sentient beings deserving of the proper legal protections and rights, independent of how they may be used for human benefit.”

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