The goal of The HSUS is not endless campaigning or conflict with political adversaries, but to find a place where we can forge solutions that produce tangible and meaningful outcomes for animals and show a new way forward in society. And that means sitting down with people who see the world differently than we do, even sitting down with industries that we’ve had deep disagreements with in the past.
Yesterday, we put that principle into practice. I participated in a press conference that I thought could only occur many years into the future: a joint event with The HSUS and the United Egg Producers (UEP). Read more
One thesis in my new book, The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them is that so much animal mistreatment happens because so many of us in society have become disconnected from animals. In other words, they are far removed from our daily experiences, especially those animals used in institutional settings for a wide variety of purposes. Read more
What do Florida and Iowa have in common when it comes to animal agriculture? They’ve both been hot spots, past and present, for the movement to combat some of the worst abuses in industrial agribusiness. And now the factory farming industry is fighting back in both states—and their latest methods represent their biggest overreach yet. Read more
We don’t expect the subjects of any HSUS investigation, or the industry as a whole, to welcome or like our scrutiny, and that includes the investigation we announced last week in Iowa into two of the three largest egg-producing companies in the nation. It’s the human instinct to be defensive, and with all of the overheated rhetoric in the animal agribusiness industry about animal welfare advocates, it’s no surprise that we’d see defensiveness and even denial. Read more
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my hope that President-elect Barack Obama would ask his Agriculture Secretary nominee, former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, to break the hold of Big Agribusiness on the U.S. Department of Agriculture and to broaden the agency’s outlook and constituency. Following Obama’s election, Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times wrote two trenchant columns about renaming the agency the Department of Food, to reflect that we all have a stake in how food gets to our tables and that USDA can no longer be the handmaiden of Big Ag. In addition to mentioning the need to address animal welfare, Kristof echoed author Michael Pollan’s view that we cannot solve our nation’s big problems of energy policy, national security, and global warming without enacting serious reforms to America’s agricultural policies. Read more