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Episode 514: Sean Butler and Raffael Fasel on the Impact of Animal Law

By Jasmin and Mariann — November 16, 2019

This week Mariann talks to Dr. Sean Butler and Dr. Rafael Fasel from the Cambridge Centre for Animal Rights Law about the Centre’s focus on Animal Law, why changing the law is vital to changing public opinion, their recent Animal Rights Law Conference and their hopes to make it an annual event, and the many programs they offer to help people get involved with their work.

Dr. Sean Butler has been a Fellow of St Edmund’s College since 2002; previously he worked at Shell and Nokia. He studied Law at Oxford (St Edmund Hall) and the LSE, as well as Genetics at Cambridge (CPGS) before taking his PhD in social science at Imperial College, London. He specialises in intellectual property strategy in life sciences, and technology-based start-ups. He is also CEO of Cambridge Agritech, a syndicate of investors in agritech startups. He is Director of Studies in Law at St Edmund’s, and teaches Roman Law and Animal Rights Law.

Dr. Raffael N Fasel is a Fellow in Law at the LSE Law Department. He obtained his PhD in Law from the University of Cambridge (Sidney Sussex College), with a thesis on the legal theory and intellectual history of human and animal rights. He holds a Bachelor of Law and a Master of Law degree from the University of Fribourg, an MA in Philosophy from University College London, and an LLM from Yale Law School. In 2018, Raffael was appointed Associate Fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics. He currently teaches Animal Rights Law, Introduction to the Legal System, and Jurisprudence in Cambridge and London.

In the intro to the show, Jasmin and Mariann discuss their memories of New York City’s beloved vegan restaurant Candle 79 which just announced that it’s closing; Jasmin’s return to acting and the ways she blends her ethics with her talents; and some things you may not know about the exploitative history of Thanksgiving. Later in the episode, Mariann brings us Rising Anxieties about the largest dairy company in the US filing for bankruptcy, an infuriating pro-milk website, and Jesus!

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As always, the award-winning weekly Our Hen House podcast is hosted by Mariann Sullivan and Jasmin Singer.

This week’s episode is brought to you in part through a generous donation from OSEA Malibu: the original plant-based, results-driven skincare line. Go to to receive $10 off your first purchase of $50! Offer will automatically be applied to your cart at checkout.


This episode is brought to you in part through the generosity of A Well-Fed World. A Well-Fed World provides the means for change by empowering individuals, social justice organizations, and political decision makers to embrace the benefits of plant-based foods and farming. Learn more at

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The Our Hen House theme song is written and sung by the incredible Michael Harren, who is also OHH’s Director of Communications! Don’t forget to tune into Our Hen House’s other two podcasts: The Teaching Jasmin How to Cook Vegan Podcast, and The Animal Law Podcast.

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