Why Courts May Declare Animal Personhood

Perhaps it goes back to the complacency I referenced at the beginning of this essay, a belief that the unique value of human life is so obvious that it requires no defense. If so, that is a potentially catastrophic philosophical Maginot Line. Unless those who understand the importance of human exceptionalism engage in continual and vigorous pushback, we shouldn’t be surprised if a court one day declares that a chimpanzee or a whale is entitled to legal personhood and equal rights.