Rattling the Cage explains how the failure to recognize the basic legal rights of chimpanzees and bonobos in light of modern scientific findings creates a glaring contradiction in our law. In this witty, moving, persuasive, and impeccably researched argument, Wise demonstrates that the cognitive, emotional, and social capacities of these apes entitle them to freedom from imprisonment and abuse.
|Publisher:||Da Capo Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.12(h) x 0.87(d)|
|Lexile:||1630L (what's this?)|
About the Author
Steven M. Wise, J.D., has practiced animal law for over twenty years and has taught at the Harvard, Vermont, and John Marshall law schools. He is President of the Center for the Expansion of Fundamental Rights, which he founded in 1995. The author of Rattling the Cage, praised by Cass Sunstein as "an impassioned, fascinating, and in many ways startling book" (New York Times Book Review), and Drawing the Line, which Nature called "provocative and disturbing," he has been profiled nationally by such publications as the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Time magazine.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I had to read this as a member of peta and it made me cry so hard i couldnt cry at my aunts funeral the week after.
This book challenges our most basic (and unfounded) concepts of animals' position in our philosophy, society, and law. Steven Wise brings decades of legal experience and insightful research to a topic that is gaining remarkable amounts of attention in recent press. Every thoughtful person owes it to themself to read this book and contemplate its arguments and assertions.
The author combines broad and deep scholarship with eminently readable prose to produce a highly informative, entertaining, witty, and humorous book - an amazing feat for an attorney! His compassionate passion to improve the lot of non-human primates, whose intelligence he startlingly documents, infuses his analogies to children in general and to his own children in particular (including the Twin Soldiers of Entropy) with warmth and insight. To use a favorite word of the author, this work is profoundly enculturating.
Steven Wise, a professor of law at Harvard University presents a compelling case for re-defining the legal status of our closest relatives, the chimpanzees and bonobos (pigmy chimps) from 'thinghood' to 'personhood.' He traces the legal system from early middle- and near-eastern writings such as the Code of Hammurabi and the Pentateuch, through European and English common law through the great struggles of the past century for human rights, to demonstrate that the materials for such a shift already exist. All that is required is a great judge who will make a decision that radically restructures already existing precedents while reaffirming fundamental principles. He draws on a wide body of knowledge including the legal history of slavery, definitions of consciousness, similarities of chimpanzee and bonobo DNA and brain structure, the work of Jane Goodall and Roger Fouts and childhood developmental stages. This scholarly, excellently researched book (which is also very readable) brings us up to date on the arguments for re-defining creatures, who share with us 97% of DNA, as persons under the law.