Activists Fight for Human Rights…For a Chimpanzee

I’ve heard of not wearing fur, eating vegan-only or treating your dog like he’s actually your baby, but this is getting out of hand. According to, activists have asked a European court to grant Matthew, a 26-year-old chimpanzee, “human” status.

From the article:

British teacher Paula Stibbe and activists with the Vienna-based Association Against Animal Factories want to declare Matthew a person so that Stibbe may be appointed his legal guardian if the bankrupt animal sanctuary where Matthew lives in Vienna shuts down, the Evening Standard says.

Matthew lives with another chimpanzee and a crocodile in an animal shelter. The shelter requires about $8,000 each month in expenses. While donors have sought to support Matthew, under Austrian law only humans may receive personal gifts.

Austrian law also limits legal guardianship to humans.

Matthew’s supporters argue that only legal personhood will ensure he is not sold to someone outside Austria, where he is protected by the country’s strict animal cruelty laws.

While I’m sure this is good for stray chimps in Austria, it’s also good for me. See, if the infinitely annoying dog people in my neighborhood learn that somewhere it’s possible to legally have an animal as a child, maybe they’ll just pack-up their cute outfits and inability to discipline their “wittle shnookums” and move to F’ing Austria.

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