Die Debatte um die Menschenaffen

In seiner im Jahre 1869 erschienenen Geschichte der europäischen Moral schrieb der irische Historiker und Philosoph W.E.H. Lecky:

Es gibt eine Zeit, da die wohlwollenden Gefühle nur die Familie einbeziehen; bald umfasst der sich ausweitende Kreis erst eine Klasse, dann eine Nation, dann eine Koalition von Nationen, dann die gesamte Menschheit, und schließlich ist sein Einfluss zu spüren im Umgang des Menschen mit der Tierwelt ...

Die Ausweitung des moralischen Kreises steht möglicherweise vor einem entscheidenden Schritt nach vorn. Francisco Garrido, Bioethiker und Mitglied des spanischen Parlaments, hat einen Resolutionsentwurf vorgelegt, in dem die Regierung aufgefordert wird, „ihre Einhaltung [der Forderungen] des Projekts Menschenaffen zu erklären und in internationalen Foren und Organisationen alle notwendigen Schritte zum Schutze der Menschenaffen vor Misshandlung, Sklaverei, Folter, Tod und Ausrottung zu unternehmen.“ Zwar hätte die Resolution keine Gesetzeskraft; würde sie allerdings angenommen, so wäre dies das erste Mal, dass ein nationales Parlament den besonderen Status der großen Affen und die Notwendigkeit ihres Schutzes nicht nur vor der Ausrottung, sondern auch vor individueller Misshandlung anerkennen würde.

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