I just returned last night from California, and spoke to an assembly of our staff this morning. I told them how proud I was of their work for Prop 2 (to ban confinement of veal calves, breeding sows, and laying hens in cages and crates in California) and Question 3 to ban greyhound racing in Massachusetts, and also expressed my gratitude to our members for supporting us and for spreading the word on these measures.
I also told them that there can be no doubt that our core values are mainstream sensibilities. It is the people who advocate for cruelty who are on the margins. The people in these states trust us and our judgment, and that is a solemn responsibility for us. I assured them that we must always keep the trust of the people of our nation.
These victories should give us hope that change is in the air. We have now helped to pass 91 news laws in the states this year (a record, eclipsing last year’s prior record of 86 new laws), with the addition of these two statewide propositions. We are changing the world together, and it is important that we take stock of this progress and gather even greater strength for the battles ahead.
Here is some of your euphoric feedback.
Sometimes it is hard to live in this world as an animal lover with all the cruelty that goes on–it can be too much for a heart to bare. But then something like this happens and it gives me hope that most humans do care and that we can make this world a better place for animals. With greyhound racing being abolished in my state and with this factory farm bill passing, this election has definitely restored my hope in America!!! —Diane Field
What a monumental evening for animals and the people that love them! From coast to coast, I am so proud that Americans have stood up for the wonderful animals that bring so much to our lives. A big thank you to HSUS for being a driving force behind these initiatives. Your advocacy is so critical to bring these issues to light and I am thankful that we can all work together in a variety of ways on behalf of those who cannot speak for themselves. Congratulations! —Simran Noon, San Diego, CA
Thank YOU! I don’t know when the last time was that there were tears of joy in my eyes. Watching the victories of Proposition 2 in California and Massachusetts’ Question 3, as well as the defeat of Arizona’s Proposition 105, fills my entire being with unrestrained joy. This morning, I’m so proud that Americans have voted so strongly with the compassion and care that is in their hearts. The animals’ voices truly have spoken, through our human hands. —Stacy Thomas
CONGRATULATIONS, WAYNE!!!! And congrats to us all— the animals have won! Wayne, I so appreciate all you’ve done for the HSUS and for giving us such great, easy, user-friendly opportunities to voice our opinions and change the laws! —Michelle Landes
In response to Prop 2’s passing, specifically:
The Humane Society, its members, and all who voted for Prop 2 have truly improved how farm animals are viewed and treated. This will have the largest positive impact on animal welfare in history since it will eventually spread nationwide. We are all very proud that HSUS led the way. —Richard Mains
Words cannot describe how deeply grateful I am for all of your tireless efforts to get Prop 2 passed in CA. This is such a meaningful and purposeful day for the animals, such a tremendous victory in fighting the cruelty to our innocent animals that sacrifice their lives for us. You have brought awareness to an ethical issue that a majority of this country still does not want to believe. You have trampled down the greed and corruption of the farming industry. YOU DID IT!! I live in N.J. and was so disappointed I couldn’t vote on this issue myself—but I called and emailed all friends and family in CA to urge them to vote on this! Thank you, thank you—thank you so very much for your compassion, your fundraising efforts and for all the selfless diligent work to make this possible. YOU HAVE SUCCEEDED!! FANTASTIC JOB!!! —Victoria F.
