Steven M. Wise

Steven M. Wise is founder and president of the Nonhuman Rights Project. He has practiced animal protection law for 30 years throughout the US and is the author of four books: Rattling the Cage: Toward Legal Rights for Animals; Drawing the Line: Science and the Case for Animal Rights; Though the Heavens May Fall: The Landmark Trial That Led to the End of Human Slavery; and An American Trilogy: Death, Slavery, and Dominion Along the Banks of the Cape Fear River. Wise has taught Animal Rights Law at Harvard, Stanford, and seven other law schools. He holds a J.D. from BU Law School and a B.S. in Chemistry from the College of William and Mary.

Thing: Inside the Struggle for Animal Personhood by Samuel Machado and Cynthia Sousa Machado with Steven M. Wise | An Island Press book


Inside the Struggle for Animal Personhood

Happy has lived at the Bronx Zoo for most of her 48 years, and for more than a decade has remained largely isolated and lonely. Like all elephants, Happy has a complex mind and a deep social, intellectual, and emotional life; she desires to make choices and has a sense of self-recognition. But like all nonhuman animals, Happy is considered a thing in the eye of the law, with no fundamental rights. Due to a series of groundbreaking legal cases, however, this is beginning to change—and Happy’s liberation is at the forefront.