Taylor Duty is entering her third year at Lewis and Clark Law School in Oregon where she serves as the co-director of the school’s Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) chapter. This past year she worked with the other Co-Director and SALDF board to spearhead and allocate funding for events such as MeatOut, a visit to a local farm animal sanctuary, Humane Lobbying day at the Capital, the Victim to Verdict conference, as well as coordinate commenting workshops, speaker events, action alert emails and even the occasional happy hour. She is thrilled that SALDF students will have the opportunity to serve as humane educators in the upcoming year, with a humane education training planned for fall of 2013.
In addition to her activities with SALDF, Taylor has had the incredible opportunity to be a conference coordinator for the Lewis and Clark Animal Law Conference. She was selected to give the introductory speech for the keynote speaker, Carol Adams, an honor she treasures as both a feminist and an animal rights activist. Taylor also wrote briefly as the staff animal-rights and vegan food writer for Bikya Masr, an independent news organization and currently runs her own vegan, animal rights and nutrition blog titled “Evolve Vegan.”
Taylor plans to use her law degree to continue fighting for animals in the criminal justice system. At her current job working at the Washington County District Attorney’s office, Taylor works extensively under a deputy district attorney who handles all misdemeanor and felony animal cases and who has shown her that bettering cruelty laws and prosecutions in Oregon are realistic, achievable goals. She believes bringing visibility to animal issues within the criminal justice system at the county level can offer a model for other state and federal institutions—as well as the public—which will help society at large to institutionalize and prioritize the rights of animals.