×

Animal Rights, Animal Wrongs

The Case for Nonhuman Personhood

A sanctuary for retired lab chimpanzees near Vienna. Herwig Prammer / Reuters

Around the world, what the media often refer to as “the animal rights movement” is taking off. Mass protests, fierce lobbying, litigation, and draft treaties have led to new legislation at the national, provincial, and city levels. It is now forbidden to use great apes in biomedical research, to bullfight in Catalonia, and to operate factory farms and slaughterhouses without adhering to the stricter rules governing the treatment and living conditions of livestock. However, with a few exceptions, these efforts are not truly about “animal rights” but about “animal welfare.”

One reason for this difference is that worldwide, animals are regarded as “legal things,” incapable of having rights and treated as articles of property. In contrast, humans are deemed “legal persons,” possessing intrinsic value and the capacity for an infinite number of legal rights as the owners of “legal things.” Another reason is that the term “animal” encompasses the enormously

Loading, please wait...

To read the full article

Most Read Articles

Related Articles

This site uses cookies to improve your user experience. Click here to learn more.

Continue