From: Tommy Prozach
Sent: Monday, March 16, 2015
To: Natalie Prosin, Executive Director of the Nonhuman Rights Project
Subject: Elephant Rights
I read your commentary in the Denver Post about the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus dropping their elephant act.
Your advocacy of non-human animals made this possible and I salute you and your entire team. After more than a hundred years, the circus will no longer exploit elephants for the private financial gain by a greedy corporation motivated by profits. ANIMALS HAVE RIGHTS AND ARE NOT PROPERTY!!!!!!!! ESPECIALLY, ELEPHANTS!!!!!!
I want to suggest a novel legal argument that I hope you will consider. These elephants specifically, and all circus animals in general, should have been paid a federally mandated minimum wage throughout their "employment". Instead they were incarcerated as slaves.
I know it's hard to comprehend an elephant walking in to a bank and cashing a check. But please consider the concept. Wells Fargo would pay dearly for the publicity of an elephant cashing a check at one of its branches!
Most importantly, the Circus owners should have paid these "workers" at least a minimum wage for the contribution they made to the success of the business.
Over the last hundred years, the back wages from the elephants alone could amount to millions of dollars. That windfall could go to a retirement fund for all circus animals. I think the lions should be next followed by the monkeys.
Please let me know how I can support your effort. Onward!
Changing the World One Day at a Time
Web Address: www.TommyProzach.com
Email Address: Tommy@TommyProzach.com
From: Nonhuman Rights Project
Sent: Thursday, March 26, 2015
To: Tommy Prozach
Subject: RE: Elephant Rights
Hi Tommy! Thank you so much for getting in touch with us and for your support for the NhRP's work. We're glad you enjoyed Natalie's op-ed!
Your idea is an interesting one, though, as far as the NhRP's mission is concerned, it doesn't really get at the underlying issue of elephants' legal status, which is what we're working on changing (and of course, there's the fact that these individuals have no choice but to work, as you well know!).
One aspect of our lawsuit you might be especially interested in is the fact that we set up a trust on our plaintiffs' behalf; we did this because the New York legislature, in passing the so-called Pet Trust Act - which authorized humans to set up trusts that made pets and domestic animals trust beneficiaries - made these nonhuman animals legal persons without requiring them to be able to bear rights and responsibilities. See our legal documents for more info:
As far as supporting our work is concerned - first, thank you! And secondly, would you like to be included on the list of potential NhRP volunteers? If so, please fill out the attached form, which we use to match volunteers with available projects.
The Nonhuman Rights Project
@NonhumanRights on Twitter