Steven M. Wise

Document Type



In Rattling the Cage: Toward Levi Rights for Animals, the author advocated basic legal rights—specifically common law rights—for chimpanzees, bonobos, and other nonhuman animals. In this Article, the author responds to many of the major criticisms of Rattling the Cage. The author confronts critics of his historical arguments for legal rights for nonhuman animals, tracing those arguments through ancient philosophy and nineteenth century English statutes. The author also expands upon his legal arguments for animal rights, reexamining various theories of rights and justifications for treating animals as property, Finally, borrowing from his upcoming book Drawing the Line: Science and The Case for Animal Rights, the author defends his advocacy of legal rights for nonhuman animals based on the relative autonomy nonhuman animals possess.