> The majority of extropians on this list are in favour of perfect human
> inviolability (ie people never have the right to affect another person
> without their permission - except in self defence).
> I'd be interested to hear peoples opinions on the rights of animals. Do you
> believe that animals have no rights and can be ignored, that animals have a
> sliding scale of rights based upon their intelligence, or some other system?
To have rights, a being must understand the concept of rights, communicate its understanding to others, and hopefully take action based on that understanding to protect those rights. If any being cannot do these then it is just meat. That being said, other beings must be able to understand what is being communicated. Our own developing ability to understand the more primitive forms of communication of other species (and some which may or may not be more complex than our own) is only a few decades old, so it is logical to leave a bit of room at the upper end of the brain mass / body mass scale free from predation just to be safe.