The plight of farm animals has always been a concern of The Humane Society of the United States. But the well-being of these animals—raised by the billions in factory farms and slaughtered at a rate of more than one million per hour—is now increasingly gaining traction among consumers, lawmakers and corporations.
Two weeks ago, nearly 1,000 advocates from across the country joined The HSUS and other animal protection groups at the third annual Taking Action for Animals conference—focused this year on taking action for farm animals.
Just a few days before the event, The New York Times ran a timely article headlined "Bringing Moos and Oinks Into the Food Debate." The piece, available in the Times’ archives, provides a detailed history of campaigns by a few animal protection organizations, including The HSUS and Farm Sanctuary. It focuses on the animal protection movement’s growing influence in agribusiness and cites "a network of animal activists who have more control over America’s dinner table than ever before." The piece produced an interesting array of letters to the editor, which you might like to browse here.
I talked at the conference about ways we can join together to relieve farm animal suffering. You can watch portions of my talk below:
At the close of the conference, hundreds of advocates then headed to Capitol Hill to lobby their federal lawmakers directly on animal protection issues pending before Congress, including several bills that take aim at some of the worst factory farming abuses. One of these bills, the Farm Animal Stewardship Purchasing Act, was co-introduced by Rep. Chris Shays (R-Conn.), co-chairman of the Congressional Friends of Animals Caucus and a long-time supporter of animal protection. He provided the conference’s keynote speech, and I invite you to watch an excerpt of that here.
I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on the growing interest in improved welfare for farm animals, or what you are doing to help the cause. Lend your voice by offering a comment below.