Antoine F. Goetschel
Reassessing Animal Rights
Antoine F. Goetschel is a Swiss Lawyer and International Advisor for the Animal in Law and Ethics. He studied at the Faculty of Law & Political Science at the University of Zurich and graduated as Attorney at Law. After writing two scientific books on animal rights and welfare, he received a doctorate in Law with a thesis on animal welfare and fundamental rights.
While practicing law, he wondered how to address animal welfare when there is no consistent behavior or thinking among the majority of the population. According to his findings, it does no good to point a moral finger at holes in the system when there may be no system at all.
In consequence of his thought processes, he founded GAL – "Global Animal Law". This Association, which he heads as President, is an independent and worldwide pioneering authority for the health and protection of animals in the law. The approach of GAL includes the idea of "One Health" for a healthy planet where healthy humans and animals can live along in harmony together. The health of the animals is understood as a state of complete physical, mental and social welfare.
He has dedicated his career to animal issues in national and international law and ethical practice and works as a lecturer at the Law Department of the University of Zurich. He has been involved in providing better legal protection to humans, animals and the environment for thirty years. His views have appeared in various books and articles, mostly in German. "Tiere klagen an" (S. Fischer/Scherz-Verlag, 2012) was his latest.
In our video interview, Antoine explains how he and his organization GAL aim to reduce animal suffering by comparing international legislation on the subject. Among many other facets, he also considers the soil that we share with animals and that could perhaps even be a bridge of understanding between humans and animals. And he suggests some ideas on how REGENERATE can incorporate animals into the concept of the Retreats planned for 2021 onwards.