It turns out—shockingly, to some correct-thinking academics—that the bonobo ape is just as bloodthirsty as the rest of the higher primates. Yes, it’s true.
Bonobos, a sex- and peace-loving species of ape often held up as an exemplar for human emulatation, like to hunt, kill, and eat other primates. Researchers first learned this by looking at bonobo poop, which contained more than just the expected half-digested berry seeds.
After the spoor had given up it secrets, researchers put a tail on some bonobos and they discovered the truth: the apes hunt in packs, which is obviously more efficacious than hunting singly. Their prey, after all, is fast and wary.
Now, this wouldn’t be the least interesting (or even surprising) except for a curious development in the Enlightened world (Europe, of course). Spain will grant human rights to apes.
Some of you will hail this special instance of Progressive thinking; but before you cheer let me remind you of a fact. Logically, you cannot have a right without entailing a responsibility. What this at least means is that if you grant “human” rights to apes, you must also ensure they own up to their “human” responsibilities.
Thus, if a certain ape were to, say, steal a banana from a fellow ape, he would be guilty of theft, and so must be held accountable and punished. If a gorilla were to be so bold as to take more than one mate, he must be prosecuted for polygamy. If a monkey, as monkeys sometimes do, kills a conspecific, then that monkey must pay the price (not the death penalty—that would be inhuman—but perhaps life in prison).
The immediate consequence is obvious. Spain will require an enormous number of translators so that, when a primate is brought to court, he can be made to understand the charges against him.
Meanwhile, in another Spanish-speaking country, Ecuador, people have just voted in a new constitution which—wait for it—grants human rights to Mother Nature. Some of the language from that constitution:
The State will apply precaution and restriction measures in all the activities that can lead to the extinction of species, the destruction of the ecosystems or the permanent alteration of the natural cycles.
The introduction of organisms and organic and inorganic material that can alter in a definitive way the national genetic patrimony is prohibited.
This can be read to mean, for example, that no more will farmers be allowed to breed their stock in an intelligent manner, nor will they apparently be allowed to use fertilizer. Tough luck for the farmers—and for the people who have to eat their food.
But to concentrate on the negatives that will befall some people misses the main point: this language snippet delineates certain rights for Mother Nature. And just like with the apes, you cannot have rights without responsibilities.
This obviously means that the next time a flood washes away some property, Mother Nature must be held accountable. When lightening kills a cat, a penalty must follow. If a person is killed in a storm….something must be done!
But I can’t bear to think of it. Because, as everybody knows, “You don’t fool with Mother Nature.”
(Thanks to SooperDave for finding the Mother Nature Clip!)