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The Evolution of Animal Advocacy: Alternative Strategies to Achieve Animal Welfare Advances

Event Type
Center for Advanced Study
Levis Faculty Center, Room 210 (919 W. Illinois St., Urbana)
Jun 28, 2024   2:00 pm  
Chris Green, Executive Director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund
Originating Calendar
Campus Humanities Calendar

As animal advocates have attempted to win policy advances through the traditional vehicles of legislation and regulatory action, they often have run into roadblocks within the relevant legislative committees and agencies. These barriers persist despite polling that shows the overwhelming majority of voters support such animal welfare measures. Accordingly, advocacy organizations have had to develop creative alternative avenues to ensure such public sentiment is effectively translated into positive public policy. These alternative means have enabled many in the animal protection movement to achieve concrete successes for farmed animals, captive wildlife, animals used in research, and the availability of alternatives to animal products. In this presentation, Chris Green will discuss several real-world examples employing such strategies and also highlight the fundamental relevance of academic scholarship to support these advocacy endeavors.


Chris Green is the Executive Director of the Animal Legal Defense Fund where he previously established the organization’s Legislative Affairs Program and was its director from 2013–2015. For the past eight years, Chris has served as the inaugural Executive Director of the Brooks McCormick Jr. Animal Law & Policy Program at Harvard Law School, and he is the former Chair of the American Bar Association’s Animal Law Committee. In those capacities, Chris persuaded the top three US airlines to stop transporting endangered animal hunting trophies, helped defeat Ag-Gag legislation in several states, and successfully passed ABA-wide resolutions recommending that all US legislative bodies outlaw the possession of dangerous wild animals and provide police officers with non-lethal animal encounter training. Chris also served on a National Academies of Sciences committee assessing the Dept. of Veterans Affairs’ use of dogs in biomedical research. Chris regularly testifies at legislative hearings on animal protection matters and he has been quoted on animal legal issues in dozens of major media outlets. Green earned his law degree from Harvard and is a 4th-generation graduate of the University of Illinois, where he created the school’s first Environmental Science degree. Chris also spent several decades working in the fine arts, film, and music industries, and currently manages an Illinois farm that has remained in his family for 187 years. In 2022, Chris received the American Bar Association’s Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Animal Law.

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