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


October 13 Thursday

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

12:15PM to 1:15PM

Online

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).

October 26 Wednesday

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

12:15PM to 1:15PM

Online

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.

November 10 Thursday

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

12:15PM to 1:15PM

SLB Room 110

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).

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Recent Events


 

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: tinyurl.com/leap-hamilton-2022

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.” 

March 9 Wednesday

The Quasi-person, Quasi-property Approach to Animal Law with Angela Fernandez

Animals are legal property, but their advocates have spent years pursuing a reclassification as legal persons. This program continues to face challenges: arguments for legal personhood in common-law systems can sound like arguments for actual personhood, and the strategy can go haywire when it is exported from common-law jurisdictions to civil-law jurisdictions.

February 24 Thursday

"Animals and the Unwritten Constitution," with Jessica Eisen

In this talk, Professor Jessica Eisen will explore the possibility that constitutional texts do not tell the whole story: that many jurisdictions embrace unwritten constitutional commitments to the continued use of animals as killable resources. 

February 17 Thursday

"Sentience is more complicated than you think," with Dale Jamieson

One very powerful narrative in the animal protection movement goes like this. In the grip of bad philosophy, people in the West used to think that sentience is a necessary but not sufficient condition for moral standing, and that all and only humans are sentient. Bentham showed us that sentience is sufficient for moral standing and Darwin showed us that many non-humans are sentient as well. Now all we need is science to tell us which beings are sentient and activism and law to put animal protection into practice.

February 3 Thursday

Animals As Legal Beings with Maneesha Deckha

The dominant legal systems in America and Canada treat animals as property, a designation that fails to account for their subjectivity, autonomy, and capacity for suffering.

November 4 Thursday

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

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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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 animalethics@yale.edu.