The final list of speakers has been announced for Personhood Beyond the Human, a conference devoted to the issue of granting human-like legal protections to a select group of highly sapient nonhuman animals.
The idea that some animals should be designated legal persons — and not just property — is starting to gain some serious traction. Already today, India has, at least in principle, named dolphins as persons and banned their inclusion into aquatic theme parks. The IEET's Rights of the Nonhuman Persons program — a program that I founded and currently chair — seeks to do much more. We'd like to see not just dolphins, but whales, elephants, and all great apes given the same consideration — and not just in principle; the only way to truly protect highly sapient animals from such things as undue confinement and experimentation is to grant them the status that they truly deserve, which is that of the person.