We work to secure fundamental rights for nonhuman animals through litigation, legislation, and education.
- To change the common law status of great apes, elephants, dolphins, and whales from mere “things,” which lack the capacity to possess any legal right, to “legal persons,” who possess such fundamental rights as bodily liberty and bodily integrity.
- To draw on the common law and evolving standards of morality, scientific discovery, and human experience to consider other qualities that may be sufficient for recognition of nonhuman animals’ legal personhood and fundamental rights.
- To develop local, national, and global issue-oriented grassroots and legislative campaigns to promote recognition of nonhuman animals as beings worthy of moral and legal consideration and with their own inherent interests in freedom from captivity, participation in a community of other members of their species, and the protection of their natural habitats.
- To build a broad-based coalition of organizations and individuals to secure legally recognized fundamental rights for nonhuman animals.
- To foster understanding of the social, historical, political, and legal justice of our arguments and the scientific discovery of other species’ cognitive and emotional complexity that informs them.
Steven M. Wise
Steve is the founder and president of the NhRP, representing nonhuman animals in the courtroom and serving as lead spokesperson for the organization’s work.
Gail oversees the NhRP’s finances, ensuring compliance with federal and state non-profit operational procedures.
Jane is a founding NhRP board member, providing guidance on nonprofit operations and wildlife conservation and protection.
Kevin heads up the NhRP’s internal and external operations, ensuring that all organizational efforts align with our values and are aimed to secure rights for nonhuman animals.
Elizabeth serves as New York legal counsel to the NhRP, writing legal briefs on behalf of nonhuman animals and litigating before judges.
Monica heads up the NhRP’s legal working group, developing habeas corpus cases, writing motions and briefs, and advising the organization on legal strategy.
Lauren heads up the NhRP’s internal and external communications, coordinating media coverage of our legal and policy work and managing our blog and social media pages.
Shirley coordinates the NhRP's international legal working groups.
Courtney oversees the NhRP's legislative and grassroots advocacy.
Spencer Lo is a NhRP staff attorney.
- We communicate truthfully, authentically, respectfully, and in a dignified manner with the courts, the legal profession, lawmakers, the media, and the public and make available and accessible all our legal documents.
- We give credit generously and unfailingly to anyone who assists with achieving our mission.
- We work in harmony with any individual or organization that assists in advancing our objectives.
- We treat our coworkers, donors, and volunteers with the greatest respect and gratitude for their efforts on behalf of nonhuman animals.
- We deeply value all donations and administer them with the utmost responsibility with an emphasis on practical effectiveness.
The NhRP is an equal opportunity employer. In accordance with applicable law, we prohibit discrimination against any applicant, employee, contractor, intern, or volunteer based on any actual or perceived legally recognized basis including but not limited to: veteran status, uniformed service member status, gender identity and gender expression, race, color, religion, sex and gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, age, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, genetic information, marital status, or any other consideration protected by federal, state or local law.
“- Jane Goodall
How should we relate to beings who look into mirrors and see themselves as individuals, who mourn companions and may die of grief, who have a consciousness of ‘self?’ Don’t they deserve to be treated with the same sort of consideration we accord to other highly sensitive beings: ourselves?”