Brooklyn Law School SALDF Spreads the Word about Animal Law

Brooklyn Law School’s Student Animal Legal Defense Fund chapter (BLS SALDF) established its presence on campus in the fall 2016 semester with its event on the law and ethics of industrial food production, “Food Industry: Sustainability & Business.” This event successfully introduced animal law to over 60 attendees, including BLS students, faculty, and community members. Attendees ate plant-based sushi from Beyond Sushi, generously supported by a SALDF project grant from the Animal Legal Defense Fund.

BLS SALDF collaborated with the Environmental Law Society and Business Law Association to put on this event. The collaboration allowed SALDF to reach BLS community members who were unaware of the cruelty in the animal agriculture industry and of animal law’s intersections with business and environmental law. The audience was intrigued and full of questions and comments.

The panel included Chris Kerr, investment manager at New Crop Capitol; Cody Carlson, former undercover investigator, current staff attorney at Mercy for Animals, and BLS alum; Liz Dee, co-owner and executive vice president of Smarties Candy Co.; and Jason Foscolo, attorney at the Food Law Firm. Each panelist brought a distinct perspective to the discussion of animal cruelty in farms and slaughterhouses. The success of the panel, in large part, rested on the diversity of the panelists’ background, interests, and commitment to the field. The panel’s diversity also encouraged audience members who may not think protecting animals is important to see the vast array of reasons to vehemently oppose animal cruelty, and how we all can do this.

In spring 2017, BLS SALDF will screen the film A Plastic Ocean, while serving plant-based snacks and handing out SALDF tabling materials to attendees. The BLS SALDF board estimates that 30 BLS students will attend to learn about the effects of ocean pollution on the environment and aquatic animals. Later in the semester, BLS SALDF will host another event with the Environmental Law Society to discuss the film. The chapter is also planning a donation drive for local animal shelters, where students will be encouraged to donate food, blankets, or toys in exchange for immunity from being cold called on in class.

This summer, BLS SALDF will invite BLS alumni and SALDF members from nearby schools to take a trip to an animal sanctuary in the Catskills. Chapter members hope this trip will be an opportunity to develop new ideas for the chapter for next school year. The chapter is also excited to create an animal law club this summer to become more involved in policy making as law students. In this club, BLS SALDF members will come together with other NY SALDF members to discuss current and upcoming legislation that may help or harm animals.

This student chapter spotlight was submitted by Danielle Rimland ‘19, Reza Mohamadzadeh ‘19, Hannah Laufer ’18, & BLS SALDF Board Members

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