The 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reserves certain powers to the states. One of those reserved powers is, generally speaking, the area of criminal law. The specifics of how a state deals with torture, mutilation, bestiality, kidnapping, molestation, infanticide, confinement, and killing of animals will, accordingly, be provided in the given state’s criminal law statutes. Violators of those statutes will be criminally prosecuted.
In a post-abolition world, no sentient species will be excluded from protection against abuse, and no act of violence against or exploitation of an animal will be justifiable on a theory of ownership, property, contract, objectification, or instrumental use. Recognized defenses, such as insanity and self-defense, will be unaffected by animal emancipation.
No. The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides that “neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay… any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.”
This chart provides a good breakdown of five different tiers of the animal-protection movement. Find the one that’s right for you and then let the Humane Party know by submitting the volunteer application.
Modern abolitionists often ask about the origin of the text of Section 1 of the Abolition Amendment, particularly the phrase “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude”. This phrase is a word-for-word quote from the 13th Amendment. Re-using this phrase verbatim has several benefits, such as:
INTENDED RESULT: the actual, historical effect of the 13th Amendment is undeniable: it ended human slavery; re-using the operative text of the 13th Amendment sends a clear signal that the Abolition Amendment will do the same thing for other animals
CONNECTING TO OTHER SECTIONS OF THE CONSTITUTION: the 14th Amendment (ratified 1868) already provides that former slave-holders will not be compensated for the alleged “loss” of their “property, and by adhering to the 13th Amemdment language, the Abolition Amendment makes clear the continued applicability of this portion of the 14th Amendment
TAPPING INTO EXISTING PRECEDENTS: legal precedents based on the 13th Amendment will be more easily applied to cases involving the Abolition Amendment if the language used is identical; in other words, by re-using this language, the modern abolition movement taps into the power of 100+ years of existing case law interpreting this language
RATIFICATION PROCESS: the political process of getting a Constitutional amendment ratified is very difficult; by re-using language that is already in the Constitution, the modern abolition movement minimizes the number of arguments available to pro-violence, pro-exploitation advocates; in other words, there’s simply a lot less to argue about than there would be if new language were used
These reasons represent some of the many benefits of keeping the text of the Abolition Amendment close to the relevant portions of the text of the 13th Amendment.
The specific language of the first draft of the Abolition Amendment was subject to public commentary through Jan. 25, 2016, and the second draft was subject to public comment through March 31, 2016. While the final wording of the Abolition Amendment—scheduled for publication on Abolition Day, 2016—may differ from these drafts, here are some general comments.
Some effects of the Abolition Amendment are the same as those of the APE Amendment (final draft published Dec. 6, 2015) and the 13th Amendment (ratified Dec. 6, 1865), which forbid primate slavery and human slavery, respectively.
The key distinction between the Abolition Amendment and these prior amendments is that the Abolition Amendment abolishes the property status of any and all animals—not just that of humans or primates. In so doing, the Abolition Amendment puts an immediate end to all remaining animal-killing-based and exploitation-based industries, including:
vivisection (“animal testing”)
Removing these inherently violent and oppressive industries and practices from our nation represents the culmination of a political movement toward freedom and liberty that began more than 200 years ago in the United States. Abolition also ushers in a new day of economic prosperity, national security, and environmental recovery.
The Abolition Amendment is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution. Upon ratification, the Abolition Amendment will abolish slavery with respect to all animals, thereby putting an immediate end to the meat, dairy, egg, and other exploitation- and killing-based industries. In so doing, the Abolition Amendment represents the fruit of decades of labor by animal rights activists, environmentalists, and vegan advocates in the U.S.
The final version of the Abolition Amendment was published on Abolition Day, December 6, 2016. The full text of the Abolition Amendment appears in the following image.
