Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein released a statement on the three-month anniversary of the death of Harambe the gorilla. Harambe was killed by zookeepers at the Cincinnati Zoo after a child wandered into his enclosure, and has since become an internet phenomenon of sorts. In the statement, Stein said that the United States should give legal rights to non-human primates.
The killing of Harambe at the Cincinnati Zoo highlights the need to adopt stronger legal protections for the rights of animals.
Other countries, especially in Europe, have begun to provide legal rights and protected status to primates as living beings. Non human primates should have the legal right to live freely or, when necessary, in sanctuaries only for medical rehabilitation or ecological assistance for endangered species.
Harambe was killed by a zoo which raises revenues by selling tickets to see captive animals, including primates. While good emergency staff training might have prevented such a catastrophic outcome, the Green Party believes that captivity for such entertainment is ethically wrong and fundamentally exploitive and should be illegal.
A recent poll of Texas' voters taken by Public Policy Polling had Stein tied with Harambe in the state. The Cincinnati Zoo recently requested that people stop making and sharing Harambe memes, to which people responded with by making more Harambe jokes. The zoo eventually deleted its Twitter account.
It's curious that despite Stein's insistence that non-human primates have legal rights, she fully supports the right to abort an unborn human.