Steven M. Wise (born 1952) is an American legal scholar who specializes in animal protection issues, primatology, and animal intelligence. He teaches animal rights law at Harvard Law School, Vermont Law School, John Marshall Law School, Lewis & Clark Law School, and Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine. He is a former president of the Animal Legal Defense Fund, and founder and president of the Center for the Expansion of Fundamental Rights. The Yale Law Journal has called him "one of the pistons of the animal rights movement."
Wise is the author of An American Trilogy (2009), in which he tells the story of how a piece of land in Tar Heel, North Carolina, was first the home of Native Americans until they were driven into near-extinction, then a slave plantation, and finally the site of factory hog farms and the world's largest slaughterhouse. Though the Heavens May Fall (2005), recounts the 1772 trial in England of James Somersett, a black man rescued from a ship heading for the West Indies slave markets, which gave impetus to the movement to abolish slavery in Britain and the United States (see Somersett's Case). Drawing the Line (2002), which describes the relative intelligence of animals and human beings. And Rattling the Cage (2000), in which he argues that certain basic legal rights should be extended to chimpanzees and bonobos.