Past Events

Previous HLS SALDF Events

  • On December 2-3, 2016, the Harvard Animal Law and Policy Program hosted the Animal Welfare Act at 50 Conference at HLS. This conference gathered nationwide experts to assess the first fifty years of the Act, and discussed recommendations for the future. HLS SALDF members volunteered at and attended the conference.
  • On December 1, 2016, Joyce Tischler, founder of the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) and a long time legal advocate for animals, spoke at HLS about the history of animal law and current efforts in animal law, including ALDF’s work on puppy mills. HLS SALDF, the Harvard Animal Law and Policy Program, and the Animal Legal Defense Fund sponsored.
  • On November 16, 2016, HLS SALDF and the Harvard Animal Law and Policy Program held a film screening of Unlocking the Cage and a Q&A with the Nonhuman Rights Project. The Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP), recently filed the first ever lawsuits seeking to transform an animal from a “thing” with no rights to a “person” with legal protections.
  • On November 8, 2016, Nathan Herschler, Program Operations Director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), and Chris Green, Executive Director of HLS’s Animal Law and Policy Program, discussed the most recent Conference of Parties to CITES (CoP17) in South Africa with a crowd of 86 HLS students. CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, is one of the most important international treaties governing trade in endangered species, including endangered animals. HLS SALDF, HLS Environmental Law Society, and the Harvard Animal Law & Policy Program sponsored.
  • In the weeks and months leading up to the November election, the HLS SALDF Advocacy Committee tabled at HLS and canvassed in the community for the Massachusetts Ballot Initiative – Question 3: the ban on extreme confinement for farm animals. On Election Day, 78% of Massahchusetts voters voted to pass the ballot initiative, which will take effect in 2022.
  • On October 26, 2016, Bruce Friedrich of the Good Food Institute and New Crop Capital returned to HLS to talk about why animal protein alternatives are popular with the biggest tech investors in Silicon Valley, and some of the most exciting developments in cleaner, safer, and more sustainable protein alternatives. HLS SALDF, HLS FoodSoc, HLS SELA, and Effective Altruists sponsored.
  • A group of 13 HLS students and staff went on the SALDF Fall Animal Sanctuary trip to Winslow Farm on October 22, 2016. We went on a private tour of the sanctuary and met many happy rescued animals, including Rosie the Nigerian Dwarf goat, Belle the Halflinger horse, and Stardust the donkey.
  • On October 21, 2016, Dr. Greger, the public health director at the Humane Society of the United States, spoke to a crowd of 76 HLS students about his latest book, How Not to Die, which has become an instant New York Times Best Seller. Dr. Greger discussed living longer and living happier by cutting down on animal products. HLS SALDF, HLS FoodSoc, HLS Food Law Lab, and the Harvard Animal Law & Policy Program sponsored.
  • On October 18, 2016, Professor Mathilde Cohen spoke at HLS about her upcoming article in the Journal of Law and Gender: Of Milk and the Constitution. Cohen’s article discusses the privileged status of milk in American constitutional jurisprudence, and its tension with other constitutional principles, including its effect of reinforcing race, as well as class, gender, species, and other inequities. Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, HLS FoodSoc, the Harvard Animal Law & Policy Program, and HLS SALDF sponsored.
  • We tabled at HLS’ and Harvard University’s Earth Day celebrations, on April 22 and April 23, 2016. Students loved the delicious, hot, vegetarian chicken and sausage we gave out.
  • 92 HLS students and others packed into a lecture hall on April 21, 2016, to hear Bruce Friedrich of the Good Food Institute and New Crop Capital share the latest updates in cultured and plant-based meat, dairy, and eggs. Harvard Association of Law and Business, HLS Social Enterprise Law Association, HLS FoodSoc, the Harvard Animal Law & Policy Program, and HLS SALDF sponsored. The crowd devoured an Amsterdam Falafelshop lunch. Click here to watch the talk.
  • On April 6, 2016, Vandhana Bala, general counsel for Mercy For Animals, spoke at Harvard Law School about advances made in animal welfare following undercover investigations of farms and slaughterhouses, and the animal agriculture industry’s attempts to stop these investigations.  Over 50 attendees enjoyed delicious wraps from Rhythm ‘n Wraps. The Harvard Law Record reported on the talk.
  • Four HLS SALDF members and one HLS staff member took a trip to DC From March 31–April 1, 2016, to meet with animal protection lawyers and advocates at HSUS, PETA, ASPCA, Defenders of Wildlife, and Animal Welfare Institute. We also visited the offices of two Senators working to protect animals!
  • In February 2016, HLS SALDF submitted a comment to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services to protect eight chimpanzees from being shipped to an unaccredited zoo over seas.
  • A team of two HLS SALDF students became moot court semi-finalists in the 2016 National Animal Law Competitions, which Harvard Law School hosted. HLS SALDF members also helped out by serving as timekeepers for the competition.
  • Harvard Law School held its second annual Animal Week. HLS SALDF, ALDF, and the HLS Animal Law & Policy Program collaborated to put on this week of events from February 15–21, 2016. On Monday, 100 attendees came to Professor Stilt’s, “The Women’s Movement, Animal Welfare, and Islamic Law: Constitutional Animal Protection in Egypt,”and enjoyed delicious Amsterdam Falafelshop falafel. The Harvard Muslim Law Student Association and the Islamic Legal Studies Program co-sponsored the talk. On Tuesday, 82 students and others listened to Milbank partner David Wolfson discuss legal protections of farmed animals—and dined on vegan Italian food from Eat at Jumbo’s. On Wednesday, ASPCA’s Nancy Perry and Kelly Murray discussed the animal protection ballot initiative process to a crowd of 72 attendees, over chickpea curry, collard greens, and more, from Rhythm ‘n Wraps. On Thursday, a crowd of 122 listened to PETA President Ingrid Newkirk describe animal rights and human obligations. The event started with delicious vegan Indian food and ended with loud applause. On Friday, we held two events: First, Queens County Animal Cruelty Prosecutions Unit leader Niki Caferri and ALDF Criminal Justice Program leader Scott Heiser discussed animal abuse prosecution to 68 students and others, over vegan Chinese food from Grasshopper. Second, Prof. Randall S. Abate discussed what animal law can learn from environmental law. 26 guests attended, and enjoyed vegan snacks.
  • Food Empowerment Project founder Lauren Ornelas spoke to a crowd of 63 HLS students and others about food access, workers’ rights, and animal rights. Harvard Food Law Society and HLS SALDF co-sponsored the November 16, 2015 talk, which served delicious vegan Italian food from Eat at Jumbo’s.
  • On November 13, 2015, Justin Marceau spoke at HLS about his lawsuit that struck down an “ag gag” law. More than 50 people attended, and enjoyed vegetarian Indian food. Harvard’s ACLU chapter and Food Law Society chapter cosponsored the talk.hls saldf at maple farm sanctuary
  • Twelve Harvard affiliatesincluding a babytook a field trip to Maple Farm Sanctuary on November 8th, 2015. HLS SALDF arranged a private tour of the sanctuary, where we met a friendly young goat named Pumpkin, a bold rooster named Oscar, and so many other interesting, resilient animals.
  • On October 28, 2015, HLS SALDF hosted a Careers in Animal Law panel with food from Amsterdam Falafelshop. 27 students came to hear International Fund for Animal Welfare’s Daina Bray and Nathan Herschler, Harvard Animal Law & Policy Program’s Delcianna Winders and Chris Green, and Best Friends Animal Society’s Lee Greenwood. The event was co-sponsored by the Harvard Animal Law & Policy Program. If you missed the event, you can watch the talk here, or read the Harvard Law Record article.
  • HLS SALDF collected a Chapter of the Year award at the  2015 Animal Law Conference. Three HLS SALDF students and several other members of the HLS community flew to Portland, OR for the conference.
  • HLS SALDF collected 291 signatures in 2015 to get the farm animal protection measure on the Massachusetts ballot. We also editorialized twice for the initiative.
  • Farm Sanctuary President and Founder, Gene Baur, spoked to a packed crowd of 90 Harvard Law students and others on September 30, 2015. Mr. Baur discussed his work to protect animals from factory farm abuse, over Grasshopper Vegan Chinese food. Harvard Law Record covered the talk.
  • On September 19, 2015, HLS SALDF members attended a Maple Farm Sanctuary potluck, met the rescued animals, and signed up volunteers for the farm animal protection ballot initiative campaign.
  • 104 people got energized for our state’s revolutionary pro-animal ballot initiative campaign! Citizens for Farm Animal Protection‘s Matthew Dominguez, Stephanie Harris, and Kelly Murray presented on September 17, 2015. Attendees devoured Eat at Jumbos vegan Italian food. Harvard Law Record covered the event.
  • Team HLS SALDF participated in Boston Walk for Farm Animals on September 12, 2015.

