NBC’s “Harry’s Law” Tackles Animal Law

Unless I’m on a treadmill, I don’t get to watch too much TV. After I got home from the gym Saturday night and made myself some yummy and healthy tacos, I sat down to whatever my sister happened to have on. Immediately I was pulled into Harry’s Law at the mention of “great apes.”

Since I did come in at the tail end, I didn’t quite understand the depth of the storyline, but I was excited nonetheless. The acting is really powerful; it stars Kathy Bates, so that’s to be expected. Like having a vegan baker on Cupcake Wars, having this storyline on one of the big 3 networks represents a baby step forwards for the animals.

I thought it was a new episode, but it turns out “Gorilla My Dreams” originally aired in January. TVFanatic’s quick recap says:

“While on a hunting trip, Harry and Tommy come across exotic animals that have gone loose from a local zoo. Among them, an ape named Wentworth, which a local woman enlists Harry and Tommy to defend for personhood so she could claim to be his guardian. It quickly becomes a legal matter about what constitutes personhood, much to the hindrance of Harry and Tommyโ€™s efforts.”

You can also read more on this episode from the Nonhuman Rights Project.

For me, I feel like my attention being drawn to this is really thanks to Mariann Sullivan and Jasmin Singer of Our Hen House. Ms. Sullivan is a lawyer and professor of Animal Law. In their weekly podcasts, routinely issues of animal law arise as well as her teaching experiences and organizations working in this legal area.

I’ve been listening to the podcasts I was able to get on iTunes, starting around #74 and moving forwards. I am currently listening to episodes from December, so I’m curious to listen if this was already in their news section.

While I don’t always agree with everything said on the podcast (actually, my position on zoos might garner more than a few disapproving squawks), I have learned so much listening to their podcast.

If you want more of Our Hen House, visit their website where you can find all their weekly podcasts, with a write up and links to related information, as well as a plethora of articles on various animal and vegan topics. Also, catch their videos for VegNewsTV, which was how I was first exposed to their non-profit.

For those interest in animal law, check out their law related articles on their Legal Eagles. If you’re really serious about pursuing animal law, the Animal Legal Defense Fund has a listing of schools that offer Animal Law courses. If law school is a little out of your reach but you want to understand more to be a more informed consumer and/ore more effective activist, read their Wallet-Friendly Webinars for Those Who Want to Change the World for Animals.

Please note: Our Hen House, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Contributions are tax-deductible as allowed by law. For certain contribution amounts, they offer special gifts.

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