1. Abolishing slavery with respect to all primates. Just as the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution served to abolish the institution of human slavery within the U.S., the APE Amendment abolishes the institution of slavery for all other primates. Such abolition means that primates—including apes, monkeys, chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, and several other mammalian species who are particularly closely related to homo sapiens—can no longer be treated as “property” and therefore can no longer be used for entertainment purposes, vivisection, or other forms of exploitation.
2. Recognizing the availability of the writ of habeas corpus for protecting the rights of all primates. The writ of habeas corpus is a key procedural mechanism for protecting the substantive rights of individuals in the American legal system. This mechanism allows demand, through a legal proceeding, that either (i) an adequate reason for holding an individual in captivity be demonstrated or (ii) the individual be released. By explicitly making the writ of habeas corpus available for safeguarding the rights of all primates, the APE Amendment activates a key vehicle for ensuring that other primates are free from slavery not only in theory but in actuality.
3. Providing a guardian ad litem when necessary to protect the rights of a primate. In the American legal system, when an individual does not have the capacity to properly protect his or her rights (e.g., an infant), a guardian ad litem can be appointed to act on behalf of the incapacitated individual. By explicitly making the guardian ad litem procedural mechanism available for use with respect to all primates, the APE Amendment activates another key vehicle for ensuring that other primates are free from slavery not only in theory but in actuality.
4. Eliminating the 13th Amendment exception for slavery in criminal cases. The language of the 13th Amendment provides an exception to its general prohibition of human slavery, namely, an exception for “punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted”. The APE Amendment eliminates this exception, both for humans and for all other primates. In closing this loophole, the APE Amendment directly affects humans and enhances humans’ civil rights in the United States. This enhanced protection of human rights is particularly relevant and important in America today, where the Democrat-Republican bloc has incarcerated the largest population of prisoners in the world and has transformed the criminal justice system into a for-profit prison system.
The Humane Party chose to separate the remainder of the abolition process into two different Constitutional amendments—namely, the APE Amendment and the Abolition Amendment—in order to accomplish the ultimate goal—abolition—as fast as possible.
Specifically, the APE Amendment breaks, for the first time in U.S. history, the species barrier to legal standing (often called “rights” or “personhood”). This speciesist barrier is formidable: it has endured for thousands of years in all human cultures all around the world. By being limited in scope to those species to which humans are most recently related, the APE Amendment is optimized to break this psychological and philosophical barrier immediately. This amendment represents the very cutting edge of the modern abolitionist movement.
Once the species barrier has been overcome through the APE Amendment, the road to emancipation of all other animals by way of the Abolition Amendment will be clear.
Thus, in the Humane Party’s estimation, the two-step process described above will produce the desired result—abolition of slavery for all species—faster than would a single-step process.
American Abolition Day—or just “Abolition Day”, for short—is a national celebration to be observed annually on December 6. Abolition Day was created by the Humane Party for the two-fold purpose described below. Years in the making, Abolition Day was first formally celebrated in 2015.
The purpose of Abolition Day is two-fold:
1. Honoring the Past. The first purpose of Abolition Day is to commemorate the success of the proto-abolitionist movement in the United States of America, which movement culminated in ratification of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution on December 6, 1865. Ratification of the 13th Amendment, which ended human slavery in the U.S., represents the single most important moment in the history of civil rights in the U.S. since ratification of the Bill of Rights. The annual date of Abolition Day was chosen to coincide with the anniversary of this pivotal moment.
2. Brightening the Future. The second purpose of Abolition Day is to promote completion of the process of abolition so as to end slavery with respect to all other species within the jurisdiction of the United States. Specifically, Abolition Day serves to promote ratification of two additional abolitionist amendments.
The Humane Party published the first of these two additional abolitionist amendments, the American Primate Emancipation (“APE”) Amendment, on December 6, 2015. The APE Amendment, when ratified, will emancipate all other primates within the jurisdiction of the United States. The Humane Party is scheduled to publish the final text of the second additional abolitionist amendment, called simply the Abolition Amendment, on Abolition Day, 2016. The Abolition Amendment, when ratified, will emancipate all other animals within the jurisdiction of the United States.