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Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF)

SALDF Proudly Hosts Becky Jenkins, Center for Animal Law Studies

January 11, 2018

  • Craig Mitchelldyer

On Thursday, January 11th, SALDF welcomed the chapter back from winter break and had the honor of hosting the Center for Animal Law Studies’ first Aquatic Animal Law Initiative Fellow, Becky Jenkins as the first event of Spring semester.

SALDF’s Public Relations Chair, Brittany Hill, had the opportunity to work with Becky last summer while she clerked with CALS and was introduced to the breadth of Becky’s work. Becky’s research interests include aquatic animal law, food law and policy, human rights law, and intersectional approaches to animal law. When Brittany asked Becky if she would speak at a SALDF event, their conversation quickly turned to intersectional approaches to animal law – namely environmental justice and animal agriculture.

Becky first became aware of this issue through taking an environmental justice course while she was an LLM student at Lewis & Clark Law School. Becky introduced many of our members to the idea of environmental justice, which is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies. Becky also explored worker rights issues and how often times, workers in animal use facilities are people of color and/or low income. In addition, Becky discussed how the mental health of workers in animal use facilities is effected: poultry workers show signs of anxiety and depression and meat processing plant workers have elevated social and mental health problems. Becky also cited an alarming study that showed an increase of violent crimes in communities that had slaughterhouses. The study concluded that slaughterhouse workers are forced to become desensitized and actions outside of their work were effected.

Upon being asked on ways to raise awareness of these issues, Becky answered through social awareness, litigation, and legislation. Becky also encouraged our members to work collaboratively with other areas of law and take advantage of resources at Lewis and Clark Law School.

 We are so grateful to Becky for sharing her time with us.