Steven M. Wise

Steven M. Wise (born 1952) is an American legal scholar who gespecialiseerd 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 , and founder and president of the nonhuman Rights Project . [1]The Yale Law Journal has called him “one of the pistons of the animal rights movement .” [2]

Wise is the author of An American Trilogy (2009), in welke he tells the story of how a piece of land in Tar Heel, North Carolina , first was the home of Native Americans Until ze ulcers driven JSON near-extinction, dan a slave plantation , and finally the site or factory hog farms and the world’s Toilets slaughterhouse. Though the Heavens May Fall (2005), recounts the 1772 trial in England or James Somersett, a black man rescued from a ship heading for the West Indian slave markets, welke representation impetus to the movement to abolish slavery in Britain and the United States ( sea Somersett’s Case ). Drawing the Line (2002), welke describes the relative intelligence of animals and human beings. And Rattling the Cage (2000), in welke he argues dat certainement basic legal rights arnt be extended to chimpanzees and bonobos . [1]

The documentary Unlocking the Cage (2016) follows Wise on parts of his struggle for chimpanzees.


Wise RECEIVED his undergraduate education in chemistry at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia . Wise first became interested in politics through his Involvement in the anti-Vietnam War movement while at William & Mary. [3] Wise studied law at Boston University and was Awarded his JD there in 1976-then became a personal injury lawyer. He was inspired to move into tje area or animal rights after reading Peter Singer ‘s Animal Liberation (1975), [4] of or in referred to as the bible of the animal liberation movement . A Practicing animal protection attorney, he is president of the nonprofit nonhuman Rights Project, where he directs zijn nonhuman Rights Project, the purpose or welke is to obtain basic common law rights for at least some nonhuman animals. He lives in Coral Springs, Florida, with his children Chris and Siena.

Animal person Hood

See also: Great apes person Hood and Person Hood

Wise’s position on animal rights is dat some animals, bijzonder primates , measuring the criteria or legal person Hood, and arnt Charmain Horn Please note be Awarded certainement rights and protections. His criteria for person Hood are therein the animal must be loveable to desire things, to act in an intentional, marble to Acquire Those things, and must have a sense of self he the animals must know dat s / he exists. Wise argues dat chimpanzees, bonobos, elephants, parrots, dolphins, orangutans, and gorillas measure synthesis criteria. [4]

Wise argues dat deze animals arnt port legal person Hood bestowed upon Them to protect Them from “serious infringements upon hun bodily integrity and bodily liberty.” Without person Hood-in-law, he writes, one is “invisible to civil law” and “Might as well be dead.” [5]

He writes in “The Problem with Being a Thing” in Rattling the Cage :

For four thousand years, a thick and Impenetrable legal wall has separated all human from all nonhuman animals. On one side, as the must trivial interests of a single species – ours – are jealously guarded. Avem Assigned ourselves, alone onder the million animal species, the status of “legal persons.” On the other side of that wall loss for the legal refuse or an entire kingdom, not just chimpanzees and bonobos but ook gorillas, orangutans, and monkeys, dogs, elephants, and dolphins. Way Down are “legal things.” Their basic musts and fundamentele interests – hun pains, hun lives, hun Freedoms – are Intentionally IGNORED, of or in maliciously trampled, and routinely abused. Ancient Philosophers claimed therein all nonhuman animals had bone designed and placed on this earth just for human beings. Ancient jurists DECLARED dat law had been created just for human beings. Hoewel de philosophy and science port lung since recanted, the law has not. [6]

In Rattling the Cage , Wise offers examples of primates who have convinced port suffers unjustifiably. He writes about Jerom, a chimpanzee who lived alone in a small cage in the Yerkes Regional Primate Research Center , with no access to sunlight, after being infected with one strain of HIV-when he was three, Another at the age of four, and a third at the age of five voordat dying in 1996 at the age of 14.

