By Steven M. Wise, President,
By this time next year, the first chimpanzee, dolphin or elephant will be in court claiming her rights as a legal person.
These first cases will be historic and groundbreaking. Nothing like this has ever been done before. Ever!
That's because, even though there are lots of organizations that talk about "animal rights", humans continue to be the only animals with any legal rights at all. And that's what the Nonhuman Rights Project is working to change.
For several years, dozens of lawyers, law professors, graduate students, natural scientists, sociologists, statisticians and animal protection advocates have been working together as volunteers to build these first cases.
Next summer, as a result of all this work, we'll be selecting our first "clients" and choosing the best jurisdictions to present their cases. And in the fall, we'll file those first suits.
That's why the Nonhuman Rights Project needs your help. Your donation, large or small, will enable us to file these cases - and then as many more as we can afford in jurisdictions around the country.
Along the way, we'll be publishing law review articles and popular articles to engage the legal community as well as the general public. (And Oscar-winning film-maker DA Pennebaker and his partner Chris Hegedus will be filming how we do it, every step of the way.)
Very simply, the time has come for the first nonhuman animals to be recognized as legal persons with basic rights to bodily liberty and bodily integrity.
But we can't take these next steps without you. So please take a moment
to make a one-time donation or a sustaining monthly gift:
Together we can make it a truly Happy New Year for all the nonhuman persons who are depending on us for the legal recognition they deserve.
Thank you so much for being part of the Nonhuman Rights Project. You make it all possible, and we really appreciate your help.
I wish you and yours a very Happy Holiday.