Congratulations California! And on behalf of those millions of animals whose lives who have been made more bearable, THANK YOU! —Nancy
What big farming corporations didn’t realize is that average Americans don’t want cruel conditions and inhumane treatment of animals in order to get “cheaper food.” It’s time America brought back some humanity to the farm animals who undeservedly had it taken away from them in the name of profit. Proposition 2 will pass without a doubt because it’s fate is in the hands of ordinary citizens who have heart and who care and will undoubtedly show that they want change, not just for themselves, but for their animal friends as well. Early congratulations on Prop 2!! —Penny Moon, Aviston, IL
I have waited and waited for the farm industry to say "we can do better!" Our American farm industry could become world leaders in the humane farming of animals! But instead they seem mired in the past, unwilling to change even if change is good and moves the industry ahead. We the people have sent out a loud message to the industry. I hope they will tell us "We hear you! Watch us make things better" and be proud of humane improvements. —Tom
CONGRATS! As a California resident I am so proud to have been part of this great part in our history. How wonderful to know that our voters have spoken and they care. Thank you Wayne for all that you do and have done to lead this initiative. It was so well worth it. I hope to now see state after state following this lead! —Ashley Messick
I remember when I started getting into the animal rights movement back when I was in college. I believed so strongly in the movement, but I knew how far animal welfare had to come. Peter Singer wrote “Animal Liberation” in the 70s, yet so many of the atrocities he described still happen everywhere. I kept my beliefs, but there was always a sense that positive change always happened for animals in itsy bitsy steps. That is, until the HSUS decided to use its resources to make life better for farm animals. Suddenly, the world became aware of downed cows forced to the slaughter. Suddenly they learned about battery cages, gestation crates, and veal crates. And finally, this Tuesday, a small segment of the American population got to stand up and vote for animal welfare. They rejected intense confinement of farm animals, facilitating change all over the U.S. Thank you to the HSUS and all animal advocates for all the work you did. What an incredible victory!!! —Sara N
I cried happy tears of victory when I read the news about Proposition 2 passing! I’ve been working toward improving conditions in factory farming for over 40 years. Finally, the word is out—people have listened—and a huge change for the better has begun! Thank you Wayne for your hard work! We love ya! —The Gatorlady
The overwhelming passing of Prop 2 is one of the most hopeful signs that mankind is indeed evolving. Compassion and kindness and peaceful change are now more than ever positions of great strength and wisdom. Thank you for all your efforts to keep us informed, so that we may influence changes that create a better world. —Janet Denver, Colorado
Thank you for running such a smart and beautiful campaign. I proudly volunteered and found that for most people that I talked to, Prop 2 simply made sense. HSUS made it easy for us to be out there with all the groundwork you did around messaging, etc., and YOU were an eloquent spokesperson, Wayne! —Gina Palencar
My teenage daughters and I drove around with "Stop Animal Abuse—Yes on Prop 2" for weeks written on the back windshields of our cars! We talked to everyone we knew about the importance of this Proposition. We saw the Oprah show, and the ads for Yes on Prop 2 and we think Wayne Pacelle is simply amazing and a class one act! We became vegetarians on Jan. 1, 2008 because of one of my daughter’s great love of animals. So needless to say, we were ecstatic to see it pass and with such a big majority! —Jan
I am so incredibly grateful to the voters in CA for passing this proposition. I had such high hopes and, yet, such great fear that people would not care about these animals and their situation. I’m overwhelmed by happiness and relief to see that SO MANY of us are compassionate to these animals that really do give us so much. I look forward to helping with HSUS campaigns in the future. This has energized me in giving more dollars and time to organizations to help animals in need. —Melanie Lipsie
Thank you for fighting this fight. This victory is a positive sign that more humane days are ahead. Now onto the rest of the country! —Jill Benzaquen
Congratulations to YOU!! Without you, people like me would not know what goes on behind the scenes and in places some of us just aren’t familiar with. I’m from MD and without HSUS reminders, I would not have known about Prop 2, as well as many other issues regarding all animals. But I did, thanks to you and your organization and did what I could even though I lived 3,000 miles away to support and help pass Prop 2. So, THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart, for all you do for all animals because they can NOT speak for themselves. I will always support the HSUS!! —Karen Becker
Thank you for your work to get Prop 2 passed in California. The ads were thoughtful and hard-hitting. Finally the animals had a pull-no-punches advocate along with a high-profile strategy. We voted yes on Prop 2 in L.A., and were thrilled with the outcome. (And as former greyhound adopters, that Mass. ban on greyhound racing is just unbelievably awesome.) —Marla and Hugh Hart
And in reaction to Question 3:
I applaud the voters in Massachusetts and your organization for this monumental victory. If the dogs could, they would be jumping up and down with you. Their nightmare is over, as far as racing goes. Hopefully, those same dogs will not just be destroyed and will find loving and caring homes to spend the rest of their lives in. I am so excited I can hardly stand it. Thank you… —Georgi Mortensen
I am so excited Mass. has banned greyhound racing! I volunteer at a shelter in N.H. and spent a couple of hours today walking, and loving three retired greyhounds. They are the sweetest and most wonderful dogs. I would love to see N.H. pass a similar law so that we could end greyhound racing here as well. —Lisa Hamilton
As an adoptive mother of two retired racing greyhounds, I say Bravo and Woof for this great news. These beautiful, gentle canines deserve better than a “life on the track.” Thank you. —Janis Lockhart
I am absolutely thrilled that the vote went to discontinuing greyhound racing here in Massachusetts. It is about time! Greyhounds are one of the gentlest creatures here on Earth and they deserve better treatment than what they have had in the past. Pets are like family and you wouldn’t treat your relative this way. Just my two cents worth! —Linda Markiewicz