Steve Wise talks about how we can be confident, from a legal point of view, that a particular nonhuman being should be accorded certain basic legal rights. “The arguments I make, at least as a sufficient condition for rights is the idea of practical autonomy: that you can desire, that you can act intentionally, that [...]
Steve Wise talks about proportionality rights for nonhuman animals – just as children and people who are deemed insane, for example, have rights that are proportional to their capabilities. (One of a series of interviews recorded by Gooseberry Productions.)
You’re never going to see anything like this at SeaWorld – orcas racing a boat, and in this case for a whole hour. The boat was carrying scuba divers and the dive master called everyone back when he spotted the orcas approaching. Laura and Rich Howard captured the video. (Best turn down the audio. The [...]
Two thousand years ago, the Greek scholar Aristotle developed the idea of the Great Chain of Being (scala natura) – a hierarchy of nature that starts with rocks at the bottom, and rises through plants to (nonhuman) animals to humans to angels to God. The Great Chain doesn’t hold up in the world of science, [...]
No nonhuman animal has ever been granted legal standing in court. So, if you want to seek justice on behalf of a nonhuman, you currently still have to take a roundabout approach and argue that you have suffered some kind of injury as a result of what’s happened to that animal. On the podcast Beyond [...]
The reason is obvious when you stop to think about it, says Steve Wise. "Most people are deeply involved in exploiting animals. It’s impossible to live in a modern society and not be involved in exploiting animals." This is the first in a weekly series of short interviews with Steve by Gooseberry Productions. Next week: [...]
If you’re already outraged by what Lily Tomlin calls "the bizarre practice of caging wild animals for public display," the HBO documentary An Apology to Elephants won’t necessarily tell you a lot more than you already know. Still, it’s great to see the former star of Laugh-In not only as the narrator of this heart-touching [...]
More than 12 years ago, when Steve Wise was teaching animal rights law at Harvard University, he was already preparing to file suit asking for legal personhood on behalf of the first-ever nonhuman animal. In 2002, for example, he discussed his work and his plans in an interview with Claudia Dreifus of The New York [...]
The conference on "Personhood Beyond the Human" is being put together jointly by the Nonhuman Rights Project and the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET). The event will be at Yale University December 6-8, 2013, and one full day will be devoted to the work of the Nonhuman Rights Project. That part of the [...]
Here’s a big thank you to Camilla Glover, our Volunteer of the Month for March 2013. Camilla is Vice President of the Student Animal Legal Defense (SALDF) chapter at Golden Gate University Law School in San Francisco, were she is currently seeking her JD. Earlier this year she was the Assistant Director of the first [...]
Here’s Steve Wise’s discussion on Radio Free Rescue on March 24th. Steve had a cold and the host had a stomach bug, but everything went ahead regardless! Here’s the audio:
Since we began the Nonhuman Rights Project, hundreds of people have given of their time and effort to help gather all the information and resources that we’re using to build our first cases. A special thank to all of you. Here are some who helped the project in 2012 and who were able to send [...]
The Nonhuman Rights Project is proud to announce that Dr. Steven Tauber is the Volunteer of the Month for February 2013. Dr. Tauber is a professor of Political Science at the University of South Florida, where he serves as the Chair of the Department of Government & International Affairs. Dr. Tauber became involved with the [...]
“Americans are so enamored of equality, they would rather be equal in slavery than unequal in freedom.” So Alexis de Toqueville observed in his 1840 volume Democracy in America. We Americans remain enamored 140 years on. Last week was a good week for equality: Last Monday, President Obama emphasized the American commitment to equality in [...]
In the middle of the holiday bustle, members of the Legal Working Group of the Nonhuman Rights Project turned a Times Square hotel room into the headquarters for a meeting devoted to determining the best states for the NhRP’s first groundbreaking lawsuits, to be filed in 2013. The meeting, on December 17-18, 2012, included President [...]
On March 24, the Nonhuman Rights Project will choose the jurisdictions in which we will file those first lawsuits. By May 1, we will have selected the initial nonhuman animal plaintiffs, begun drafting our Complaints and supporting documents, and preparing for trials and appeals. During the last quarter of 2013 we will enter the courthouse.
The Nonhuman Rights Project is proud to announce that Kristen Stilt is the Volunteer of the Month for January 2013. Kristen, a Professor of Law at Northwestern University and a Professor of History at Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, first met Steve Wise while she was a visiting professor at Harvard University. She [...]
Cartoonist Jeff Berry sent us his latest delightful creation after hearing Steve Wise on Wisconsin Public Radio. Take a look!
When Jane Goodall, one of the directors of the Nonhuman Rights Project, stepped aboard the Grand Marshall float to lead the Rose Parade on New Year’s Days, she had a stuffed baby chimpanzee nestled in her arm, and a homeless dog sitting next to her.
Dr. Goodall, who is one of the directors of the Nonhuman Rights Project, said the parade was a “wonderful way” to share her mission of respect for all animals and the natural world.
According to the magazine Popular Science, the work of the Nonhuman Rights Project will be one of the top science stories of the year 2013. Ranking seventh on the list of “Fifteen Science and Technology News Bytes from 2013″ is this one: Animals Sue For Rights Certain animals—such as dolphins, chimpanzees, elephants, and parrots—show capabilities [...]
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded D.A. “Penny” Pennebaker a Lifetime Achievement Oscar on December 1, 2012. Pennebaker and his wife and partner, Chris Hegedus, are currently making a film about the Nonhuman Rights Project’s efforts to secure legal rights for nonhuman animals. Fellow documentarian Michael Moore and Senator Al Franken presented [...]
Congratulations to Spencer Lo, Volunteer of the Month for November, 2012. Spencer, a recent graduate of Pace Law School, was intrigued by the arguments presented by the NhRP when it filed a brief as an amicus curiae in the 2011 PETA v. SeaWorld Thirteenth Amendment lawsuit. So he then attended Steven Wise’s lecture at Columbia [...]
A conference on “Personhood Beyond the Human” is tentatively scheduled in the Fall 2013 and will be held at Yale University. (Note: It was originally scheduled for Spring 2013.) The event will focus on personhood for nonhuman animals, including great apes, cetaceans, and elephants, and will explore the evolving notions of personhood by analyzing them through the [...]
Congratulations to Russell Tenofsky, NhRP’s Volunteer of the Month for October 2012. Russell writes many of the articles you see on this website. As part of the NhRP’s editorial team, that also means he’s always keeping an eye out for whatever is in the news that might have to do with the kinds of animals [...]
A few corrections to this Huffington Post article, which discusses two legal approaches taken to improving the lives of animals. We don’t see this debate as an either/or proposition. Any organization that’s helping to relieve the tremendous suffering of animals at factory farms has our full support. Such animal welfare organizations as HSUS enforce existing laws [...]