Statement in Support of FOTO Malaysia's Campaign to #FreeLasah
The NhRP's Steven M. Wise: As autonomous beings, elephants should be able to live freely
For Immediate Release:
Nov. 1, 2017
New York, N.Y.—Below, please find a statement from NhRP President Steven M. Wise in support of Friends of the Orangutans’ #FreeLasah campaign:
Like all elephants, Lasah is a self-aware, autonomous being. To force him to live alone in captivity, laboring for human entertainment when not in chains, is to rob him of everything that makes life worth living for an elephant. Here in the US, we at the Nonhuman Rights Project will soon file the first ever lawsuit demanding recognition of captive elephants’ legal personhood and fundamental rights precisely because humans shouldn’t be able to imprison and exploit members of this extraordinarily cognitively and emotionally complex species. I urge the powers-that-be in Malaysia to free Lasah to the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary.
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About the Nonhuman Rights Project
Founded in 1996 by attorney Steven M. Wise, the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) works to secure legally recognized fundamental rights for nonhuman animals through litigation, advocacy, and education. Our mission is to change the legal status of at least some nonhuman animals from mere “things,” which lack the capacity to possess any legal right, to “persons,” who possess such fundamental rights as bodily integrity and bodily liberty and those other legal rights to which evolving standards of morality, scientific discovery, and human experience entitle them. Our current plaintiffs are members of species who have been scientifically proven to be autonomous: currently, great apes, elephants, dolphins, and whales. We are working with teams of attorneys on four continents to develop campaigns to achieve legal rights for nonhuman animals that are suited to the legal systems of these countries. We filed our first cases in December of 2013.
About NhRP President Steven M. Wise
Steven M. Wise began his mission to gain rights for nonhuman animals in 1985. He holds a J.D. from Boston University Law School and a B.S. in chemistry from the College of William and Mary. He has practiced animal protection law for four decades and is admitted to the Massachusetts Bar. Professor Wise taught the first class in “Animal Rights Law” at the Harvard Law School and has taught “Animal Rights Jurisprudence” at the Stanford Law School, as well as the University of Miami, St. Thomas, and John Marshall Law Schools, and is currently teaching “Animal Rights Jurisprudence” at the Lewis and Clark Law School and Vermont Law School. He is the author of four books: Rattling the Cage – Toward Legal Rights for Animals; Drawing the Line – Science and the Case for Animal Rights; Though the Heavens May Fall – The Landmark Trial That Led to the End of Human Slavery; and An American Trilogy – Death, Slavery, and Dominion Along the Banks of the Cape Fear River. His TED TALK from the TED2015 Conference in Vancouver, Canada was released in May of 2015, and has over one million views.