So there’s a book called Wild Law: A Manifesto for Earth Justice. It was written by Cormac Cullinan, a leader of the ‘Wild Law’ movement, an offshoot (forgive the eco pun) of Earth Law, an even more well-known movement advocating for the rights of Nature.
Cormac’s conception of wild law is about observing and honoring the processes of Nature (yes, with a capital ‘n’) in our legal codes, but moreover, using these processes that naturally occur at every level of life on our planet, as models as far as how our own approaches to justice and governance in general might be able to work.
Cullinan is South African, but his work is applicable to any culture and society that wants to find ways of integrating “our” needs and those of “the environment.” If you’re curious or inspired enough to hear more about wild and earth law, let me know – I’m psyched to write more about it! But for now, I bring it up because it’s a way of contextualizing the experience I had this weekend.
A handful of 1Ls and I have founded an Environment and Animal Law Society at our law school. Part of our mission is to expand students’ awareness of not only environmental and animal rights issues on paper, but to provide an opportunity for people to connect with these issues in an embodied way. We want to grow our knowledge and our capacity to act in a way that is grounded in the physical experience of these issues as they play out daily in our world. This weekend we held our first event, which was a trip to the North Carolina Raptor Center.
The NC Raptor Center is renowned for the care it provides to so many trafficked and abused birds, but it’s also a fantastic spot for visiting to bolster your sense of connection to these creatures, and through that, become more enlightened as far as understanding the challenges they, and we as their stewards, face. It’s a great place to enjoy Nature (again, with a capital ‘n’) and engage in volunteer work that’s gratifying. It also literally gave us common ground on which we could stand to communicate about our views and ideas for change.