...But of these sophisms and elenchs of merchandise I skill not...
Milton, Areopagitica

Except he had found the
standing sea-rock that even this last
Temptation breaks on; quieter than death but lovelier; peace
that quiets the desire even of praising it.

Jeffers, Meditation On Saviors



If you are not a legal person, then you are considered, legally, a thing:

Courts recognize that a sufficient, though not necessary condition of a fundamental right like bodily liberty is the possession of certain qualities. With over half a century of scientific evidence to support our legal arguments, and affidavits submitted in support of our lawsuit by an international group of the world’s most respected primatologists, our lawsuits set out to establish that chimpanzees possess such complex cognitive abilities as autonomy, self-determination, self-consciousness, awareness of the past, anticipation of the future, and the ability to make choices; that they display complex emotions like empathy; and that they construct diverse cultures. The possession of these characteristics is sufficient to establish personhood and the consequential fundamental right to bodily liberty.
Our arguments establish that extending legal personhood to all the known chimpanzees in New York is strongly supported by law, science and history. In fact New York law does not limit legal personhood to just human beings. Courts have also routinely extended rights to non-human entities such as corporations.
It is important to note that we are not trying to give human rights to chimpanzees. Human rights belong to human beings. We are advocating for chimpanzee rights for chimpanzees, beginning with the fundamental legal right to bodily liberty.
Natalie Prosin/The Nonhuman Rights Project

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