On October 4th, the Harvard Law School Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) hosted a lecture by David Wolfson on one of the most pressing issues in animal welfare: factory farming.
Mr. Wolfson has taught, lectured, and written extensively on animal law. As a partner in the Corporate division of the international law firm Milbank Tweed, he has also represented various animal protection groups in litigation and legislative lobbying.
During his talk, Mr. Wolfson gave those in attendance an introduction to the legal, economic, and social issues relating to the booming practice of factory farming in the United States. Mr. Wolfson explained that factory farming has extremely far-reaching effects, affecting animal welfare, health, labor, environmental sustainability, food policy, and energy efficiency.
He also discussed the legislative framework governing factory farming, describing how the piecemeal arrangement of state and federal laws and the sensitive politics surrounding farming practices present challenges to activists and lobbyists who seek to change the way the industry operates. In particular, Mr. Wolfson discussed the advantages of ballot initiatives, such as California’s Proposition 2, which have offered a more direct and effective route to improving industry standards.
The lecture was very well attended, and the students enjoyed a homemade vegan lunch prepared by two SALDF board members.