As some may know I have a passing interest in zoology. Recently I have been studying up on evolution and humans closest surviving relations; bonobos, chimpanzees, gorillas and orang-utans.
They are amazing creatures. Not only are their social systems intricate (and in the case of the Bonobos very fun sounding) but individuals have been know to communicate with humans and engage in artistic expression. See for example Kanzi and Michael. I found the fact that Michael still remembered, and could communicate about, his mothers death at the hands of poachers to be quite distressing.
Now that humans are getting to the point of being able to survive without killing wild animals (and when I say this I mean culturally, technologically we probably reached this point around the time of the Sumerians for crying out loud) surely we should be going out of our way to protect the Great Apes above all others for they are probably the closest we're going to find to intelligent life outside our species any time soon!
That's why I ask you take a minute or so to go and read the Great Ape Projects Declaration and sign it if you agree.