• The Nonhuman Rights Project

    Why the Nonhuman Rights Project Is Unique

    The Nonhuman Rights Project is unlike any other organization in the world. Why? Because we’re the only group working through the common law to achieve actual LEGAL rights for members of species other than our own. The way our law …

  • chai-insemination-120412.jpg

    Why ‘Animal Rights’ Is a Contradiction in Terms

    Hundreds of organizations say they work for “animal rights.” But the only animal with legal rights is the human animal. No other animal has any rights at all. None.

    How come?

    To have a legal right, one must have the …

  • Jeff-chimphaven.jpg

    Are You a Legal ‘Person’ or a Legal ‘Thing’?

    For a very long time, a thick legal wall has separated humans from all the other animals.

    In Western law, every nonhuman animal has always been regarded as a legal “thing.” We buy, sell, eat, hunt, ride, trap, vivisect, and …

  • blackfish-1-012213.jpg

    What Kinds of Rights Are We Seeking for Nonhuman Animals?

    We begin by seeking two kinds of fundamental rights for our nonhuman plaintiffs: bodily liberty and bodily integrity.

    Bodily liberty means not being held in captivity. For a chimpanzee, it means not spending life in a laboratory; for an elephant, …

  • chimps-ultimatum-game-012613.jpg

    How We Select Our Plaintiffs

    Three criteria determine how we select plaintiffs:

    1. We look at the bedrock qualities courts value when determining whether an individual is a “legal person” who should possess certain fundamental rights.
    2. We examine the relevant judicial decisions and statutes of every
  • elephants-circus-3

    How We Go About Filing Our Cases

    By the end of 2013, the Nonhuman Rights Project will have launched the first in a series of lawsuits that demand that American state high courts:

    1. Declare certain nonhuman animal plaintiffs to be common law “persons” who possess the capacity
Facebook   Twitter   Google Plus   RSS

The Nonhuman Rights Project is the only civil rights organization in the United States working to achieve actual LEGAL rights for members of species other than our own.
Our mission is to change the legal status of appropriate 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.
Our first cases were filed in 2013 on behalf of captive chimpanzees; we plan to continue to file as many lawsuits as we have funds available. Your support of this work is deeply appreciated!


Arcus Forum: “Acting Against Their Wills”

Join the Nonhuman Rights Project and the Arcus Foundation on September 30 at the Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles for a discussion that will explore the use of animals in the entertainment industry. Register here!


Statement Re: NY Court of Appeals Decision to Deny Motion for Leave to Appeal in Tommy’s and Kiko’s Cases

Statement by Nonhuman Rights Project President Steven M. Wise regarding the New York State Court of Appeals decision to deny its motion for leave to appeal in both Tommy’s and Kiko’s cases

“While disappointed in the Court of Appeals’ decision …

Notice of Appeal Filed in Hercules and Leo Case

The Nonhuman Rights Project has filed a Notice of Appeal to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, First Judicial Department, from a decision and order in “Hercules and Leo” case on August 5, 2015, denying a petition for a …

That’s One Small Step for a Judge, One Giant Leap for the Nonhuman Rights Project

That’s one small step for a judge, one giant leap for the Nonhuman Rights Project in its fight for the fundamental rights of nonhuman animals; Judge Jaffe decides the Hercules and Leo case

On July 29, 2015, New York County …

Update on Hercules and Leo

BREAKING NEWS: The Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) has become aware that Stony Brook University has indicated it will no longer exploit Hercules and Leo in experimentation. We applaud Stony Brook for finally doing the right thing. We have made it …

New York Justice Denies Habeas Corpus Relief for Hercules and Leo Given Precedent Set in Previous Case, ‘For Now’

The Nonhuman Rights Project issued the following press release today:

New York Justice Denies Habeas Corpus Relief for Hercules and Leo Given Precedent Set in Previous Case, ‘For Now’

July 30, 2015 – New York, NY – New York County