Throughout the academic year, LEAP brings thought-provoking visitors to campus from the field of law and beyond. These speakers include lawmakers, scientists, investigative journalists, artists, authors, philosophers, advocates, and scholars who focus in diverse ways on understanding and improving humans’ understanding and treatment of other animals. These leading thinkers and doers visit campus to inspire, deepen, and elevate conversations, and to enrich and inform LEAP’s work. View our past events here.

Upcoming Events

November 4 Thursday

The ecological risks of deep-sea mining with Diva Amon, Anela Choy, and Steven Haddock

12:15PM to 1:15PM


Eons of gradual accumulation have studded the ocean floor with valuable metals, and mining companies are racing to gobble up this untapped source of profit. Their appetites have driven the International Seabed Authority to greenlight mining expeditions in half a million square miles of seabed.

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Recent Events


October 14 Thursday

Antiracism in Animal Advocacy with Aryenish Birdie

Racism and inequity have hampered efforts to improve the lives of non-human animals and created an animal movement that has often harmed marginalized groups. Can this ongoing history be undone? And how can mainstream animal advocacy become a movement by and for people of the global majority?

September 30 Thursday

The power of photojournalism in animal advocacy, with Jo-Anne McArthur

Join LEAP for an online lunch talk and moderated Q&A with Jo-Anne McArthur, founder and president of We Animals Media (WAM). WAM is a preeminent animal photojournalism agency, dedicated to documenting and sharing images of animals caught up in the human world. In addition to their published books, WAM’s network of photographers provide over 10,000 free photos of animals whose lives have become entangled in the food, fashion, research, and entertainment industries around the globe. 

September 16 Thursday

Metazoa: Animal Life and the Birth of the Mind—A book talk with Peter Godfrey-Smith

Scientists, philosophers, and laypeople agree that animals have consciousness, sculpted into different shapes by the same evolutionary mechanisms that created ours. But much about these mechanisms and their products remains mysterious: why and how would natural selection lead to sensation, or to subjective awareness? How fruitful is it to compare the quality of our consciousness to that of an octopus, a parrot, or a coral? This talk, moderated by LEAP Student Fellow Lindsay Stern (Ph.D. ‘23), will feature philosopher Peter Godfrey-Smith discussing these questions and his new book about them, Metazoa: Animal Life and the Birth of the Mind.

March 3 Wednesday

Racism, land loss, and the creation of modern agriculture

The modern food system, including the industrial factory farms and slaughterhouses that produce most of today’s meat, is the product of a long process of consolidation of power. Racism shaped this history: the number of Black farmers has dropped by 98% from a peak of 200,000 in the early 20th century, and this racism persists.

February 17 Wednesday
February 3 Wednesday

Book talk—Wildlife as Property Owners: A New Conception of Animal Rights with Karen Bradshaw

Human activity imperils biodiversity all over the world, by slicing up forests, paving grassland, spraying pesticides, generating mounds of roadkill, and raising the planet’s temperature. How can the law defend against this onslaught? In her new book, Wildlife as Property Owners, law professor Karen Bradshaw examines a legal tenet that enables this resource exploitation: the doctrine of exclusively human land rights.

October 28 Wednesday

Perilous Bounty: A Book Talk with Tom Philpott

The agricultural landscape in the United States appears bleak: gluttonous agri-corporations extract fertility from the soil and labor from workers.

October 21 Wednesday

What about Bugs? Why Insects Urgently Need Human Empathy & Action

Many studies from Europe, North American, and most recently the tropics, are reporting worrisome insect declines. Even insects that humans care for directly--honeybees, butterflies, and other pollinators--have been suffering their own public health crises. The reduction in bug populations  amounts to an excavation at the base of the food web that could unwind ecosystems around the world. Behind the question of what to do about the “insect apocalypse” lurks another challenge--how can entomologists and writers convince people to preserve such alien creatures?


Other Events on Campus

The questions animals raise are highly interdisciplinary. Multiple Yale centers and programs are deeply engaged in and regularly host events to do with issues of animal law and ethics. These include:

The Yale Sustainable Foods Project’s Lazarus Events Series invites speakers to campus with a range of perspectives on and theories of food systems change. These guests include practitioners, academics, policymakers, advocates, and activists who generate critical thinking and discussion about food and agriculture, and their relationships to human values, science, and society.

Yale Macmillan Center Program in Agrarian Studies hosts a weekly colloquium organized around an annual theme. Invited specialists send papers in advance that are the focus of organized discussions by the faculty and graduate students associated with the colloquium.

The Environmental Humanities Initiative hosts and promotes campus events featuring humanities, science, and social science scholars focused on raising new research questions and providing fresh ways to approach long-standing issues in the humanities during this moment of profound environmental transformation.

The Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics’s Animal Ethics Study Group sponsors monthly lunch-time seminars and public lectures related to animal ethics issues throughout the academic year. For more information or to be added to their email list for upcoming study group meetings, reach out to