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An orangutan in an Argentina zoo won non-human personhood rights as reported by The Guardian. This means it has been unlawfully deprived of its freedom in the zoo and has won the right to be transferred to a sanctuary. The basis of this decision was scientific data demonstrating cognitive function, thus the animal should not be treated as an object. This may have a large impact on zoos, water parks, circuses, scientific laboratories, and potentially even the meat industry. Scientific data on the cognitive function of animals was also documented as part of the Cambridge Declaration on Animal Consciousness (see video).

The impact of such a shift in personhood laws globally could be significant in terms of global resource footprints. As reported by the Huffington Post, meat consumption accounts for 30% of water consumption in the United States (with beef @ 1,847 gallons of water per pound).

Photo Credit: The credit for this photo is under legal review. It is to be determined whether the copyright of the “selfie” belongs to the monkey or the owner of the camera, David Slater.