It turns out that the primate revolution will look a lot less like "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," and will look a lot more like "Kramer vs. Kramer."
A landmark case was heard to determine whether or not chimpanzees have essentially the same rights as human beings.
The court case centers around Tommy, a 26-year-old chimpanzee who lives behind a trailer park in upstate New York. His living conditions, to a group called the Nonhuman Rights Project, are absolutely inhumane, as he lives in a small cage all by himself in a warehouse. The NhRP sued on behalf of Tommy, who they believed was being kept as a prisoner against his will.
If the NhRP win, Tommy would be granted "personhood." This does not mean that all of a sudden Tommy would be human, nor does it mean he'd become a Caesar-like hyper-intelligent ape who could ride a horse and talk in a really deep voice, but he would have some of the legal protections and rights that humans enjoy, and would be released from his captivity.
Tommy, though, would not be the first animal to gain that status, as India granted dolphins similar rights last year, as "non-human persons."
Even if the NhRP lose this case, they plan on taking it next to the New York Court of Appeals, the highest court in the state.
So what do you think? Should Tommy be given the rights of personhood? Or is this simply a ploy by the chimp-ape alliance to slowly overthrow their human masters? Only time will tell.