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Animal Rights Lawyer

HE WAS dux of his school at 15, and though barely old enough to buy a beer or to vote, is already in the fourth year of a combined law degree.

So what does Sining Wang, 18, once described as a boy genius, get up to in his university holidays? A bit of string theory? Some laidback actuarial algorithms? Researching the law as it applies to pigs and cows and chickens, actually.

"There's so much potential in animal law," he said. "It's an area where you can really make a difference and see it. You could compare it with environmental law back in the day. No one really cared about it, and it's now among the most important issues we talk about."

With parents - both PhDs - who work on the chemistry and engineering of wool, and a variety of vegetarian and vegan friends, Mr Wang is no stranger to the issues that bedevil food and textile production.

He and a fellow student at Melbourne Law School, Edward Liew, 22, see legal advocacy and lobbying as the way to a better world for farm animals and the people who rely on them.

Staging bloody anti-fur protests on fashion catwalks or storming piggeries in the middle of the night could be counter-productive, they said.

"In the longer term, engaging politicians and the public is more effective," Mr Liew said.


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