A relatively recent form of animal activism is lawsuits intended to declare some animals as legal persons. A pioneer of this approach is the U.S.-based Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP). This organization’s primary strategy has been to invoke the writ of habeas corpus, which protects the right to personal freedom of “persons.” The article criticizes the notion of legal personhood that the NhRP is employing and explains how an alternative understanding of legal personhood could perhaps make nonhuman rights more palatable for courts.

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