By Chris Johns
June 2005 nationwide Geographic
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Additional info for National Geographic (June 2005)
For instance, in 1567, Pope Pius V issued a decree condemning bullfighting (Niven 1967,43). In general, however, most activism for animals prior to the eighteenth century involved individuals who chose to treat animals compassionately. Both Pythagoras of ancient Greece and Leonardo da Vinci of the Renaissance reportedly purchased caged birds in order to set them free (39). These and other animal sympathizers spoke out on behalf of animals and took some individual actions to protect them. Nonetheless, organized efforts to safeguard animals were largely nonexistent.
The case presents an example of practical activity in both judicial and nonjudicial realms that attempts to shape and influence the judicial and the nonjudicial. This activity has been, and continues to be, shaped by prevailing legal meaning. All of this should then add to an assessment of legal meaning in general and rights talk in particular. As such, this study can join the scholarly debate on the relationship between rights language and social movement activism and the more general discussion regarding the effectiveness of using law, litigation, and legal discourse to foster social change.
I } Thus, animal rights groups are part of a rapidly growing movement that has received little academic attention. Lack of attention, however, is not a sufficient reason to delve into a CONSTITUTING LEGAL MEANING case study. The primary reason for exploring a particular case rests in whether it provides special insight and evidence for analysis. For the purposes of this study, what is at issue is whether the movement is informative about law and legal meaning. Given that animal rights activism increasingly involves the law, a study of this movement should prove informative.