Do mermaids have rights? Frankly, I never thought about this before. The top half certainly has rights. These rights were spelled out by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at the United Nations in 1948. Like every human being, without regard to race, color, sex, language, religion, politics, national or social origin, birth or status, she has the right to freedom of life, liberty and security of person, freedom from torture or other inhuman treatment, from arbitrary arrest, detention or exile, freedom of speech, freedom of movement, asylum, the right to marry who she chooses, the right to own property, freedom of thought and the freedom of worship, freedom of assembly, freedom of association, freedom from slavery, freedom from tyranny and the right to a swift trial.
And if she is an American mermaid she has still further rights. She has the right to vote, the right to not be discriminated against, the right not to go hungry, to sue, to a parking space, to eat what she wants, to be in charge of her own body, and, if disabled, to have free medical care and a ramp to get into places, a wider bathroom with handles and a seat on the bus. Also, she has the right to bring her dog into a restaurant in a canvas bag.
The bottom half of a mermaid also has rights. But it depends on which group she falls into. If she is an endangered mermaid, she has the right to be protected. She can swim where she wants and when she wants, if she is caught on a hook she has to be thrown back, and if the top half of the mermaid tells her to go on land, bathers have to clear the way, not go near her and not allow any other animals near her either or be subject to fines or jail. If necessary, she has to be taken to a wildlife rescue center, fed, nurtured, restored to health and released back into the wild. She can also be encouraged to mate in order to get her species to rise up from the endangered list to the “threatened” list or, even further, to be delisted.
On the other hand, if the bottom half is not endangered, she has to be certified safe to eat by the Pure Food and Drug Act, not raised in an enclosure, be pasture fed, 100% organic, free range and kept refrigerated until used, but, in a restaurant setting, thrown out at the end of every other day. That’s all you need to know about mermaids.