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What We’re Asking for in Our Fight to #FreeHappy

By Lauren Choplin

In our fight to #FreeHappy from the Bronx Zoo to a sanctuary, we argue that Happy, as an autonomous being, must be recognized as a legal person with the fundamental right to liberty. In the words of NhRP Executive Director Kevin Schneider on the latest episode of WWDB AM 860‘s “The Other Animals” podcast:
It’s not just the fact that autonomy is important; autonomy is laid out in exquisite detail by the scientific affidavits that we put forward in our cases. But autonomy is crucial for us lawyers because it’s a pre-existing value in the law. So what we’re doing is not so much asking the law or the courts to create a new value. What we’re saying is, hey, this very important idea of autonomy, which really animates some of our most important rights and cherished privileges under the law—it’s not exclusive to humans. So we’re asking the common law to do what the common law does best, which is to take stock of present-day conditions, new realities, new scientific discoveries, social mores, and use those to update the law.
You can listen to the episode for free on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. A big thank you to host Laurent Levy for your always thoughtful questions and your continued interest in our mission and work!

To learn more about Happy and her court case, click here. To join the over 1.4 million people who’ve signed her petition, click here. To make a donation to help ensure the legal fight for elephant rights is as strong as it can be, now and until all elephants can live freely, click here

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