cover of book
 

Thing: Inside the Struggle for Animal Personhood
by Sam Machado, Cynthia Sousa Machado and Steven M. Wise
Island Press
Paper: 978-1-64283-085-9 | eISBN: 978-1-64283-086-6

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Happy has lived at the Bronx Zoo for most of her 48 years, and for more than a decade has remained largely isolated and lonely. Like all elephants, Happy has a complex mind and a deep social, intellectual, and emotional life; she desires to make choices and has a sense of self-recognition. But like all nonhuman animals, Happy is considered a thing in the eye of the law, with no fundamental rights. Due to a series of groundbreaking legal cases, however, this is beginning to change—and Happy’s liberation is at the forefront. A vibrant and personal graphic novel, Thing: Inside the Struggle for Animal Personhood traces this moving story and makes the legal and scientific case for animal personhood.  

Led by lawyer Steven M. Wise and aided by some of the world’s most respected animal behavior and cognition scientists, the Nonhuman Rights Project has filed cases on behalf of nonhuman animals like Happy since 2013. Through this work, they have forced courts to consider the evidence of their clients’ cognitive abilities and their legal arguments for personhood, opening the door for similar cases worldwide. In Thing, comic artists Sam Machado and Cynthia Sousa Machado bring together Wise’s groundbreaking work and their powerful illustrations in the first graphic nonfiction book about the animal personhood movement. Beginning with Happy’s story and the central ideas behind animal rights, Thing then turns to the scientists that are revolutionizing our understanding of the minds of nonhuman animals such as great apes, elephants, dolphins, and whales. As we learn more about these creatures’ inner lives and autonomy, the need for the greater protections provided by legal rights becomes ever more urgent. 

With cases like Happy’s growing in number and spanning from Argentina to India, nations around the world are beginning to recognize the rights of animals. Combining legal and social history, innovative science, and illustrated storytelling, Thing presents a visionary new way of relating to the nonhuman world.

See other books on: Animal Rights | Ethology (Animal Behavior) | Inside | Primates | Thing
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