Dr. Jane Goodall

«Chimpanzees, other primates and numerous other animals are sentient and intelligent beings. They deserve our respect.»

Harald Friedl

«A respectful treatment of our environment is urgently needed. The right to life and mental and physical integrity should therefore apply to our closest relatives just as it does to us.»

Dr. Christian von Wartburg

«Genuine humanity means extending the circle of fundamental rights holders in the right to life and in the right to physical and mental integrity to non-human primates.»

Dr. iur. Michelle Lachenmeier

«Es geht nicht darum, den Primaten Menschenrechte zu gewähren oder sie zu Privatrechtssubjekten zu machen, sondern darum, dass sie gegenüber dem Staat ein besonderes Grundrecht erhalten, das sie vor Eingriffen in ihr Leben und ihre physische und psychische Integrität schützt. Für mich ist das eine Selbstverständlichkeit.»

Lisa Mathys

«Who are we then, as human primates, that we want to deny non-humans the basic right to integrity and life?»

Michael Burkhardt

«As co-inhabitants of this world, we humans have a responsibility towards nature and its living beings. The non-human primates are very similar to us and have feelings just as much as fear, love, care. It is even our duty and responsibility to ensure their integrity and protection so that they can also live in dignity like us humans. That is why I am voting for the primate initiative.»

Jessica Brandenburger

«The fundamental right to life and to physical and mental integrity should also become a matter of course for non-human primates.»

Christine Keller

«The right to life and integrity for our closest relatives, the primates – a matter of course that should finally be recognized!»

Benjamin van Vulpen

«Primates have a vested interest in life and integrity. Only if we give them basic rights, we can protect them from serious interventions and disregard of these interests. That is why I say YES to the Primate Initiative.»

Monika Hungerbühler

«The Bible's creation story tells that the animals of the land were created on the same day as humans. Both have been blessed by God. We humans and the non-human primates are under the same blessing. Therefore I support the primate initiative!»

Raffaela Hanauer

«We humans should treat other living beings with respect. That's why I support the introduction of basic rights for primates.»

Nino Russano

«Primates have a right to physical and mental integrity, that's why I support the initiative.»

Dr. iur. Charlotte E. Blattner (LL.M.)

«With this vote, we have the unique opportunity to protect the most elementary interests of other sentient creatures as well. Ethics and political philosophy agree that we should do so. I wish the people of Basel the courage to take a small step with their vote to make a big difference for non-human primates.»

Alain Martin

«Through my many years of experience with primates, it has always been clear to me that they will one day receive basic rights. The fact that we are already voting on this is gratifying. A yes would be a sign of respect and empathy towards our compassionate relatives.»

Prof. Dr. Markus Wild

«More and more people in Switzerland reject the use of monkeys. Sentience Politics' arguments need to be heard instead of ignored, the debate conducted instead of avoided, and our relations with animals legalized instead of trivialized or belittled.»

Vera Weber

«This initiative would lead to finally acknowledging what we have known for years: animals, and especially primates, feel pain, form social bonds and have rich emotional lives. Accordingly, we have a duty to protect their lives and their physical and mental health. In this sense, it is time to grant them a minimum of rights.»

Premton Haziri

«'Animals are not things' is what the Civil Code has been telling us since 2003. However, in our actual dealings with animals, the deeply rooted idea that they are primarily to be of use to us still reverberates today. Much of animal protection law seems like a manual for 'correct' exploitation. This initiative is a chance to take a first small but important step towards overcoming this way of thinking.»

Tonja Zürcher

«Our closest animal relatives are intelligent and social creatures social beings who deserve more than the patchy animal protection in Switzerland»

Simon Fankhauser

«Primates are moral subjects and must be treated as such. In order to comply with this, it is imperative that the initiative be adopted.»

Céline Schlegel

«A YES to the Primate Initiative is a YES to progressive animal welfare. Our old-fashioned law treats animals, including primates, largely like things. It's time for that to change! By recognising basic rights for primates, we show goodwill towards those who are at our mercy. If we were the ones affected, we would also say YES!»

Adriano Mannino

«"It is often said that apes are like us, and we are like them. Only rarely do we realize that we ARE apes. Even 150 years after Darwin, this fact hasn't yet entered our political consciousness. Now, for the first time in history, the apes who are eligible to vote in Basel have the chance to grant all other primates basic rights too. We are a very special kind of animal – one that can recognise that we are not alone on this planet, but one animal species among many."»

Dr. Raffael Fasel

«It's about time our legal system stopped revolving around humans and started taking the interests of other animals seriously, protecting them through fundamental rights—like those to life and integrity.»

Dr. Christoph Ammann

«Non-human primates are impressive animals. They are also sensitive and vulnerable in a special way. It is up to us to protect them better. Fundamental rights are the right means for this.»

Prof. Dr. Christoph Rehmann-Sutter

«With this initiative we are saying that in the biosphere it is not only us humans alone who count morally. We are not indifferent to the welfare of animals. That's why we humans are committed to protecting non-human primates from physical and emotional harm and to respecting their lives.»

Dr. Colin Goldner

«There is no rational reason to deprive non-human primates of basic rights that come naturally to human primates.»

Jaël Malli

«Laws are written to protect the weakest in our society. Who could be weaker than beings who spend their lives behind bars and are used for experiments? Primates feel pain, mourn deceased relatives and plan for their own future. Because they cannot speak for themselves and claim their basic rights, we must do this for them.»

Prof. Dr. Oliver Bendel

«I am for human rights for humans and for animal rights for animals. Basic rights such as the right to life and the right to physical integrity should go to all primates, but also to other mammals and reptiles and amphibians. The idea is not to protect animals from other animals, but from humans.»

Prof. Dr. Grischa Merkel

«Unfortunately, the legally provided animal protection is not working in practice. Body and life protection of our closest relatives must apparently be guaranteed in principle, as this initiative seeks to do, so that other primates are adequately protected in the first place. No one will be hurt by this, by the way.»

Prof. Dr. Volker Sommer

«Other primates resemble us not only in physique but also in terms of their mental landscape, whose rich emotional life knows pain and suffering as well as happiness and well-being. Non-human primates, therefore, are not only to be 'protected' but should be accorded those inalienable basic rights—those to life and integrity—to which humans are also entitled.»

Other personalities

Nicolas Eichenberger
SP/JUSO Basel-City, Board Member, Animal Rights Switzerland

Meret Rehmann
Lawyer and doctoral student

Deborah Ness
Psychologist and doctoral student

Simon Tommer
Aspiring industrial psychologist

Selina Reusser
Master student in Changing Societies

Zita Zanier
Communication specialist and Basel Vegan board member

Micha Eichmann
Data Scientist

Simon Aeberhard
Teacher and Activist


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