Animal law advocates from a variety of disciplines and perspectives came together at Harvard Law School for the fifth annual Animal Law Week. The series of talks was hosted by the Harvard Animal Law Society, Harvard Women’s Law Association and the Harvard Animal Law & Policy Program.
Carol Adams, feminist-vegan writer and social justice activist, discussed “#MeToo and the Sexual Politics of Meat.” Adams is the author of “The Sexual Politics of Meat,” now in a 25th anniversary edition; “Burger,” in Bloomsbury’s Object Lessons Series; “Protest Kitchen: Fight Injustice, Save the Planet,” and“Fuel Your Resistance One Meal at a Time”; and many other books. She has edited several important anthologies on ecofeminism, feminism, and animals. Her articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Ms. Magazine, The Christian Century, Tikkun, and Truthdig, among others.
In the talk “Undercover Animal Cruelty Investigations,” “Pete”–an international undercover investigator–spoke about his investigations for animal rights groups across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Brazil, and India. Over the past 18 years, he’s investigated puppy mills, pet stores, facilities that sell dogs and cats to research labs, livestock auctions, dairies, egg farms, broiler farms, hatcheries, hog farms, commercial fishing boats, and slaughterhouses of all kinds. He also created an undercover investigator training program used by multiple animal protection groups. “Pete’s” work has been featured in Time Magazine and the HBO documentary, Death on a Factory Farm.
Kitty Block, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), delivered the talk “A Global Vision of Animal Protection in the 21st Century.” Block, an attorney, joined the HSUS in 1992 as a legal investigator and was instrumental in bringing cruelties such as horse slaughter and the killing of dogs and cats for their fur in China to light. Her efforts led to major policy reforms, including European Union and U.S. bans on imports of dog and cat fur and bans on slaughtering horses for human consumption. Block also led the HSUS’s efforts to secure protections for dolphins with successful litigation and landmark dolphin-safe tuna legislation. Block also serves as President of Humane Society International (HSI), the international affiliate of the HSUS.
The week wrapped up with a panel discussion on “Accelerating Alternatives to Animal Experimentation.” HLS Animal Law & Policy Program Executive Director Chris Green ’04 moderated the session that featured Nathan Hershler, the Executive Director of the New England Anti-Vivisection Society, and Catherine Willett, the Senior Director for Science & Regulatory Affairs at The Humane Society of the United States. The panelists gave an overview of the current state of developing alternatives to animal use in science and research, then discussed whether an “accelerator” type business model could be used to explore and invest in alternatives potentially leading to life-saving improvements for both people and animals.