    David Kirby and Professor Kristen Stilt on Marine Mammal Day, by Julia Anello
    David Kirby and Professor Kristen Stilt at April 2015 killer whale talk, sketched by Julia Anello
  • Death at SeaWorld author David Kirby spoke to a packed room of 80, about the plight of captive killer whales, on April 15, 2015. Prof. Kristen Stilt moderated, and we served falafel. (Mr. Kirby later wrote an article on SeaWorld for an HLS paper.)
  • Humane Society of the United States Senior Vice President of Animal Protection Litigation and Investigations, Jon Lovvorn, gave a fascinating presentation on the complicated, intertwining relationship between environmental law and animal law, on April 13, 2015. 83 students attended, and enjoyed delicious Chinese food from Grasshopper Vegan.
  • We held a discussion on plant-based eating and athletes, with Joseph Holder of Health Warrior on April 9, 2015. 50 students attended and enjoyed free falafel.
  • HSUS's Lewis Bollard on "ag gag" laws, Spring 2015
    HSUS’s Lewis Bollard on “ag gag” laws, Spring 2015

    Humane Society of the United States Policy Advisor and International Liaison to the CEO, Lewis Bollard, gave a presentation on controversial “ag gag” laws, on August 6, 2015. 57 students came to listen and to enjoy vegan burritos.