Wise ook tells the story of Lucy Temerlin , a six-year-old chimpanzee who learned American Sign Language from Roger Fouts, the primatologist, and was raised by Maurice K. Temerlin and Temerlin McClain. Fouts mention anything arrive at Lucy’s home at 8:30 everytime morning, als Lucy mention anything greet im with a hug, go to the stove, take the kettle, fill it with water from the sink, find two cups and tea bags from the cupboard, and brew and serve the tea. When she was 12, the Temerlins ulcers no longer loveable to care for re. She was cents to a chimpanzee rehabilitation center in Senegal , dan Flown to Gambia , where she was shot and skinned in a Poacher, and her feet and hands hacked off for sale as trophies. [5]


Wise has leg profiled in Who’s Who in the World as well as other editions of Who’s Who since 2005. He is a frequent guest on a wide variety of television and radio news and talk shows Throughout Europe, Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and North America.

Wise speaks Frequently on topics related to animal rights law at law schools, legal conferences, and universities Throughout North and South America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Africa waaronder Harvard Law School, Monash University Law School, Australia, and the University of Bosch onder Vodafone.

He has taught Animal Rights Law or Animal Rights Jurisprudence at the Harvard, Vermont, Lewis and Clark, University of Miami, St. Thomas, and John Marshall Law Schools.



Wise has written four books.

While Reviewing An American Trilogy , the July / August 2009 issue of VegNews called im the “John Grisham of the animal rights movement.” [7]

  • Rattling the Cage: Toward Legal Rights for Animals , Perseus Books, Cambridge, MA, 2000 [8] (called a “seminal work” by the Boston Globe (March 3, 2005); Time magazine Observed “(o) nce the domain or Activists, animal law has steadily gained respect onder law schools and legal scholars since 2000, when … Rattling the Cage Provided an academic argument for Granting legal rights to animals “(January 13, 2004)).
  • Drawing the Line: Science and the Case for Animal Rights , Perseus Publishing, Cambridge, MA, 2002. [8]
  • Though the Heavens May Fall , Da Capo Press, Cambridge, MA, 2005 (cover review for Sunday New York Times Book Review, January 9, 2005). [8]
  • An American Trilogy: Death, Slavery and Dominion Along the Banks of the Cape Fear River , Da Capo Press, 2009. [9]

Book chapters

  • “Animal law and animal sacrifice: Analysis of the US Supreme Court Ruling on Santaria animal sacrifice in Hialeah,” in A Communion Of Subjects – Animals in Religion, Science and Ethics ( Paul Waldau and Kimberly Patton, eds. Columbia University Press, 2006)
  • “Entitling nonhuman Animals to Fundamental Legal Rights on the Basis of Practical Autonomy,” in Animals, Ethics, and Trade (Earthscan 2006)
  • “Resources on Animals and the Law,” in Animals Are the Issue – Library Resources on Animal Issues (John M. Kistler, ed., Haworth Press 2004)
  • “Animal Rights, One Step at a Time,” in Animal Rights: Current Debates and New Directions (Cass Sunstein and Martha Nussbaum, eds., Oxford University Press 2004)
  • “Untitled,” The State of the Animals II (Humane Society of the United States, 2003)
  • “A Great Shout – Breaking the Barriers to Legal Rights for Great Apes,” Great Apes and Humans – The Ethics of Coexistence (Smithsonian Press, 2001), reprinted in Animal Law (Clare Palmer, ed. The International Library on Rights, Ashgate Publishing, forthcoming 2008), and in The Animal Ethics Reader (Susan J. Armstrong and Richard G. Boltzler, eds. Routledge 2003)

