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date: 30 November 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter contrasts the dominant sense of the phrase “animals as legal subjects,” which minimizes fundamental protections for nonhuman animals, with alternative senses of the same phrase that focus on nonhuman animals’ realities, such as consciousness and intelligence. Support for the alternatives comes from developments within different domains, including legal education and society more broadly, where the meaning of such phrases as “legal person,” “legal personhood,” and “legal rights” is being debated regarding companion animals, wildlife, and many other forms of life. The upshot of the debate taking place over the status of nonhuman animals in law and broader phenomenon of human exceptionalism is a wide-ranging discussion of additional forms of animal protection.

Keywords: legal person, legal personhood, legal thing, legal rights, legal subjects, nonhuman animals, companion animals, wildlife, human exceptionalism, education

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