Exploitation of animals is a global problem, and has to be approached in a global way. We are therefore thrilled to shed light on two new groundbreaking programs that are putting such priorities at the frontline. I am relatively certain that when I was emailed about these programs — both involving Lewis & Clark Law School’s Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS) — I audibly gasped loudly enough for those sitting nearby at the coffee shop to look up. I apologetically smiled and assured my coffee mate that I was fine.
But I’m not fine. I’m raging. I’m dumbfounded. I’m beside myself. I’m ready to nip this animal agriculture industry in the bud. You with me? I’m ready to win. And I’m fully aware that in order to accomplish that, a multi-pronged approach is needed. Just as grassroots activists won’t succeed without legal change, legal change won’t succeed without grassroots activism. As a non-lawyer, I get tingles when I hear about the undeniable leaps and strides being made to change the world for animals on the legal front. And being temporarily stationed here in Portland, while Mariann is a visiting professor of Animal Law, is allowing me the opportunity to bathe in the instrumental work of CALS — a center that is indeed changing the world. And now they’re going international.
I gasped when I found out about this, and I’m gasping again now — almost to the point of an asthma attack. Hold onto your paper bags, because here’s what the commotion is about:
CALS is rolling out a globalization of their coveted LLM program in Animal Law. Not only are they the first law school to have an advanced law degree in the growing field of Animal Law, but they are now joining forces with the University of Barcelona’s Masters program in Animal Law, and the University of Basel Law School’s Doctoral program in Law and Animals. Here we have three forces of nature in three parts of the world, coming together under one umbrella program. Way to pool resources. (Perhaps those of us who tend toward the more grassroots side of things can learn a lesson here?)
CALS is redesigning the Animal Law LLM graduate seminar from a one-credit course to a three-credit course, and including international work currently being done via independent study. They are developing a new component that will capitalize on the relationship among these three institutions, making the course available to the students at all three schools.
Gasp-worthy, yes? Then wait until you get a load of this:
CALS is also launching a new Kenyan legal project. They are developing a new course through a collaboration between CALS and primatologist, Dr. Debra Durham. According to CALS:
The course would provide both classroom learning and field-work (in Kenya) components to inspire creative problem solving to multifaceted legal issues. The course will expose students to the complexity of wildlife issues when constrained by biodiversity conservation efforts, traditional values and culture, resource scarcity issues, ecotourism goals, institutional infrastructure limitations, poaching, and human-wildlife conflicts. The course will focus on both US and Kenyan law.
As noted, animal exploitation is a global problem. How exciting it is to see animal advocates from far-flung corners of the world coming together to tackle it.