5 Animal L. 61 (1999)
Animal Thing to Animal Person--Thoughts on Time, Place, and Theories

handle is hein.journals/anim5 and id is 73 raw text is: ANIMAL THING TO ANIMAL PERSON-THOUGHTS ON
TIME, PLACE, AND THEORIES
By
STEVEN M. WISE*
The rule that animals are property, and do not merit legal rights, is in-
grained in the law of English-speaking countries. Challenges to this rule
must be brought in strategic, thoughtfu, sensitive, sophisticated, and coordi-
nated ways. This essay offers seven related strategic considerations for any-
one who wishes to battle the animals as property rule.
I. INTRODUCTMON
For centuries, a Great Legal Wall has divided humans from every
other species of animal in the West' On one side, every human is a person
with legal rights; on the other, every non-human is a thing with no legal
rights. Every animal rights lawyer knows that this barrier must be
breached. Serious attempts are beginning around the world. Recently, the
governing coalition of the German Social Democrat and Green Parties,
along with the opposition Free Democracy and East German Communist
Parties, introduced an amendment to the German constitution that would
give non-human animals the legal rights to be respected as fellow crea-
tures and protected from avoidable pain.2 In New Zealand, proponents
of an Animal Welfare Bill are seeking to obtain from the New Zealand
* President, Center for the Expansion of Fundamental Rights, Inc., Boston, Mass.; Presi-
dent, Wise & Slater-Wise, P.C., Boston, Mass.; teaches Animal Rights Lawi' at Harvard Law
School (Lecturer in Law, 2000), Vermont Law School (adjunct professor since 1990), and
John Marshall School of Law (adjunct professor since 1999); author of Rxrrw'. THE CAoE-
TowARD LE AL RIGHTS FOR ANuiLAs (forthcoming 2000).
1 See generally Steven . Wise, The Legal Th7inghood of Non-human Animals, 23 B.C.
ENvrv. AFF. L R v. 471 (1996); Steven M. Wise, How Non-human Animals Were Trapped in
a Nonexistent Universe, 1 ANziAI. L 15 (1995).
2 Robert Koenig, European Researchers Grapple with Animal Rights, 284 ScwmcE
1604, 1604 (June 4, 1999); Quirin Schiermeier, German Science Fights Animal Rights Bill,
397 NATuRE 461 (1999).

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