A recent news story touted the “huge success” enjoyed by participants in the 2012 National Animal Law Competitions. The contest involves 20 or so law schools in an annual event sponsored by the Center for Animal Law Studies at Oregon’s Lewis & Clark College, in collaboration with the Animal Legal Defense Fund.
To quote from their program: “The National Animal Law Competitions provide law students from across the United States an opportunity to develop knowledge in the field of animal law while honing their written and oral advocacy skills.
Translation: “Knowledge” meaning how and against whom to file lawsuits that can result in a substantial payday for the plaintiffs.
According to its organizers, the event is comprised of three separate competitions:
- Legislative Drafting & Lobbying Competition
- Closing Argument Competition
- Appellate Moot Court Competition
To save you the trouble of looking it up (as I had to do), “Moot Court” refers to a pretend civil case that involves a judgment (ie, money), as opposed to a “mock trial,” which involves acting out a pretend criminal case that results in a guilty or not guilty verdict.
As noted above, one of the primary sponsors of this legalpalooza is the Animal Legal Defense Fund, an activist group with an agenda that reads like a Municipal Court docket. Although they profess to be selfless guardians of animal welfare—indeed, their website features rotating photos of feeder calves in a sorting pen (with a close-up on the steel rails), baby chicks huddled together (as all newly hatched birds do) and the obligatory image of the pensive pig (hoping you’ll save him by writing a check to the ALDF)—the actual agenda they pursue paints a different picture.
Here’s what ALDF is doing with contributions from the misty-eyed animal lovers who support them:
- Calling for the Department of Transportation to force the airline industry to stop classifying animals shipped in the cargo hold as “cargo”—in the event of an animal’s untimely death, that is.
- Petitioning for an investigation of the “shocking deaths” of research monkeys at Harvard University’s Primate Research Center.
- Demanding that the state of Louisiana prevent the owner of a truck stop there from keeping Tony the Truckstop Tiger caged and on display. I agree: the Bengal tiger certainly deserves better. Hell, anyone forced to live at a truck stop deserves better.