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.

Upcoming Events

October 17 Tuesday

Crossings: How Road Ecology is Shaping the Future of Our Planet with Ben Goldfarb

12:15PM to 1:15PM


Approximately 40 million miles of roadways encircle the earth, but humans tend to regard them only as infrastructure for our convenience. Yet roads have far-reaching—and deadly—consequences for the nonhuman world: one million animals are killed by cars each day in the U.S. alone. Roadways also fragment wildlife populations into inbred clusters, disrupt migration for creatures from antelope to salmon, allow invasive plants to spread, and even bend the arc of evolution itself.

November 2 Thursday

Rights of Nature and Rights of Animals with Kristen Stilt & Macarena Montes Franceschini

12:15PM to 1:15PM

Yale Law School, Room to be announced

The concept of rights has its skeptics. So does the concept of animal rights and perhaps even more so the rights of nature. So what happens when these rights-based arguments are combined with indigenous world views to attempt to secure the basic interests and needs of one individual animal, a community of animals, or a species of animals? Is the result a stew of legal incomprehensibility? Or an ingenious and effective argument? Or something in between?

November 16 Thursday

Animal Markets and Zoonotic Disease Risk in the United States with Ann Linder

12:15PM to 1:15PM

Yale Law School, Room to be announced

The possibility that COVID-19 first infected humans at a live animal market in Wuhan, China inspired calls for countries to close these “wet markets” to mitigate zoonotic disease risk. Many calls focused on countries in Asia, but these markets operate inside the United States as well. This country is home to an extensive network of animal industries and practices that drive zoonotic disease emergence. The U.S. is the world’s largest importer of both domesticated animals and wildlife and is one of the world’s leading producers of livestock and captive wildlife.

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Recent Events


September 21 Thursday

Animal Rights Law with Sean Butler & Raffael Fasel

Do animals have legal rights? Recent court cases—from Happy the elephant in the United States to Estrellita the wooly monkey in Ecuador—have put deep questions about the ways in which animals are (not) protected by the law squarely in the public eye.

February 14 Tuesday

The Role of Science in Animal Protection Legislation with Lori Marino

Scientific discoveries in recent decades have shown the lives of nonhuman animals to be far more complex than humans historically believed. Yet legal protections for many nonhumans—from cetaceans to elephants to farmed animals—have not evolved alongside this expanded knowledge.

November 10 Thursday

The Legal Status of Nonhuman Animals and Artificial Intelligences with Jeff Sebo

Human use of nonhuman animals contributes to pandemics, climate change, and other global threats which, in turn, contribute to biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse, and nonhuman suffering. Similar dynamics are emerging in human use of artificial intelligences (AIs).

October 26 Wednesday

Slaughterhouse Workers, Animals, and the Environment with Delcianna Winders & Elan Abrell

The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a bright light on industrial slaughterhouses in the United States and their impacts on the vulnerable beings—both human and animal—they exploit. But the severity of these impacts is the result of a long history of failed regulatory oversight, which has contributed to dangerous conditions for slaughterhouse workers, environmental degradation, and severe animal suffering.

October 13 Thursday

Arguing California’s Proposition 12: An Expert Panel Led by Jon Lovvorn

In 2018, California voters passed Proposition 12, a ballot initiative banning the intensive confinement of egg-laying chickens, mother pigs, and veal calves raised in California and prohibiting the sale of eggs, pork, and veal in California from facilities anywhere using those practices. After multiple unsuccessful attempts by meat and egg industry trade groups to challenge the law, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on the constitutionality of Proposition 12 on October 11 (National Pork Producers Council v. Ross).

September 9 Friday

Deadline to Apply to be a 2022-23 Law, Ethics & Animals Program Student Fellow

Apply to be a LEAP Student Fellow! The Law, Ethics & Animals Program at Yale Law School is inviting applications for its 2022-2023 LEAP Student Fellows Program. Each academic year, LEAP selects a small group of Student Fellows, including both Yale Law School students and other Yale graduate and professional school students.

September 8 Thursday

Challenging Carceral Logics with Lori Gruen, Justin Marceau, Reginald Dwayne Betts ’16, and Michael Braham

Carceral logics permeate our thinking about humans and nonhumans. We imagine that greater punishment will reduce crime and make society safer. We hope that more convictions and policing for animal crimes will protect animals from cruelty. But is incarcerating humans the appropriate response to violence against nonhuman animals?

April 14 Thursday

Convention on Animal Protection: A Global Treaty for Animal Welfare, Public Health, and the Environment

Join LEAP for a panel with the members of the ABA International Animal Law Committee who obtained the passage of the ABA resolution on the proposed draft treaty, including the treaty’s potential to prevent pathogenic spillover and future pandemics.

April 5 Tuesday

Beyond Fossil Law: Climate, Courts, and the Fight for a Sustainable Future with Ted Hamilton

Register here for the webinar link:

March 31 Thursday

Animal Crisis: A book talk with Lori Gruen and Alice Crary

In their upcoming book, Animal Crisis, professors Alice Crary and Lori Gruen investigate “the complex social and political contexts in which animals are harmed, revealing the connections between our callous and cruel attitudes to the animal world and those same attitudes towards vulnerable human groups.” In this talk, moderated by Emma LeBlanc ’24, Crary and Gruen will lay out their novel approach to the argument that “there can be no animal  liberation without human emancipation.” 


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