Queen’s University, Department of Philosophy, Kingston ON, course Animals and Society, Spring term 2018

Summary: In recent years, there has been growing public debate about the treatment of animals in our society. This has stimulated significant new thinking in moral and political philosophy on questions of animal ethics and animal rights, as well as research in other disciplines on the economic, social, cultural, and legal factors that have historically shaped the way animals are perceived and treated. This course will explore the emerging philosophical debates on animal ethics, and how they can inform, and be informed by, the work of other disciplines, such as sociology and law. The philosophical views about nonhuman animals that we will explore include utilitarianism, animal rights, abolitionism, feminist theory, contractarianism, capabilities approach, and the political turn in animal ethics. We will consider how these views relate to the actual status of animals in the law, and to the findings of social scientists on the factors that explain our attitudes towards animals. Having discussed these theoretical foundations, we will begin to grapple with concrete applications of these theories. We will look at the ethical issues of food production, the use of nonhuman animals in research, nonhuman animal companionship, and our interactions with wild and so-called “exotic” nonhuman animals. In the final few classes, we open up our discussions again to speak in depth about issues related to the globalization of animal ethics, intersectional approaches, visions of multiculturalism and of an inter-species society, as well as legal and ethical dimensions of animal activism.


Institute for European Global Studies, seminar Legal Aspects of Global Ageing, Basel, Switzerland, Fall term 2017 (together with Dr. Janine Dumont, LL.M.)

Summary: Thanks to new achievements of science and healthcare, modern societies have greatly improved average working conditions and thereby extended people’s average life spans. The promise of a healthy and long life, together with an increasing prosperity of people was the consequence of this achievement and led to fewer births among those privileged people. Correlation between high age, reliable health care and declining population growth is not solely a Western phenomenon, but it is a development that is now observed on a global scale. This seminar examines the most important legal questions that arise when societies age, or lack an opportunity to age. Students may choose among numerous topics (or develop their own topic) that examine the legal dimensions of e.g., intergenerational equity, age as a form of disability, age and nutrition, age and autonomy (legal capacity, driver’s licence, etc.) discrimination of older workers or tenants, reverse discrimination of young people in politics, age and illnesses of old age, age and assisted suicide, or age and the growing challenges of technology. Students are invited to approach this topic from a Swiss, European, or international law perspective, and may engage in comparative examinations.


Guest lectures and talks

St. Edmund’s College and Cambridge Centre for Animal Rights Law, European Animal Rights Law Conference, Cambridge UK, Sept. 14-5, 2019, presented The Swiss Primate Case – A Stroke of Luck or Justice in Action?

MANCEPT Workshops, University of Manchester, “Just Animals? The Future of the Political Turn in Animal Ethics,” Manchester UK, Sept. 9-11, 2019, presented Animal Labor – Ecosystem Services

Münchner Kompetenzzentrum Ethik (LMU), “Animal Experimentation: Working Towards a Paradigm Change,” Munich, Jun. 14, 2019, presented Paradigmenwechsel mit oder ohne 3R? Eine rechtliche Analyse

Canadian Law and Society Organization (CLSA), Annual Conference, panel “Shifting the Anthropocentric Violence of Canadian Liberal Legalism through Relationality, Redress and Reconciliation: Moving toward Harmonious Interspecies Relations,” Vancouver, Jun. 4, 2019, presented Drafting Principles of Transitional Justice for a Postconflict Interspecies Society

Harvard Law School, Animal Law and Policy Workshop, Cambridge MA, Apr. 23, 2019, presented Animal Agriculture and Farmers’ Rights: A Human Rights Perspective (together with Odile Ammann)

Queen’s University, Kingston Interspecies Community (KISC) research group workshop, Kingston ON, March 22, 2019, presented Animal Agency in Community: A Political Multispecies Ethnography of VINE Sanctuary (together with Sue Donaldson and Ryan Wilcox)

University of Guelph, Ontario Veterinary College, 19th Annual OVC Animal Welfare Forum, Oct. 12, 2018, presented Animal Law: Status Quo, Limits, and Remedies

Queen’s University, Ban Righ Centre, Ban Righ Speaker Series, Kingston, Oct. 12, 2018, presented Animals, the Forgotten Proletariat

Oxford University, Animal Ethics Summer School “Animal Ethics and Law: Creating Positive Change for Animals,” Oxford, Jul. 22-25, 2018, presented Secondary Victimization of Animals in Criminal Procedure: The Example of Switzerland

International University College of Turin, “Food, Law and Finance Curriculum,” Turin, Italy, Jun. 13, 2018, guest lecture on Global Animal Law and Multiculturalism

Tier-im-Fokus Vortragsreihe, Polit-Forum Bern im Käfigturm, Berne, Jun. 11, 2018, presented Von der Nutztierhaltung zur Zoopolis

Joint Meeting of the American Law and Society Organization (LSA) and Canadian Law and Society Organization (CLSA), Annual Meeting on Law and Society “Law at the Crossroads: Le droit à la coisée des chemins,” panel “Animals, Law and Subjectivity,” Toronto, Jun. 8, 2018, presented Connecting Alienated Labour: Should Non-human Animals Have a Right to Work?

