The current tuition at Yale Law School is $55,000 tuition, $9,400 board, and $7,200 board, for a total of $72,100. So what are you paying for?
Yesterday Campus Reform posted an article about a new program at Yale. The program deals with the legal rights of animals. Now in the interest of clarity, I probably need to say that I am against any sort of cruelty to animals. I think my steak should have a reasonably happy life before it gets to me. However, I also believe that plants and animals were placed on the planet to be consumed by man. There is a reason we have canine teeth. However, I do think the concept of legal rights for animals is a stretch.
The article reports:
Yale University is launching a new program with the goal of addressing America’s “outdated” and “insufficient” animal rights policies.
Doug Kysar, a law professor at the Ivy League school, and law professor and Humane Society chief counsel for animal protection litigation Jonathan Lovvorn are heading up the new Law, Ethics & Animals Program (LEAP) at Yale Law School along with Viveca Morris, an associate research scholar in the law school.
Yale published Kysar’s assertion that society is in the midst of an important time for animals, due to factors such as revelations in animal intelligence that allegedly “overturn past beliefs about human exceptionalism,” according to a news release.
Kysar believes that while human attitudes about animals are changing, “our laws regarding animals are often outdated, insufficient, or nonexistent.”
The article continues:
According to the course description, students will also address the “problems of litigating on behalf of animals,” as well as animals’ classification as property. This will include debating the merits of recognizing “legal rights” for animals.
During the spring 2020 semester, Lovvorn will teach Climate, Animal[s], Food and Environmental Law & Policy Lab (CAFE Lab), which will “develop innovative law and policy initiatives to bring systemic change to the global food industry, which is one of the top contributors to climate change, animal suffering, human exploitation, and environmental degradation worldwide.”
“The damage wrought by industrial agriculture is staggering and rapidly expanding, and beyond the capacity of any one legal discipline to mitigate or reform,” Lovvorn said in the news release. “By engaging leaders from a broad array of disciplines, the CAFE Lab presents a unique opportunity to develop new strategies to understand, respect, and protect those who have been left behind by the current legal system.”
Yale notes that LEAP will conduct unspecified “additional research and policy work,” as well as assist in the distribution of a podcast about animal rights. The program is also expected to collaborate not only with the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies but also with the School of Public Health and the School of Management.
Yale Animal Law Society Co-Chair Manny Rutinel said that he is “genuinely ecstatic” about the program, which he believes will “give the Yale community a unique opportunity to make an impact on issues that affect our environment, the health of our population, and the billions of animals used in industrialized agriculture,” according to the release.
“Human-animal relationships raise profoundly important questions of power, conscience, and the consequences of human actions for all living beings,” the student added. “The topic of animals and the law quickly reaches some of the deepest questions of what it means to be a good human.”
At least the Professor is aware of the problems of litigating on behalf of animals. I wonder if he realizes how ridiculous this could get. As I have stated, I don’t want my food abused before it gets to me. However, could I be sued (on behalf of my cat) if I give my cat a bath? What about if my cat wants to be an outdoor cat and I am keeping him inside for his own safety? What if I put a collar on my cat that has a bell and that bell is annoying to the cat? You can see that this could quickly get totally out of control. An unscrupulous lawyer could theoretically sue me on behalf of my cat and take a portion of the settlement as a fee. What about my friends who have a horse farm with barn cats? Is that cat abuse–the only wages the cats receive are food and a warm place to sleep.
I think I would try to send my child to a different law school.