The Nonhuman Rights Project is the only organization working toward actual LEGAL rights for members of species other than our own.

Our mission is to change the common law status of at least some nonhuman animals from mere “things,” which lack the capacity to possess any legal right, to “persons,” who possess such fundamental rights as bodily integrity and bodily liberty, and those other legal rights to which evolving standards of morality, scientific discovery, and human experience entitle them.

Our first cases were filed in December 2013, and this year we will file as many suits as we have funds available. Your support of this work is deeply appreciated.


Elephants Distinguish Voices & Languages

The intelligence of elephants and their ability to comprehend the world around them continues to astound scientists. It was recently discovered that elephants have a specific rumble for “human” and an “alarm” for bees. And now we’re learning that the elephants living in Kenya’s Amboseli National Park can distinguish between the voices and languages of [...]

How Elephants Say "Human!"

Scientists have known for some time that elephants have calls and rumbles denoting specific “words” and “phrases.” The well documented “let’s go” rumble is among the many aspects of elephant language already understood by scientists. But new research, published in Plos One, confirms that elephants have a call to alert each other to “humans;” and, [...]

Elephants Even Smarter than We Realized

Study after study continues to show elephants are intelligent, self-aware individuals who possess a tremendous sense of family, empathy and community. So much evidence has accumulated that even mainstream scientific publications are starting to take notice. In his recent Scientific American article “The Science Is In: Elephants Are Even Smarter than We Realized,” Ferris Jabr [...]

The ‘Let’s Go’ Rumble!

How do you tell an elephant it’s time to leave the watering hole? Apparently you use a "let’s go" rumble. As published in Bioacoustics, a study led by Dr. Caitlin O’Connell-Rodwell reveals how elephants use “conversations” consisting of rumbles to communicate, among other things, when it’s time to leave. Dr. O’Connell-Rodwell and her colleagues used [...]

Chimpanzees Use Gestures to Communicate

A team of scientists recently discovered that chimpanzees are capable of using gestures to successfully relay information to humans about the location of hidden objects. An experiment conducted at Georgia State University’s Language Research Center* showed that the chimpanzees Panzee and Sherman, who were both raised by humans, possess the ability to use a variety [...]

Chimpanzees as Props

The lives of chimpanzees who are used as “actors” underscores the need for the Nonhuman Rights Project and our efforts to gain basic legal rights for nonhuman animals. The stories of Chance and Choppers depict the lives that chimpanzees used for entertainment must endure. Chance “co-stars” as the “pet” of the Leonardo DiCaprio character in [...]