In my wanderings through cyberspace, especially social media, for the past few years, I have been encountering the phrase "non-human persons" with increasing frequency, but regardless of that frequency, it has almost always been used by people on the extreme margins of the discourse. Now, however, the government of a sovereign nation has not only used the phrase, but has encoded it into law, effectively drawing non-human personhood not only into the mainstream discourse, but into the juridical fold. What Mitra understated was the geo-political/juridical and geo-cultural reach of this new discourse. The concept of non-human personhood, something that was, as far as the mainstream discourse was concerned, merely a marginal, extremist idea, has been transmuted. Non-human personhood is no longer merely an idea. Non-human persons exist, in corporeal form, and carry with them encoded, defensible rights.
Of course, that non-human persons exist is not news to those invested in the marginal discourse. They have known it and behaved accordingly in their dealings with non-human persons for years. Today, however, all people,everywhere in the world, governments included, must acknowledge the presence of non-human persons among us, even if only in an effort to refute their existence[an effort to refute something in many ways reifies that thing] or an attempt to belittle them, by, for example, perhaps acknowledging non-human personhood,but declaring that that does not require that we grant them rights, which are,and will forever be, reserved for human persons.