Elan Abrell headshot

Elan Abrell Farmed Animal Law & Policy Fellow

Elan Abrell was a Farmed Animal Law & Policy Fellow at the Harvard Animal Law & Policy Program from 2017-2018. His research explores emerging and shifting patterns of human-animal interaction in the contemporary United States, with a specific focus on the ethical, ecological, and legal dimensions of animal care.

Abrell’s work has appeared in Animals, Biopolitics, Law: Lively Legalities and Society & Animals. He is an associate editor for the Journal for the Anthropology of North America, is currently editing a special issue on animal sanctuaries for the Animal Studies Journal, and will have contributions appearing in the forthcoming Routledge Handbook of Animal Ethics and Grieving Witnesses: The Politics of Grief in the Field. He received his J.D. from Berkeley Law School at the University of California, and his M.Phil. and Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His dissertation, Saving Animals: Everyday Practices of Care and Rescue in the US Animal Sanctuary Movement (funded by a grant form the National Science Foundation), examines how sanctuary caregivers respond to a range of ethical dilemmas and material constraints while attempting to meet the various and sometimes conflicting needs of rescued animals. His current research project examines how collaborations between scientists, entrepreneurs, animal welfare advocates, and environmentalists are driving innovations in cellular agriculture, a new field of agricultural production intended to reduce the negative impacts of animal-based agriculture on animals and the environment.

Prior to becoming a Farmed Animal Law & Policy Fellow, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Urban Studies Department at Queens College, CUNY. He was also an Animals and Society Institute/Wesleyan Animal Studies 2014 Human-Animal Studies Fellow and worked as a legal associate at the AIDS Law Project and Natural Justice (both based in Cape Town, South Africa).