This week, Maneesha Deckha was, like many, sickened by the story of the sled dogs killed in British Columbia once they outlived their economic usefulness after last year’s winter Olympics.
But as a law prof who developed and teaches an award-winning course in animal law at the University of Victoria, Maneesha was able to channel her disgust into writing an op ed providing valuable context for animals’ legal status as “property” and how that makes it difficult to protect them from such acts.
This morning, her piece was published in The Victoria Times Colonist, and now UVic media relations manager Patty Pitts is issuing a news tip to let other news outlets know that Maneesha’s able to share her expertise on this topic more broadly.
It’s what we call here at Informed Opinions a quadruple victory:
- Citizens learn something most likely didn’t know about animal rights and the law;
- The Times Colonist benefits by being able to provide its readers with timely expert content;
- The University of Victoria demonstrates its relevance and capacity to contribute to the community; and
- Maneesha Deckha has the opportunity to educate people about an issue close to her heart.
Bad news often presents experts, activists and their organizations with such opportunities; the challenge is usually to marshal the resources necessary to respond quickly. That’s one of the reasons we devote time in the workshops to demystifying the process of writing commentary, and encourage participants to complete the draft they began in the session soon after. That way they can easily update it when relevant news breaks.