It’s just a few weeks now until the Nonhuman Rights Project files the first-ever lawsuit on behalf of a chimpanzee seeking the right to “bodily liberty” – i.e. freedom from captivity and the right to live her life as nature intended.
That means that for the next few weeks, since we are in 24/7 mode as we prepare to file suit, I will not be able to post as much on this blog.
Until now, ironically, the very words “animal rights” have been a contradiction in terms, since no animals other than humans have had any rights at all. Legally, they are simply pieces of property that can be owned and exploited at will. And any laws that protect them in small ways are basically no different from laws that stop me from vandalizing your car or other property.
Through the suits we are filing, we intend to change this. It will not happen all at once. We will win some cases and probably lose others.
I believe this has the best chance for bringing about real, substantive, significant change over the coming years.
But overall we will be setting precedents all across the country that will lead to real change. (It’s exactly how the anti-slavery movement worked in the early days, with the abolitionists filing suits for the freedom of individual slaves in state courts.)
When I stepped down from my work at Best Friends Animal Society, the situation for dogs and cats had improved enormously over the years. But for other kinds of animals, it was still just getting worse and worse. So I was looking for how I could help make a significant difference for them, too.
For the last two years I have been putting most of my energies behind the Nonhuman Rights Project. I believe it has the best chance for bringing about real, substantive, significant change over the coming years.
For the next few weeks, as we go into high gear before this first suit is filed, I won’t be able to post much about other things on the blog here. But I will certainly post updates about our lawsuit, and we’ll be doing the same at the Nonhuman Rights Project, as well as on the project’s Facebook page and Twitter feed. And I’ll try to keep you up to date on other pressing news as time permits.
I’m excited about what we’re doing, and I hope you’ll be part of it, too. Incidentally, you can make a donation to the Nonhuman Rights Project here. The more support and funds we have available next year, the more suits we can file in states across the country.