|The Whanganui River|
The Economist explains:
The law, which was approved on March 15th, stems from disputes over the Treaty of Waitangi, by which New Zealand’s indigenous Maori ceded sovereignty to British colonialists in 1840. The treaty was supposed to have protected Maori rights and property; it was observed mainly in the breach. In recent years the government has tried to negotiate settlements for breaches of the treaty with different Maori iwi, or tribes. For the Whanganui iwi, the idea of the river as person is nothing new. The iwi professes a deep spiritual connection to the Whanganui: as a local proverb has it, “I am the river and the river is me.” The law acknowledges the river as a “living whole”, rather than trying to carve it up, putting to rest an ownership dispute that has dragged on for 140 years. When it was passed members of the iwi in the gallery of parliament broke into a ten-minute song of celebration.In practice, two guardians will act for the river, one appointed by the government and one by the iwi.
Days after the law passed, an Indian court declared two of the biggest and most sacred rivers in India, the Ganges and Yamuna, to be people too. Making explicit reference to the Whanganui settlement, the court assigned legal “parents” to protect and conserve their waters.
Obviously, this doesn't mesh with my view of a Private Property Society, where human beings are the only recognized persons and persons can own things such as rivers and dogs.
In a PPS, you can respect or worship a river or a dog and call it friend or a god if you like but it is not a person.
To paraphrase Murray Rothbard, if the Whanganui River wants to be recognized as a person and own property, well then it should make its own pleadings in court.