PETA Statement, re: Lawsuit to Have Chimp Recognized as Legal Person

For Immediate Release:
December 2, 2013

As reported in today’s New York Times, PETA is pleased to see The Nonhuman Rights Project push for personhood rights for chimpanzees. PETA paved the way for this lawsuit in 2011, when we filed the first-ever lawsuit seeking constitutional rights for animals. “Tilikum v. SeaWorld” alleged that SeaWorld’s imprisonment of orcas violated the 13th Amendment, which abolished slavery, and was heard in federal court in 2012. While the suit was eventually dismissed, as were the first suits seeking constitutional protections for African-Americans and women, it has opened the door for future lawsuits that will one day grant animals the rights that they deserve.

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“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind