Steven M. Wise on Legal Rights for Animals

Animal Ethics

But a change in the common law (which Germany does not have) may be the most likely of all. These favor common law personhood, as a matter of liberty, at least for those nonhuman animals, such as chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, orangutans, dolphins, and whales, who possess such highly advanced cognitive abilities as consciousness, perhaps even self-consciousness; a sense of self; and the abilities to desire and act intentionally.

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