Terra Verde

Do Animals Need to Be Called ‘Persons’?

Last November, an nonprofit called the Nonhuman Rights Project filed a suit seeking legal personhood for three elephants — Minnie, Beulah, and Karen — who are being kept at a Connecticut zoo. It’s world’s first lawsuit on behalf of captive elephants that asks they be recognized as persons with the right to bodily liberty. The Connecticut Superior Court where the case was filed dismissed the petition in December, but NhRP plans to re-file the case with some amendments. Host and Earth Island Journal Editor Maureen Nandini Mitra talks with two local animal rights activists — Joyce Tischler, co-founder of Animal Legal Defense Fund and Ed Stewart, president and cofounder of the Performing Animals Welfare Sanctuary or PAWS — about what legal personhood mean and if there is a need, at all, to designate some animals as nonhuman persons.

Leave a Reply

Share This