Queen’s University, Workshop “Animal Labour: Ethical, Legal and Political Perspectives on Recognizing Animals’ Work,” Kingston ON, May 18, 2018, presented Animal Workplace Democracy: Developing a Praxis of Self-Determination

Queen’s University, Philosophy Colloquium, Kingston ON, Mar. 15, 2018, presented “Animals Are (Forced) Workers, too” – Individual and Collective Self-determination of Working Animals

Brock University, “Thinking About Animals,” St. Catharines ON (Mar. 1-2, 2018), Mar. 1, 2018, presented Advocating for Animal Labour in an Age of Capitalism: A Paradox? (peer reviewed)

Queen’s University, Department of Sociology, Class “Social Psychology” SOCY 273, Kingston ON, Jan. 31, 2018, guest lecture on Morality and Helping Behaviour in the Context of Animal Ethics

Minding Animals International, Mexico City (Jan. 17-24, 2018), Jan. 18, 2018, presented The Promise and Pitfalls of Treating Animals as Workers: Animal Labor from a Legal, Ethical and Political Perspective

British Animal Studies Network, Oct. 6-7, 2017, presented The Achilles Heel of Animal Labour: Are Farm Animals Workers?

European Society of International Law, “Interest Group on Feminism,” Naples, Italy, Sept. 6, 2017, presented Blind Spots of Global Animal Law: What Can Feminist Care Theory Teach Us? (peer reviewed)

European Society of International Law, “Interest Group on International Environmental Law,” Naples, Italy, Sept. 6, 2017, presented Water-Energy-Food Nexus: Animal Agriculture and Farmer Rights in the Light of International Human Rights Law (peer reviewed)

10th World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences, Seattle WA, Aug. 20-24, 2017, presented Can Harm-Benefit Analyses Mature into Less Structurally Biased Concepts to Meet Societal Demands for Replacement? (peer reviewed)

International University College of Turin, “Food, Law and Finance Curriculum,” Turin, Italy, Jun. 28, 2017, guest lecture on Introduction to Global Animal Law

TEDxBasel, 3 minute pop up talk Animals Are Workers, Too, Basel, Jun. 11, 2017 (peer reviewed)

Ontario Ministry of Community Safety & Correctional Services, “Animal Welfare Symposium,” Toronto, May 15-6, 2017, presented Law on Exotics in Comparative Perspective

Harvard Law School, “Harvard Workshop on Animal Agriculture from the Middle East to Asia,” Cambridge MA, May 11-12, 2017, presented Tackling Concentrated Animal Agriculture in the Middle East through Standards of Investment, Export Credits, and Trade (peer reviewed)

Student Animal Legal Defense Fund, Center for Animal Law Studies, Lewis & Clark Law School, Portland OR, Oct. 27, 2016, guest lecture on Global Animal Law

LL.M. Class, Center for Animal Law Studies, Lewis & Clark Law School, Portland OR, Oct. 24, 2016, guest lecture on The Extraterritorial Protection of Animals

Pace University, “Animal Law Conference,” New York NY, Oct. 7-9, 2016, presented Animal Law Beyond Borders: Terra Incognita (peer reviewed)

Animal Law Review Symposium, Lewis & Clark Law School, Portland OR, Mar. 11, 2016, presented An Assessment of Recent Trade Law Developments from an Animal Law Perspective – With a Focus on the GATT, the TBT, and the SPS

Effective Altruism Foundation, University of Basel, “Effective Altruism Global X,” Sept. 5, 2015, presented Effective Altruism in Legal Scholarship (With a Focus on Animal Law)

Arbeitskreis junger Völkerrechtlerinnen, “International Law and Domestic Law-Making Processes,” University of Basel, Law Faculty, Sept. 4, 2015, presented the poster The Paradoxical Contribution of Trade Law to the Formation of Global Animal Law: The Sheep in the Wolf’s Clothing? (peer reviewed)

The International Society of Public Law ICON-S Conference 2015, “Public Law in an Uncertain World,” New York University (NYU), Jul. 1-3, 2015, presented the paper How Animal Law Formed at the Intersection of International Public and Trade Law Brings about Institutional Change (peer reviewed)

Institute for Biomedical Ethics (IBMB), “Current Topics in Animal Ethics,” University of Basel, Sept. 22, 2014, guest lecture on 3R for Farmed Animals (peer reviewed)

Stiftung Bündnis Mensch & Tier, Messerli Research Institute, University of Vienna, Interdisciplinary PhD/PostDoc Conference, “The Human-Animal Bond,” University of Vienna, Jul. 18-19, 2014, presented my dissertation project (peer reviewed)

Interdisciplinary, 1st Global Conference “Making Sense of: The Animal and Human Bond,” Jul. 13-15, 2014, Oxford, presented the chapter 3R for Farmed Animals – A Legal Argument for Consistency (peer reviewed)