If attorney Steven Wise gets his way, next year could be a game changer for animal rights in America. The director of the Nonhuman Rights Project plans to file a series of lawsuits in hopes that a court will finally recognize that a nonhuman plaintiff can be a legal "person" in the eyes of the law.
"One common property we see in animal groups from schooling fish to flocking birds to primate groups is that they effectively vote to decide where to go and what to do," says an evolutionary biologist. But like human leaders, successful animal leaders know they can't get too far ahead of their constituents.
Whales are among the great communicators of the animal world. They produce all sorts of sounds: squeaks, whistles and even epic arias worthy of an opera house. But in the mid-1980s, one beluga whale did something that had never been documented before: It imitated human speech.
A Vermont college's decision to slaughter two oxen after one suffered an injury has sparked some serious debate. The college cited sustainability as one of its reasons, but some students and animal rights advocates say it's just not right to serve Bill and Lou for dinner.
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