Is animal law the next intellectual property? Probably not, but it is blowing up this week.
First, about three hundred people signed up to take Davis’ Animal Law class. Nobody I talked to had any idea what the class was about (besides, obviously, law somehow pertaining to animals), but one person probably told one other person that it was interesting and/or easy and within twenty minutes half of the school was enrolled in Animal Law.
Apparently the first day of class didn’t really provide any answers regarding the subject matter either. The response I got when I asked a friend what the class was about was, “I don’t know, he was talking about chickens for a really long time, though.”
Then, I read today on WSJ Law Blog that Bob Barker of Happy Gilmore fame just donated $1 million to the University of Virginia to establish an animal law program there. Since his retirement, Barker has apparently been handing out his leftover Plinko chips to law schools all over the country, helping fund animal law curricula at schools like Harvard, Columbia and Northwestern.
Once again, however, the substance of animal law remains a mystery. Neither the blog nor the press release explains what animal law actually is, but now that we know Bob Barker is behind it, I think its safe to assume that it centers around slapping people who don’t spay or neuter their pets with multimillion dollar lawsuits (“The price is wrong, bitch!” *judge slams gavel*).
So apparently animal law is where the money’s at. Who knew?