A new relationship with animals, nature and each other.

Why Humans Don’t Want Nonhumans as Persons

Steven Wise, animal rights attorney and founder of The Nonhuman Rights Project, discusses why we humans don’t like the idea of other animals being recognized as legal persons with actual rights.

“Most people are deeply involved in exploiting animals,” he says. “It’s impossible to live in a modern society and not be involved in exploiting animals.”

And that’s a big reason why, despite the fact that there are hundreds of “animal rights” organizations, and a very active “animal rights” movement that’s been around for more than 50 years, there’s still only one kind of animal that has any rights at all: humans.

In reality, then, the term “animal rights” is a complete oxymoron – a contradiction in terms. And so it will be until the first nonhuman animal is recognized as a legal person with the capacity for at least one legal right relevant to her species.

There’s only one organization I know of that’s working specifically toward that goal: real legal rights for a nonhuman animal: The Nonhuman Rights Project. (Full disclosure: I’m an active part of the project.)

The video above was recorded by Gooseberry Videos. Here are a couple more from the same series.

This next one is about how, from a legal p.o.v., you can make the argument that a particular nonhuman being should be accorded certain basic legal rights:

And in this next one, Steve Wise argues that within the normal range of legal discourse, legal rights for animals is actually a mainstream concept