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NhRP: Nonhuman Rights Project

After reading “Animals Are Persons Too”, a 2014 article about Lawyer Steven M. Wise and his mission to establish legal personhood status for great apes, elephants, dolphins and whales, we contacted Mr. Wise and learned more about the project. Steven – we’ve become friends by now – read ‘Animal Liberation’ many years ago and that book’s horrendous revelations became the genesis of his mission, one that he’s been pursuing for over 30 years now. Because the law treats great apes, elephants, dolphins and whales as ‘things’ they have no legal rights, other than some spotty laws against animal abuse. As ‘things’ they can be bought, sold and held captive. Imprisonment – too often in solitary confinement, a treatment we reserve for our worst criminals – does great emotional and psychological harm to these sentient, self-aware, intelligent and emotionally complex beings. Decades of scientific research has shown that they are all of the foregoing, but the current laws do not acknowledge and address these discoveries. That’s why Steven and the NhRP seek legal personhood for these animals, for that would give them irrevocable protections that recognize their need to live in the wild – or in sanctuaries, if reintroduction into the wild is not possible. As per the NhRP’s mission statement: “We work to secure legally recognized fundamental rights for nonhuman animals through litigation, legislation, and education ” with the objective “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 which we’ll simply add: “Amen”. To learn about the NhRP’s campaigns and its cases on behalf of their clients - currently several captive Chimpanzees and Elephants -  please visit: NonHumanRights.org and lend your support.

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