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Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF)

Jennifer Fearing, Fearless Advocacy, Speaks to SALDF

October 12, 2017

On Thursday, October 12th, Jennifer Fearing gave a talk to our SALDF chapter cataloging her achievements as a lobbyist in California, and providing us with advice on how to become effective animal advocates. Ms. Fearing is the President of Fearless Advocacy, a Sacramento based lobbying firm that works to advance the protections of animals through the law in California. She got her start as a lobbyist and animal rights advocate in California for the Humane Society of the United States. For the HSUS, Ms. Fearing led successful campaigns such as the Proposition 2 ballot measure, which requires that certain animals used for slaughter have adequate space to turn around, lie down, and fully extend their limbs. Through her organization, she has continued to be an unstoppable force for the animals in CA.

SALDF’s co-director, Maral Cavner, kicked off the event introducing Ms. Fearing to the group, highlighting some of her achievements and expressing how honored we were to have her speak to us at Lewis & Clark. Ms. Fearing began her talk by going through some of the animal protection measures she helped get pushed through, discussing the challenges and surprises in each case. One of the most effective tools she highlighted was the media. Cruelty cannot survive in the spotlight, and bringing awareness to things is a crucial step in bringing change. In the 9 years Ms. Fearing has been fighting for the animals in California, she has had an impressive 77% success rate! This includes anti-animal measures she was successful in stopping.

She then gave us thoughtful advice, some aimed at the young women in the audience, including on how to get your foot in the door by not being afraid to take on what you want, even if you know you aren’t the most qualified. One of the most important pieces of advice she gave us was to keep an open mind throughout our careers, and to strategically target your message and be open to partnerships you might not expect. She discussed the relationships she has made throughout her career, and reminded us to not hold onto grudges because you never know who might be an asset in the future.

She concluded her talk by encouraging us to be creative in our advocacy and to not be afraid to make a fool of ourselves. She then answered questions from the group and provided us with some more brilliant advice, including how to remain “light” and focused in our own paths, and reminding us that animal law is not a zero sum game: animal rights are human rights!

We are so thankful that Ms. Fearing took the time to speak with us! It was an educational and inspiring event for everyone who attended. 

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Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF)

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