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Vermont Law School Welcomes Animal Law Media Fellow Marina Bolotnikova  

Vermont Law School is excited to welcome two Animal Law Media Fellows to participate in the Environmental Law Center’s summer session this year. Over the first weekend of June, Marina Bolotnikova will audit Undercover Investigations of Animal Operations with professor Margaret York. This one-of-a-kind weekend intensive course—one of five animal law and policy courses offered this summer—will guide students through a variety of legal considerations related to conducting undercover investigations of animal operations. Students will examine the intersection of criminal law, tort, and ethical issues, as well as what does and does not constitute actionable animal cruelty, evidentiary issues, corporate liability, social justice implications, and more. 

We are honored Marina will be joining the course, connecting with other students, and sharing her experience and expertise with the VLS community. She is an independent journalist living in Madison, Wisconsin. Her work focuses on factory farming and the criminalization of animal rights activism. She has written for Vox, The Guardian, The Intercept, The New York Times, and many other publications. She loves to do ideas-driven reporting that draws on intellectual history, law, history of science, and critical animal studies. Her work has been cited in dozens of outlets and taught in university classes. Before going freelance, she worked for five years as an editor for Harvard Magazine, where she wrote and edited stories on everything from graduate student unionization to affirmative action to economics and history research. Before that, she was an editorial writer for the Toledo Blade

VLS Animal Law and Policy Institute director Professor Delci Winders says, “Marina’s bold reporting exposes the seedy underbelly of Big Ag and the extraordinary harms it inflicts on animals and everyone else in its wake. I’m grateful we can provide this unique opportunity for her to learn more about the laws governing factory farm investigations and to network with leading animal law experts—and excited that I and the rest of the VLS community get to learn from her as well.”   

In addition to learning, networking, and enjoying beautiful Vermont, Marina will participate in the Environmental Law Center’s Hot Topics series. Lectures take place each Tuesday and Thursday at noon Eastern Daylight Time. Talks are held in person on campus in #012 Oakes Hall, and can also be viewed live at Marina’s talk, “Bird Flu and the Normalization of Ventilation Shutdown,” builds on a damning piece she recently published in The Intercept and will take place on Tuesday, June 7. 

The VLS Animal Law and Policy Institute is grateful to the American Society of the Prevention for Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), whose generous support makes our Animal Law Media Fellowships possible.