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Foreword: Animal Law: Thinking About the Future

By Jeff Welty

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In the spring of 2006, Duke University School of Law and Law and Contemporary Problems hosted a conference on animal law. Dean Katharine Bartlett opened the conference with a short address. She suggested that future generations will look back on our treatment of animals with shame, viewing our behavior as blind, or even without conscience. The time was ripe, she suggested, for dramatic changes in animal law.

It was a thoughtful and well-received address. Dean Bartlett is not alone in believing that future generations will be aghast at the way animals are treated now. Most readers of this symposium likely agree with her. And perhaps the future is not so far off: the explosive growth of the field of animal law provides some evidence that there is momentum for change. Yet there are troubling divisions within the field, and we have made little progress on several key issues, including the treatment of farm animals. This foreword touches on some of the challenges animal lawyers and animal advocates face today, then proposes some future directions, both for the field in general and for legal academics in particular.


Megan Kendall

Purdue University

Date 2007
Publication Title Law and Contemporary Problems
Volume 70
Issue 1 (Winter 2007)
Pages 1-8
Publisher Duke Law School
Language English
Notes This article was found at Duke Law Digital Repository:
Additional Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Animal behavior
  2. Animals in culture
  3. Animal welfare
  4. Treatment of animals