Lewis & Clark Law School SALDF Gets Active for Animals

Lewis & Clark Law School’s Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (LC SALDF), the first of the over two-hundred active SALDF chapters today, kicked off its 22nd year determined to draw from its rich history of engagement, education, and activism on behalf of animals.

Leading up to the start of the 2015–16 academic year, LC SALDF held its first annual Work/Play Retreat, the goal of which was to bring together LC SALDF members, Animal Law Review (ALR) staff, and Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS) faculty. The work portion of the retreat drew forty-plus volunteers from these three groups, as well as from the Lewis & Clark community at large, to roll up their sleeves at Wildwood Farm Sanctuary, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of animals through care and compassion. Volunteers cleaned stalls, bucked hay, and constructed an enclosure to keep the rescued cows warm during winter months. Volunteers were treated to a vegan lunch, which was made possible due to a generous grant from the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF). During the play portion of the weekend, several SALDF members camped near the Oregon coast, where mentors got the chance to spend time with their 1L and LL.M. mentees and convey the numerous opportunities that Lewis & Clark’s Animal Law Program has to offer. The retreat set the tone for one of LC SALDF’s most productive years to date.

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In October, LC SALDF co-presented with ALDF and CALS the 23rd annual Animal Law Conference (ALC). Seventeen SALDF members volunteered to help prepare for the event.  The conference brought over 200 scholars, attorneys, and law students together to discuss animal protection on a global scale. LC SALDF students also attended the SALDF Summit, worked closely with leaders in the animal law field, coordinated presentations, and moderated panels. Notably, LC SALDF members also coordinated the ALC’s first Animal Law Film Festival and 2nd annual Animals in Art exhibit, featuring over twenty five works of animal-themed art.

While the ALC provided a variety of ways for members to connect with other SALDF chapters, LC SALDF’s Fall Potluck provided a more intimate environment for its members to get together outdoors. They enjoyed homemade vegan food and drinks and carved pumpkins.

LC SALDF started the 2016 school year by visiting Wolf Haven International Sanctuary in Tenino, WA. Members were given a private tour of the sanctuary’s wolves and wolf hybrids and learned about the perils wolves face across the U.S. and Mexico, both in the wild and when purchased from breeders. The tour also included a behind-the-scenes look at the organization’s efforts in breeding endangered wolves to reintroduce them into the wild.

The following week, LC SALDF hosted its 3rd annual Animal Law Networking Event, kindly sponsored by Intelekia Law Group and supported by a generous grant from ALDF. In attendance were animal law practitioners from ALDF, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), and Humane Oregon, in addition to several Portland-area law firms.

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In March, the LC SALDF board organized its much anticipated, yearly Meatout BBQ, where the Lewis & Clark Law community is treated to a plant-based meal donated from local restaurants and businesses. In addition, nearly 150 students, faculty, and staff entered a raffle for an assortment of donated prizes, including gift cards to vegan restaurants and a vegan tattoo parlor, a vegan strength training and conditioning voucher, t-shirts, and more. Proceeds from additional raffle tickets were donated to Wildwood Farm Sanctuary, with approximately $100 raised.

LC SALDF also raised almost $1,000 from its Cutest Companion Animal Contest for House of Dreams, a local free-roaming cat rescue that is one of the few to work with cats suffering from feline leukemia. Members also worked with Save Endangered Animals Oregon in its effort to bolster protections for trafficked animals. LC SALDF organized a signature-gathering day and collected over 200 signatures in support of a November 2016 ballot measure at Portland’s famous farmer’s market.

LC SALDF ended this year by working with Lewis & Clark’s Sustainability Council and the Human-Animal Studies Collaboration to organize its 2016 event: Sustainability in Portland: Connecting Animals, People, and Planet. Bringing different interests from the Lewis & Clark community together, the event explored the myriad connections among animal protection, environmental ethics, and human rights.

As part of its long-running Speaker Series, designed to introduce students to animal law and animal-related issues, LC SALDF welcomed Peter Brandt (senior attorney for farm animal litigation, HSUS); Professor Dan Rohlf (Lewis & Clark); Nicole Jergovic (deputy district attorney for Multnomah County) and Emily Davidsohn (staff attorney and case manager for the Oregon Humane Society Investigations Department); Deb Kay (renown vegan fusion chef); Professor Kathy Hessler (CALS); Quinn Read (northwest program representative, Defenders of Wildlife); Tyler Welch (Highland Games competitor and vegan strongman); Brian Posewitz (Humane Oregon); Garet Lahvis (Oregon Health and Sciences University); and TJ Tumasse (manager of investigations, ALDF). In addition, LC SALDF paired with the Northwest Environmental Defense Center (NEDC) to screen the award-winning documentary, Exposed: USDA’s Secret War on Wildlife, with a follow-up Q&A session with Lizzy Zultoski (staff attorney for Advocates of the West).

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