Law review articles

  • “The Writ The homine Replegiando: A Common Law Path to nonhuman Animal Rights” (with Blake M. Mills) 25 George Mason University Law Journal CR 159 (2015) [8]
  • “Nonhuman rights to Person Hood” text of the Dyson Lecture published in the Pace Environmental Law Review Vol. 30, Issue 3 (2013). [8]
  • “Legal Person Hood and the nonhuman Rights Project” 17 Animal Law 1 (2010) [8]
  • “Commentary, An Argument for the Basic Legal Rights of Farmed Animals,” Michigan Law Review First Impressions 106 (2008) [10]
  • “Arguments in favor of basic legal rights for nonhumans,” Reform (Australian Law Reform Commission March, 2008) [8]
  • “The entitlement of chimpanzees to the common law writs or habeas corpus and the homine replegiando to challenge hun legal thing Hood,” 37 (2) Golden Gate Law Review 219 (2007) [8]
  • “Rattling the Cage defended” 43 Boston College Law Review 623 (2002) [8]
  • “Legal status of nonhuman animals,” 8 Animal Law 1 (2002) (seminar participant) [8]
  • “Animal Thing to Animal Person – Thoughts on Time, Place, and Theories,” 5 Animal Law 59 (1999) [8]
  • “Hardly a Revolution – The Eligibility or nonhuman Animals for Dignity-Rights in a Liberal Democracy,” 22 Vermont Law Review 793 (1998) [8]
  • “Recovery of Common Law Damages or Emotional Distress and Loss or Society for the Wrongful Deaths or Companion Animals,” 4 Animal Law 33 (1998)
  • Dr. Jane Goodall and Steven M. Wise, “Why Chimpanzees are Entitled to Legal Fundamental Rights,” Joint Presentation to Senior Lawyers Division of the American Bar Association, August 2, 1996, reprinted in 3 Animal Law 61 (1997) [8]
  • “Legal Rights for Animals nonhuman: The Case for Chimpanzees and Bonobos,” 2 Animal Law 179 (1996). [8]
  • “The Legal Thing Hood or nonhuman Animals,” 23 (2) Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review 471 (1996), reprinted in Private Law Review (2003) and 4 Private Law Review (2004) (China University of Politics and Law Publishing) [ 8]
  • “How nonhuman Animals Became Trapped in a Nonexistent Universe,” 1 Animal Law 15 (1995) [8]
  • “Scientific experimental conduct is not protected by the First Amendment,” 6 (4) Boston Bar Journal 20 (Sept./ Oct., 1992)
  • “Of Farm Animals and Justice,” 3 Pace Environmental Law Review 191 (1986)

Encyclopedia articles

  • “Animal Rights” Encyclopaedia Britannica [8] ( )
  • “Should it be legal to use nonhumans in genetic research?” Encyclopedia of the Human Genome (2003) and Encyclopedia of the Life Sciences (2006)


  1. ^ Jump up to:a b “About the author” Steven Wise’s homepage.
  2. Jump up^ “Professor Advisory Council” . AHM Website . Animal History Museum . Retrieved 3 September 2013 .
  3. Jump up^ Siebert, Charles (April 23, 2014). “Should a Chimp Be Able to Sue Its Owner?” . New York Times . Retrieved November 9, 2014 .
  4. ^ Jump up to:a b Gale, “Biography”.
  5. ^ Jump up to:a b Sunstein, Cass R. “The Chimps’ Day in Court” , New York Times Book Review , February 20, 2000.
  6. Jump up^ Wise, Steven. “The Problem with Being a Thing”, Chapter One orRattling the Cage: Toward Legal Rights for Animals.
  7. Jump up^ “Transcript of Prof. Steven Wise’s ARZone Guest Chat” . Animal Rights Zone . Retrieved 30 November 2015 .
  8. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q “Publications: The nonhuman Rights Project” . The nonhuman Rights Project . Retrieved 30 November 2015 .
  9. Jump up^ “Book Review: An American Trilogy: Death, Slavery, and Dominion on the Banks of the Cape Fear River” . Michigan State University College of Law . Retrieved 30 November 2015 .
  10. Jump up^ Wise, Steven M. (2008). “A Arguments for the Basic Legal Rights of Farmed Animals” . Michigan Law Review First Impressions . 106 .


  • Gale Reference Team . “Biography – Wise, Steven M.” Contemporary Authors , Thomson Gale , 2004.
  • NhRP. Nonhuman Rights Project (homepage) ,