One of Joyce Tischler’s earliest memories as a child was bringing home an injured bird to nurse back to health. That passion to help animals propelled her to a career with the Animal Legal Defense Fund, which she has led for more than three decades.
“It wasn’t a career path when I started down it—there was no animal law,” said Tischler, 63. “We invented it.”
People who know Tischler use words like “pioneer” and “visionary” to describe her. Tischler said she can’t remember who first called her “the Mother of Animal Law,” but the title stuck. Tischler’s peers say it’s an apt moniker for the lawyer who may have penned the first legal article about animal rights, “Rights for Nonhuman Animals: A Guardianship Model for Dogs and Cats,” while still in law school.