Webinar: Nonhuman Personhood: Scientific Evidence v Cognitive Biases

November 12, 2021Lu Shegay

Recently, the Institute of Animal Law of Asia successfully held the webinar with Dr. Lori Marino, the Founder and President of the Whale Sanctuary Project and the Executive Director of the Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy! This webinar is the public event under the project "Enhancing Legal Regulations for Aquatic Animals in Kazakhstan," the project of our Managing Director within the Global Ambassador Program.

In this presentation, Lori Marino discussed the concept of nonhuman personhood from a philosophical and legal perspective focusing on the extensive scientific evidence that shows many animals meet the definition of personhood used in the law to protect human beings. She also discussed the ways human cognitive biases and psychological defense mechanisms prevent nonhuman personhood from being accepted both legally and philosophically and why this concept is important for recognizing the independent rights of other animals beyond welfare.

Dr. Lori Marino is a neuroscientist formerly on the faculty of Emory University known for her work on the evolution of the brain and intelligence in dolphins and whales, as well as primates, elephants, and farmed animals. She is also involved in various projects at the intersection of science and animal law and worked closely with the Nonhuman Rights Project. Lori is the founder and President of the Whale Sanctuary Project, which is creating a seaside cetacean sanctuary in Nova Scotia, and the Executive Director of the Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy.

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