Law School Discussion

Animal Rights Good PS Topic?

Tetris

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Animal Rights Good PS Topic?
« on: October 14, 2007, 12:07:11 PM »
I'm thinking about writing a PS with my views on Animal Rights being the central "unifying" theme.  Here are some of the main points I would touch on.  Notice that its not exclusively about animals:

-my independent, argumentative thinking style led me to become a vegetarian and believe in animal rights despite growing up in a meat-eating family in South Dakota where everyone is linked to the livestock industry.  [I find logical thinking to be intrinscially rewarding]

-my compassion for animals and sense of justice/fairness that should be extended to them also applies to humans.  In fact my sense of compassion and justice stems largely from growing up poor and having to rely on welfare and charity.

-while I'm not entirely sure what my future will hold, I do know animal rights will be something I will work on my whole life.  I am interested in related areas like Constitutional Law, Environmental Law, or Criminal Law where I would spend a fair amount of time working on human issues.

Those are the basics.  The biggest drawback I can think of is that some of the schools I am applying to may have strong Con Law/ Environmental Law/ Criminal Law programs but not a strong "Animal Law" one and therefore reject me because my interests don't align w/ the school.  I would really try to focus on the fact that I'm not exclusively concerned with animals, just that my belief in Animal Rights unifies all the reasons I want to go to law school.  Also I would try to make clear that other more traditional areas are very relevant to Animal Law.

What does everyone think?  If I don't do this topic I'm not sure what else to do... I'm afraid at this point (after much thought into my PS) that anything else will be too generic.  The alternative PS would focus on growing up poor and how that has affected me and my outlook.  But it doesn't quite get to the heart of "why I want to be a lawyer" as the
Animal Rights option does.

Tetris

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Re: Animal Rights Good PS Topic?
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2007, 12:54:35 PM »
As a side not we have a pretty active animals rights program at my school, the animal rights class is like a zoo. The last time I walked by there was a big dog asleep under the table, a cat walking on one of the desks, and bunch of birds flying around a some kind of lizard with a color and leash on.


What school do you go to?

Re: Animal Rights Good PS Topic?
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2007, 12:58:41 PM »
I would just write about when you became a vegetarian in a livestock community. Skip the commentary, just tell a story that will leave them with a sense of who you are.

Tetris

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Re: Animal Rights Good PS Topic?
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2007, 01:02:43 PM »
Matties- are you interested in Animal Law yourself?  Just curious.  I always feel like I'm in the minority.  Like NOBODY here in South Dakota feels the same way I do.

Therza-- interesting idea about the narrative instead of commentary.  That seems like an interesting take.  Maybe I'll develop both and see which is more coherent. 

Cabra

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Re: Animal Rights Good PS Topic?
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2007, 01:20:42 PM »
Since this is Tetris my instincts think flame, but well...

Once, for 6 months, I dated a guy from SD who would constantly bring up how awful and hateful PETA was--I don't love PETA, but it was weird that he brought it up so much. Then after 6 months of dating he dropped that the "farm" he grew up on was actually a fur farm--his dad raised, killed and skinned foxes so that rich people could have a luxury item. He didn't see it as unethical at all. Not that we didn't have other problems, but that is when this vegetarian dumped him.

South Dakota would be a hard place to be a vegetarian--you probably have a good story there--formation of your values, interests, etc.


Tetris

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Re: Animal Rights Good PS Topic?
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2007, 01:31:49 PM »
Cabra- that's so typical of SD guys.  I actually sent off a flaming letter to the editor of our college newspaper for a PETA article that asserted that (1) since they have a porn star spokesperson we cant take them seriously, (2) they care about animals more than homeless people and (3) animals are not significantly different from inanimate objects (which led the author to propose the creation of People for the Ethical Treatment of Pencils).  Animal-Rights hate is like a knee jerk reaction here.  Even my mom who loves cats and taught me never to be cruel to animals doesn't understand that pigs and cats are essentially the same and differ only in their proximity to us in every day life which is a byproduct of flawed, subjective moralizing.  I'm certain it's because she grew up in rural Minnesota on a farm that raised livestock.  The funny thing is I've heard that "intended use determines value" argument from more than one people-- usually liberals who are against cruelty to animals but grew up on farms where animals = income.

And it sucks too b/c all the girls here eat meat too... one of my criteria for dating girls is they have to be vegetarian but I never actually follow it b/c then I would just be at home all day w/ no girlfriend.  It's really frustrating for me.  I just want to be like "hey, you're only putting your hands on one sausage tonight.  It's your decision which one."

ghil04

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Re: Animal Rights Good PS Topic?
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2007, 01:43:04 PM »
Since this is Tetris my instincts think flame, but well...

Once, for 6 months, I dated a guy from SD who would constantly bring up how awful and hateful PETA was--I don't love PETA, but it was weird that he brought it up so much. Then after 6 months of dating he dropped that the "farm" he grew up on was actually a fur farm--his dad raised, killed and skinned foxes so that rich people could have a luxury item. He didn't see it as unethical at all. Not that we didn't have other problems, but that is when this vegetarian dumped him.

South Dakota would be a hard place to be a vegetarian--you probably have a good story there--formation of your values, interests, etc.



Hope this doesn't creep you out, but I'm liking you more and more, Cabra :)

But onto the issue at hand.  The one drawback I see in this essay is that you might be spreading yourself too thin as you seem to be talking about a lot of different things at once: Your disadvantaged socio-economic background, your compassion for humans, your compassion for animals, your sense of social justice, etc.

There's also a critical connection that I think needs to be elaborated: How does being argumentative make you a vegetarian?  Give me something more to work with here -> an anecdote, a pamphlet you read, a video...just something to give this critical connection more substance.

If there's one thing I'd recommend, I would focus just on animal rights (you don't need to worry about the adcomms thinking you hate humans) and use a story to elaborate on how you became so passionate about it.  Other than that, I'd say you have a pretty interesting start to a PS.

I am Penny Lane

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Re: Animal Rights Good PS Topic?
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2007, 01:48:48 PM »
Lets hear it for all the vegetarians on the board!

Tetris

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Re: Animal Rights Good PS Topic?
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2007, 01:54:47 PM »
Lets hear it for all the vegetarians on the board!

Rock on!

It seems the girl veges outnumber the boy veges. 

BTW vegetarians, check out fantasticfoods.com if you want to order tasty, cheap, and easy-to-make chilli, sloppy joes or tacos.  SO SO GOOD.  Especially the chilli but really all three of those are really good.  It's like $2.50 a box after you factor in shipping and you get enjough "vege meat" for 6-8 tacos/sloppy joes/ bowls of chiilli.

I am Penny Lane

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Re: Animal Rights Good PS Topic?
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2007, 02:03:06 PM »
OMG that sounds SO good! Now I am hungry.