TaN: Only people can have rights. Animals cannot have rights; the environment cannot have rights; and, most of all, CORPORATIONS (and other such juridical personalities or entities) CANNOT HAVE RIGHTS!
One fundamental requirement for possessing rights is the ability to exercise and defend them. Animals cannot do this and neither can the environment. It does not make sense for a thing (or some entity) to possess rights but cannot exercise them. What are the rights for? And, if one cannot defend one’s rights, one does not deserve to have them. What good are the rights of they (i.e., the rights) to the animal or to the environment if they cannot be exercised and defended?
Another requirement for having rights is accountability (and the ability to be subject to the same penalties and sanctions as people – e.g., serving time in prison or being incarcerated or suffering capital punishment). A corporation (or any business entity, for that matter) cannot have rights because they cannot be held accountable. The most that can be done is to impose a fine – and this will be easy for the a corporation since it has more than adequate enough financial resources.
But people may argue: What can be done when people are cruel to animals? It is disheartening but the sad truth of the matter is that it is up to people to enact laws in behalf of animals that will prevent – or, at least, mitigate – the cruelty that animals (and the damage that the environment) will suffer under man’s inhumanity and insensitivity, but not award or recognize that animals and the environment have rights.
This is somewhat similar to the argument that only those who are eternally vigilant and are prepared to defend their freedom deserve to have freedom.
Moreover, the concept or issue of corporate personhood is both frustrating and perplexing. In this regard, when a death has been caused by a corporation, since the corporation is supposed to be a group of people with the same goals and objectives and they move, decide, and act in unison, it stands to reason that – through the principle of conspiracy (that the act of one is the act of all) – everyone (from the lowest employee up to the chairman of the board and the stockholders and the incorporators) are complicit and guilty of the death. Ergo, everyone should be meted that corresponding appropriate punishment as prescribed by law. Otherwise, corporations cannot be extended and enjoy rights.
And, if corporations can be “shielded” from punitive action arising from its operations (see: “House Democrats Demand Action on Drug Industry Immunity Bills” from http://www.michcitizenaction.org/drug-industry-immunity.html and “Generic Drug Companies Get Even More Immunity From The Roberts Five“ from http://thinkprogress.org/justice/2013/06/24/2206411/generic-drug-companies-get-even-more-immunity-from-the-roberts-five/ and “Homeland Security bill – Pharma Immunity – WP” from http://www.ahrp.org/infomail/1102/15.php and “Big Pharma Protected” from http://www.larrywishon.com/articles/health/Pharma_protected/pharma_protected.html – what is to prevent them from acting with impunity and to disregard all forms of safety protocols and of checks and balances, to be Machiavellian, in their actions in pursuit of profits and wealth gains.
There is no such thing as a free lunch; one does not gain something for nothing. If corporations want to enjoy rights, they should also accept the responsibility that goes with having rights – just like the rest of us. They should be held to account just like we are. If we do something illegal, we are meted a corresponding prescribed punishment. The same must be meted – not only to the certain members of the corporation but from top to bottom – to corporations that act illegally. They have to accept the whole “package”, lock, stock and barrel, else none at all. It is all or nothing.
TaN: It is very infuriating that so many people are still apathetic or oblivious to the wanton and rampant injustices that are happening all around. It has been repeatedly sid and quoted or cited that, All that it takes for evil to win in this world is for all good men to do nothing. Truly, Kung gusto, may paraan; kung ayaw, may dahilan (If you want, there is a way; if you don’t want, there is an excuse).
It is sad that there are so many so-called “good” people when, in fact, they are not – because real good people will not permit injustice to just happen. Another truth is, If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem – you are part of the “conspiracy”.
However, it must be realized and understood that not everyone can act the same way or contribute the same things. Some get involve by spreading the word, others do so by participating or doing something about it, still others do their share in their own unique ways. What is important is that we get involved and that we do it sincerely (God will know) and not just for show or to lessen one’s guilt. In the end, only God can tell if we are truly sincere or not – because, some of us are so good at “lying” and deception that we even “fool” ourselves. Ultimately, it is between us and God – and we have to do our own lawyering.