  • 108 law students and others crowded into a room to hear a talk by Josh Tetrick, the CEO of the Bill Gates -backed startup, Hampton Creek, and to enjoy some of Hampton Creek’s egg-free cookie dough (which HLS’s Hark now uses to make all its cookies), on April 3, 2015. HLAB, SELA, and Food Law Society co-sponsored the event, which served vegan Eat at Jumbos Italian food.
  • Liz Hallinan, Director of Public Policy for Compassion Over Killing, presented on the animal and human welfare issues in factory farming, on March 30, 2015. 54 people attended.
  • We screened the film Forks Over Knives on the evening of Mar 11, 2015, over an Indian dinner. 34 people attended.
  • Poster for PETA president Ingrid Newkirk's 2015 talk at HLS
    Poster for PETA president Ingrid Newkirk’s 2015 talk at HLS

    Harvard Law School held its first Animal Law Week from Feb 23 to Mar 1, 2015.  On Monday, 81 students packed into a lecture hall to hear ALDF’s Carter Dillard and Center for Biological Diversity’s Stephanie Feldstein.We served vegan Italian food from Eat at Jumbo’s. On Tuesday, 61 students came to discuss Harvard’s new Animal Law program over vegan Indian food, with Professor Kirsten Stilt. On Wednesday, ALDF’s Chris Green presented to 55 students on the exciting developments in the law of captive exotic animals, over Grasshopper vegan Chinese food. On Thursday,  PETA President Ingrid Newkirk spoke to a packed room of 101 attendees, over falafel. The week culminated in the 2015 National Animal Law Competitions, which returned to HLS this year after several years away. Students traveled from across the country to compete.

  • 49 people joined us for a screening of Speciesism: The Movie, followed by a Q&A with the filmmaker, Mark Devries. Tues, Nov 18, evening.
  • The hilarious and wise Dr. Michael Greger, MD gave an October 27th, 2014 talk at HLS on the role of diet in preventing, treating, and reversing our nation’s top 15 killers. 88 attendees came to listen to his talk, and to eat a lunch from the all-vegetarian Amsterdam Falafelshop.
  • On October 20, 2014, U of Toronto’s Prof Lesli Bisgould came to HLS to discuss animals and the law. 86 people packed into the room to hear her talk and to enjoy a free vegan Italian lunch.
  • PETA brought its state-of-the-art virtual reality display to campus, on Sept 13, 2014, to let students experience life as a chicken.
  • On April 24th, 2014, MIT’s Ryan Shapiro presented, “‘That Time the FBI Labeled My Dissertation Research a Threat to National Security’: Scholarly Inquiry, Political Dissent, and Freedom of Information.” 96 people attended.
  • On April 3rd, 2014, World Animal Net attorney, Akisha Townsend, discussed Career Opportunities in Animal Law.
  • PETA counsel Jared Goodman presented, “Making the Case Against Killer Whales in Captivity,” on March 5, 2014. Generously sponsored by Amsterdam Falafelshop, VegFund, and Prof Abrams. 88 people attended, and the Harvard Law Record covered the event.
  • 85 people packed into a Harvard Law classroom on Nov 25, 2013, to watch visiting HLS tax professor Howard Abrams discuss animal rights, libertarianism, and cats. Guests devoured delicious falafel sandwiches, and the Harvard Crimson covered the event.
  • HLS SALDF phone banked to protect mother pigs in New Jersey: On Nov 16, 2013, students made calls to help New Jersey override a veto of a law to ban cruel gestation crates.
  • On November 11, 2013, David Wolfson, a partner at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley, & McCloy, gave a talk on pro bono animal protection work.
  • On November 6, 2013, HLS SALDF tabled at the Hark. We handed out 200 of HSUS‘s “Meatless Meals” guides, and a ton of delicious vegan treats from Whole Foods!
  • On Nov 4, 2013, HLS SALDF hosted, “Legal Battles in the Food Industry: A Conversation with Nick Cooney from Farm Sanctuary.” Nick Cooney, founder of the Humane League and then employed by Farm Sanctuary (now working for Mercy for Animals), spoke about his involvement with activism and farm animals. Guests enjoyed free Indian food.
  • In 2013, 2014, and 2015, students in HLS SALDF promoted vegetarian dining by leafleting around College.
  • In December 2012, HLS SALDF partnered with the HLS Dean of Students Office for a “Law School is Ruff” study break, in which students interacted with dogs.
  • Katrina Sharman, the former Corporate Counsel and future non-executive director of one of Australia’s leading animal protection organizations, Voiceless, spoke about the state of animal law in Australia.
  • HLS SALDF and ALDF hosted the 2010 Future of Animal Law Conference, from April 9–11, 2010. Attorneys, students, professors, and activists from around the world convened at HLS. Bob Barker gave the keynote address.
  • Along with ALDF, HLS SALDF hosted the 2007 Future of Animal Law Conference, from March 30–April 1, 2007. ALDF Executive Director Stephen Wells, ALDF founder Joyce Tischler, TV celebrity and animal rights philanthropist Bob Barker, actor and lawyer Ben Stein, and business and economic big wig Jeremy Rifkin all spoke at the event.

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