I recently watched the documentary ‘Unlocking the cage’, a film focusing on the ‘Non-human rights project’ and their quest to promote legal rights for, at least some, non-human animals. The organisation, led by Steven Wise and his team, are shown constructing a calculated campaign to utilise the ambiguity of certain terms used in law to present their legal case. Namely that a number of specific chimps are being held in conditions which are unfit detention, and which they argue is allowed only because nobody has brought forward a case against the practice before on their behalf.
‘It’s a hell of a war, there’s going to be a lot of battles in the war, but it’s time to begin’ Steven Wise
Using the findings from more recent cognitive and behavioural research with non-human animals (such as chimps, elephants and dolphins), which suggest a far higher level of cognition and consciousness than previously thought, they target a small number of chimps who are known to be kept in confined conditions, and build their case based on the ‘habeas corpus law’.