NEW HAVEN, CT, April 16, 2013 ( – Move over Personhood USA, there’s another personhood movement in town: except this one isn’t seeking to grant personhood rights to unborn human beings, but to apes and elephants.

Yale University is organizing a conference on “Personhood Beyond the Human” for December 6-8, 2013. It will feature, among other proponents of personhood rights for animals, notorious infanticide and bestiality-promoting ethicist Peter Singer.

The conference is co-sponsored by the animal rights group Nonhuman Rights Project and the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies, in collaboration with the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics and the Yale Animal Ethics Group.

“The event will focus on personhood for nonhuman animals, including great apes, cetaceans, and elephants, and will explore the evolving notions of personhood by analyzing them through the frameworks of neuroscience, behavioral science, philosophy, ethics, and law,” reads a description of the conference on its website. 

“Special consideration will be given to discussions of nonhuman animal personhood, both in terms of understanding the history, science, and philosophy behind personhood, and ways to protect animal interests through the establishment of legal precedents and by increasing public awareness.” 

Peter Singer, who has been labeled Australia's “most notorious messenger of death” by the Catholic archbishop of his hometown of Melbourne, has served as Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University since 1999. 

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He is infamous for saying that no newborn should be considered a person until 30 days after birth and that the attending physician should kill disabled babies on the spot. Singer agreed with South African philosopher David Benatar who postulated that humanity should sterilize itself into extinction. 

He has also openly promoted bestiality and experimentation on the mentally disabled

Other keynote speakers at the Yale conference include animal rights lawyer Steven M. Wise, president of the Center for the Expansion of Fundamental Rights and director of its Nonhuman Rights Project, and James Hughes, executive director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies.

Hughes is a former Buddhist monk and an “attenuated Buddho-Unitarian” according to his curriculum vitae, and is a professor at Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut where he teaches medical ethics, health care policy and future studies. His book titled “Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future” is a treatise on transhumanism, a movement that seeks to use technology to transform humanity into something “beyond” human. 

Renowned lawyer, bioethicist and defender of human exceptionalism Wesley J. Smith compared the anti-humanism of the upcoming Yale conference to a catastrophic volcanic eruption.

“Anti-humanism is pouring out of the academy and radical think tanks like a pyroclastic flow,” Smith said on his blog at the National Review. “If we are not careful, it will destroy the universal human equality backbone of Western Civilization just as surely as Vesuvius did Pompeii.”

“The animal rights, mainstream bioethics, and the transhumanist movements each want to destroy society’s belief in the unique value of human life: Animal rightists in order to create moral equality between us and fauna; transhumanists because they are a eugenics movement and believe they have to knock humans off the pedestal of exceptionalism as a predicate to engaging in biological recreationism; and mainstream bioethics would make membership in the human species morally irrelevant to allow the utilitarian exploitation of some of us as a natural resource (among other reasons),” Smith said.

Contact info: 

Yale University
Richard C. Levin, President
PO BOX 208229
New Haven, CT  06520-8229
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (203) 432-2550
Fax: (203) 432-7105

Related LSN stories:

‘Just being human doesn’t give you a right to live’: Peter Singer sums up pro-abortion philosophy

Infanticide and bestiality advocate given Australia’s highest civic award

Princeton’s pro-infanticide ‘ethicist’ asks: Why can’t Catholics just close their universities?

Princeton Philosopher: ‘Why Not Sterilize the Human Race and Party into Extinction?’

Princeton Scholar Peter Singer’s “Inhuman” Views Have Him Rejected as Speaker at Noted European Conf