The team is calling for a fundamental change in our laws–because laws that call elephants ‘things’ cannot be supported logically, legally, morally or scientifically. The slow-turning wheels of justice revolve at the pace of our evolution of thought.
ANDREA MORRIS: ‘Jane Goodall, Steven M. Wise and the legal team at the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) helped secure another first for the sad elephant named Happy. She’s now the first elephant to be granted a Writ of Habeus Corpus, meaning justice Tracey A. Bannister of the Orleans County Supreme Court will rule on whether or not Happy should be considered a legal person.
For a decade the NhRP has used the legal pathway of Writ of Habeas Corpus on behalf of nonhumans, making the case that elephants and other self-aware, cognitively advanced beings are not ‘things,’ they are not merely ‘property’. The team is calling for a fundamental change in our laws–because laws that call elephants ‘things’ cannot be supported logically, legally, morally or scientifically. The slow-turning wheels of justice revolve at the pace of our evolution of thought. The past few years, these wheels started picking up speed.
“Look at who they are,” Wise asks the courts and the public to try to see the worth of beings who don’t look like us. Not surprisingly, it’s a big ask. Humans have a long history of ignoring the worth of those who don’t look like us. “We have evidence,” says Wise. “It’s wrong to treat them as if they’re basic, inanimate beings. They are autonomous beings. They are extraordinarily cognitively complex and they ought to have fundamental legal rights that protect these fundamental cognitive characteristics.”
If judge Bannister rules that Happy should be removed from the Bronx Zoo to a Sanctuary, Happy would get another first–first nonhuman granted personhood in the United States. Bannister doesn’t have to come right out and say Happy is a legal person. The judge may simply order Happy released from the Bronx Zoo. Yet such an order means the judge is ruling that Happy has at least a basic degree of legal personhood’. SOURCE… MORE…