This is one of the fundamental questions that frame the study of animal law: To what extent should nonhuman animals be considered legal persons? Of course, this question presupposes that we share or can arrive at a common and stable conception of legal personhood. In fact, there are a variety of conceptions of legal personhood. This Introduction will explore one in particular and, in the process, question the extent to which simply being born Homo sapiens satisfies the potentially complex and demanding requirements of being a legal person. This argument will lead us to reframe animal law a bit and question whether we protect animals by focusing on their status or whether we are better off focusing on the status of humans—and not so much who we are but who, as legal persons that constitute legalities, we ought to be.
Empathy with Animals: A Litmus Test for Legal Personhood?,
Animal L. Rev.
Available at: https://lawcommons.lclark.edu/alr/vol19/iss1/2