Σάββατο, 26 Απριλίου 2014

Unlocking the Cage


Since 2007, based on scientific evidence, dozens of lawyers, political scientists, law students, sociologists, psychologists, natural scientists, and computer modelers from across the US have been preparing the first cases that will seek to extend the fundamental common law rights of liberty and equality to some nonhuman  animals, arguing that some cognitively complex species (such as chimpanzees, whales, dolphins, and elephants) have the capacity for fundamental personhood rights (such as bodily liberty) that would protect them from physical abuse.

Steven Wise at his home office in Coral Springs
"Unlocking the Cage" is a new documentary and the  personal story of a man with an uncompromising need to change the system. Steve Wise (born 1952) [Fb] is an American legal scholar who specializes in animal protection issues, primatology, and animal intelligence. He teaches animal rights law at Harvard Law School, Vermont Law School, John Marshall Law School, Lewis & Clark Law School, and Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. He is a former president of the Animal Legal Defense Fund [website, Fb] and founder (2007) and president of the Nonhuman Rights Project

Nonhuman Rights Project [website, Fb] is the only organization working toward actual LEGAL rights for members of species other than our own. Steve Wise has spent more than 30 years developing his strategy for attaining animal personhood rights. After he started his career as a criminal defense lawyer, he was inspired by Peter Singer’s book "Animal Liberation" [Fb, Amazon, translated in Greek just 35 years after as "ΑΠΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΩΣΗ ΤΩΝ ΖΩΩΝ"] to dedicate himself to justice for animals. He helped pioneer the study of animal rights law in the 1980s. In 2000, he became the first person to teach the subject at Harvard Law School, as a visiting lecturer. He began developing his animal personhood strategy after struggling with ineffective welfare laws and regulations that fail to keep animals out of abusive environments

This past December (2013), Steve Wise and his organization, the Nonhuman Rights Project, ignited a media frenzy when they filed the first-ever lawsuits demanding limited animal personhood rights for four chimpanzees in New York.




Animals are persons too (video)
The new documentary Unlocking the Cage [1, 2, 3] documents Steve’s Wise unprecedented challenge to break down the legal wall that separates animals from humans. The film raises significant questions about the complex legal interpretation of personhood but, more importantly, aims to contribute to the evolving debate about our society’s relationship to animals, why it is critical to protect them and how we can do it. In the wake of the cover story in New York Times magazine, people have been writing in to the Nonhuman Rights Project with lots of questions. You can see some of them, put by the former president of Best Friends Animal Society, Michael Mountain, to Steven M. Wise here and here


Relative links

- Film Legends' Next Revolutionary Project: Personhood Rights For Animals: thedodo.com 

Q & A with Attorney Steven M. Wise
 - Unlocking the Cage: Pursuit of personhood rights for chimpanzees in captivity: examiner.com
- 'Animals Are Persons Too": nytimes.com


Updates


 The new film "Unlocking the Cage" is about animals 
and renown attorney Steve Wise's battle to protect them.

D.A. Pennebaker interview - Support new documentary, get vintage Bob Dylan swag
 D. A. Pennebaker, the legendary filmmaker who directed such music-based documentaries, follows animal rights lawyer Steve Wise’s fight to give animals personhood rights and break down the legal wall separating them from humans. This past December, Steve and his organization, the Nonhuman Rights Project, ignited a media frenzy when they filed the first-ever lawsuits demanding limited animal personhood rights for four chimpanzees in New York State. Tommy, a 26 year-old former film actor living in a garage on a used trailer lot, became their first plaintiff… We hope that by exploring Steve’s lawsuit and illustrating the legal and ethical questions it raises, “Unlocking the Cage” will contribute to the evolving debate about our society’s relationship to animals and, more importantly, why we should protect them. It’s a personal story of a man with an uncompromising need to change the system.

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