Dear Friends of the Nonhuman Rights Project,
Thank you, as always,
for your help and support as we press ahead to have the first nonhumans
recognized as persons with the capacity for certain basic rights. Here are
some of the headlines for this month:
Common Law Flexibility Research
We have completed researching and analyzing how common law
courts in all 50 states have tended to behave in terms of their flexibility.
Also, a team of volunteers, mostly law students, looked at how state
supreme court judges view the common law. We'll be analyzing their 500 pages
of research to determine which states have sitting supreme court judges who
hold the kinds of values that may lead them to rule for legal personhood for
animals. This is a complex issue, but you can get a basic idea of it
here and also from
Updates from our Working Groups
Corpus Analysis: In December we will hold our final habeas corpus meeting
where we will select our top five jurisdictions for habeas corpus purposes.
Since habeas corpus is going to be our primary cause of action, this meeting
will be crucial to selecting the jurisdiction(s) for our first court
filings. For a recap of our previous habeas corpus meetings, see
here. To learn more about habeas corpus see
Science Working Group: In an effort to ascertain precise
evidence, Science Director Dr. Lori Marino is working with a group of
volunteers to collect scientific papers on the intelligence, cognition,
emotions and complex sociality in killer whales, chimpanzees, orangutans,
bonobos, and gorillas. This work will be the basis for our scientific
evidence that certain nonhuman animals are entitled to be recognized as
legal persons, and will be available to the public through an online
Sociology Working Group: At the end of
February, the sociology group will meet to scrutinize the supreme court
justices in each of the top five jurisdictions that were selected from our
legal working groups. This will help us to decide in which jurisdiction(s)
we will file our first suits.
"Personhood Beyond the Human"
Next year's "Personhood
Beyond the Human" conference at Yale University will be exploring the
evolving notions of personhood by analyzing them through the frameworks of
neuroscience, behavioral science, philosophy, ethics, and law. The NhRP will
present our research from the past five years, including research on the
varying legal causes of action that we will use to argue legal personhood
for specific nonhuman animals. The conference is scheduled for April 19-21,
Also in the News
PSA, produced by "Cash Cab" Emmy-Award winner Tom Cohen, can be seen on
our website, and is currently also being aired on
our YouTube channel.
Steve was interviewed for a Huffington Post
article on animal rights. Take a look at our
comment regarding the confusion between our approach and what other
organizations are doing.
Executive Director Natalie Prosin is
highlighted in her hometown newspaper.
Congratulations to Russell
Volunteer of the Month.
Thank you again for your support and help
in this effort to gain legal personhood for nonhuman animals. Your
donations are very welcome and much appreciated. Together we shall make
If you have any questions or comments, please write to us
Thank you again,