Professor Peter Singer is the author of the book Animal Liberation, which created a new world standard to treat animals in our society. He was also one of the specialists who gave birth to GAP Project ideas in 1994 and today he is our Honor President.
In the last week of August, Professor Peter Singer (PhD), philosopher and bioethicist, will be in Brazil for a lecture within the Project Boundaries of Thought (Fronteiras do Pensamento). A few people know, even those who write about him and comment on his ideas, that one of his greatest achievements was the founding of GAP (Great Ape Project) in the 90’s in United States, along with a distinguished group of anthropologists, lawyers, philosophers and primatologists.
The author of the classic book on animal rights – "Animal Liberation" – turned his gaze and his mind, in 1994, for our brothers chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos and orangutans, exposing to the world the extermination that happened to those species that share a DNA very close to 100% with humans.
When the voice and writing of Peter Singer raised a discussion on the topic, the world realized, surprised, the evil that was being practiced against our fellow primates, with no one reacting against it.
GAP Project, which now has its headquarters in Brazil and spreads around the world in defense of the rights of great apes, will receive its founder in its birthplace: the Sanctuary of the Great Apes of Sorocaba, where a group of 50 chimpanzees and humans will welcome the one to whom they own a lot, for having reaffirmed a protection awareness of all beings below the human lineage.
Peter Singer wrote in 2003, in the book edited by GAP Project, denouncing the torture and imprisonment of hundreds of chimpanzees in biomedical expertise centers in the United States, "Recognition for the Uncounted": "The next decade will be a crucial time for great apes. One reason for this is that the size of the remaining populations of chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orangutans will inevitably be decided. The world will take a serious decision about protecting them and their habitats in Africa and Indonesia, or primates in free life will be in tiny groups to be protected only in small reserves and marching inexorably to its extinction everywhere. " He continues: "The next decade will also be crucial to the movement on the rise which guarantees basic rights to apes. This movement launched in the publication" The Great Ape Project "in 1993, converted GAP Project in an international organization with offices across Europe , Asia, North America, Latin America and advocates in many other places. "
This decade is coming to an end this year. Peter Singer was visionary, but he did not calculated that powerful interests cloaked in Speciesism would fight with "tooth and nail" that only humans should have real rights in this world, and all inferior beings would continue to be exploited by them.
However, much has been achieved in this memorable decade. We, in Brazil, achieved what nobody has inthe world: the end of the exploitation in circuses and entertainment shows using our fellow primates.
Peter Singer will be able to see with his own eyes – during his visit in August 29 – hos his prophecy thought on 2003 was fulfilled here. The four great ape Brazilian sanctuaries, affiliated to GAP, and that he inspired, rescued more than 80 of our brothers who were exploited, and that today can live with decency, love, respect, and in their own community.
A small part of the immense work that Peter Singer and his collaborators intended to do in 1993, when the project was initiated, is currently held. And if we could do it, many others, in other latitudes of the planet, may also get it.
Perhaps the new decade that will beging will be to consolidate the end of this fight, and in 2023, somewhere in the world, we could shout from the rooftops: The Rights of Great Apes are There!
Dr. Pedro A. Ynterian
President, GAP Project International