GRIDA in Rearview — A Most Excellent Event

Only time for a brief word about the GRIDA conference b/c I’m now at a different conference, this time of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation.  The GRIDA event was outstanding.  Lecture topics ranged from animal behavior to AETA.  Among the highlights: David Favre advanced his vision of animals as living property; Steve Wise sketched out a continuum for legal recognition for nonhumans that seemed simultaneously revolutionary and inevitable; Kathy Hessler lucidly described the inanities of vivisection (for example, just eliminating the redundancies in animal research would decrease the number of animals killed by over two thirds);  Maneesha Deckha offered a feminist critique of Martha Nussbaum’s capabilities approach; Luc-Alain Giraldeau’s description of the history and science of animal behaviorism made clear how much most of us don’t know and probably should about the beings for whom we advocate; and Carol Morgan described her doctoral fieldwork (for her degree in ethics) among  her fellow veterinarians.  The disconnect between veterinarians’ duties to their patients and their duties to their clients brings the incompatibility of economics and ethics into stark relief.  There were many more excellent presentations and a welcome interdisciplinary and international collegiality.  Professor Martine Lachance and her colleagues at UQAM deserve a rousing cheer and congratulations.

–David Cassuto

Conference: The Animal Within the Sphere of Human Needs

Canada’s first International Conference on Animal Law will take place on May 21-22, 2009.   The International Research Group in Animal Law (French acronym GRIDA),  based out of the Department of Juridical Sciences at the University of Quebec at Montréal (UQAM) will host and it looks like a fantastic event.  It is titled “The Animal Within the Sphere of Human Needs” and features an array of speakers with interesting and diverse perspectives (and I would say that even if I were not one of the speakers…).

David Cassuto