When people meet me and ask what type of law do I intend to practice, they are always pretty baffled. I have a true passion for protecting those that are voiceless. Most animals embody the meaning of voiceless. Animals do not have their own voice, their choices are made for them by humans, their actions are chosen by humans, their very existence is controlled by our actions. Animals are more than just “chattel”, ( legal jargon for- property). However, our laws do not protect animals as living sentient beings, they are seen as a means to an end. Ultimately, that end is for the pure purpose of humans and not to lead a full life. A sentient being is a “creature” or mammal that has the capacity to suffer and feel pain, which is all living and breathing creatures.
While I was in law school, I became the President of our “animal law club” properly known as Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF). Being president was not only an honor, but it afforded me opportunities and experiences in the Animal Law realm that I never knew existed. As President, I became very involved and was able to promote more awareness, thanks to the hard work of our national chapter, Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF).
I wanted to give a proper definition of what animal law actually is. Below is an excerpt from ALDF’s website and I hyperlinked the subsection to their website!
ALDF is one of the pioneering organizations that is responsible for aiding animal liberation around the country. I was very honored to have attended the Animal Law Conference in Portland, Oregon in 2015. Throughout the rest of my blog posts, I intend to elaborate more on Animal Law (as well as Environmental Law) and touch on different facets of the law regarding animals and their treatment. Be sure to stay tuned!
“It’s a combination of statutory and case law in which the nature – legal, social or biological – of nonhuman animals is an important factor. It encompasses companion animals, wildlife, and animals used in entertainment, research, and raised for food.
It permeates and affects most traditional areas of the law – including tort, contract, criminal, trust/estates, family, environmental, administrative, and constitutional law. Examples of this intersection include: animal custody disputes in divorces and separations, veterinary malpractice cases, housing disputes: “no pets” policies and discrimination laws, damages cases involving the wrongful death or injury to a companion animal, enforceable trusts for companion animals, and criminal law issues, encompassing domestic violence and anti-cruelty laws.”
Again, the above is taken directly from Animal Legal Defense Fund’s website. I will give a more thorough analysis in this post, or a new one! ( I have a huge book from my Animal Law class, as well all the research and work I have done thus far.
As always: peace, love, and world peace ❤