David Wolfson guest-taught my Animal Law class this evening and, as usual, his provocative, insightful views sent my thoughts spinning off in all directions. For example, David observed that since 98% of animals in the United States are “farmed” animals and thus wholly lacking in legal protections, animal law, as commonly understood, is functionally irrelevant. “Who cares about set of laws that a set of laws that apply to only 2% of the population?” he asked. “Wouldn’t we say that a country where the rule of law applied to only 2% of the population was lawless?”
That comparison is brutally powerful and hard to refute. When the vast majority of the population resides outside of the law’s protection, one has to wonder what purpose the law serves, if any. This, of course, leads those of us who teach and practice animal law to wonder just what it is we’re doing. Or at least it does me.
Filed under: animal advocacy, animal cruelty, animal ethics, animal law, animal welfare | Tagged: animal abuse, animal cruelty, animal ethics, animal law, animal rights, animal suffering, animal welfare, David Wolfson, factory farms, farmed animals, industrial farming |