|Stephen Wise, a 63-year-old legal scholar in the field of animal law, strode with fellow lawyers, Natalie Prosin, Exec. Dir. of the Nonhuman Rights Project (Nh.R.P.), and Elizabeth Stein, a NY-based animal-law expert, into the clerk's office of the Fulton Cty Courthouse in Johnstown, N.Y., wielding multiple copies of a legal document the likes of which had never been seen in any of the world's courts. "The Nonhuman Rights Project Inc. on behalf of Tommy," legal memo and petition included among their 106 pages a detailed account of the "petitioner's" solitary confinement "in a small, dank, cement cage in a cavernous dark shed"; and a series of nine affidavits gathered from leading primatologists around the world, each one detailing the cognitive capabilities of a being like Tommy, a chimpanzee, thereby underscoring the physical and psychological ravages he suffers in confinement.
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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)