2008: A Look Back

By on December 30, 2008 with 0 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

I’ve had the privilege of being president of The HSUS for short of five years now.  I had hoped, in taking the post, that I could enhance the organization’s reputation as a powerful, mainstream force for animal protection—a force that could take on the major forms of institutionalized cruelty and achieve results that made a difference in the lives of animals.


Thanks to the support of our members and the work of our talented staff and board, that’s happened, and now the task is not to relent, but instead to continue to strengthen and grow this capability. In looking back at some of my blogs written in 2008, I pulled 10 of the most popular. I think they provide a valuable chronicle of some of the big picture items and controversies over the last year.

Here’s the list:

  1. A Look Ahead: Obama’s Ag and Interior Chiefs (Dec. 17): Reaction to President-elect Barack Obama’s cabinet selections for Agriculture and Interior Secretary
  2. Proposition 2: Views Fit to Print (Oct. 9): The editorial board of The New York Times endorses Proposition 2, the California ballot initiative to ban veal crates, gestation crates, and battery cages
  3. Alarm Bells Over Eight Belles (May 5): A discussion of the problems with horse racing, following filly Eight Belles’ death at the Kentucky Derby
  4. No Downers, No Exceptions (May 20): Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer announces that the USDA will implement a no-downer policy for cattle in the United States
  5. Art, Examined (April 25): Controversy surrounds the exhibition of a starving street dog in a Nicaraguan art gallery
  6. Uncaging the Truth (Aug. 11): Exposing the opposition to California’s Proposition 2
  7. Torture on Tape (Jan. 30): The HSUS investigation of Hallmark/Westland Meat Co. breaks, exposing the abuse of downed dairy cows at the Chino, Calif. slaughter plant
  8. Safer Fate for Seals (April 15): Rebecca Aldworth, The HSUS’s director of Canadian wildlife issues, imagines a future free of Canada’s annual slaughter of baby harp seals
  9. Puppy Mill Horrors to Hit Millions (April 2): Oprah Winfrey dedicates an entire hour-long program to puppy mills and the related issues of shelter adoptions, spay and neuter, and euthanasia
  10. All Paws on Deck (June 4): The generosity and dedication of The HSUS’s supporters shines through in response to repeated attacks from the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance
Companion Animals, Farm Animals, Humane Society International, Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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