Animal issues are in the headlines more than ever, due to a growing society-wide awareness about the plight of animals. Millions of Americans are committed to doing something about the wide range of problems that plague animals, and one key to galvanizing action is shining a spotlight on cruelty and calling attention to it. In that pursuit, the involvement of celebrities has been helping us draw more and more attention to the abuse of animals, and all of us at The HSUS are so grateful for their engagement.
This week, actor Ryan Gosling wrote, on our behalf, to Costco, asking it to make good on what it indicated it would do eight years ago: phase out the sale of eggs from hens in cages. We’ve been waiting patiently for favorable action from this giant food seller, but there’s been an inordinate delay and no signs that the company even has a timeline for reaching the goal. We announced our effort to get Costco to go cage-free with the release of grim footage from an undercover investigation we conducted at one of the most notorious egg production companies in the country – Hillandale Farms, the center of the nation’s biggest ever egg recall and a major Costco supplier. Our investigation drew enormous attention to the problem of cage confinement and Costco’s connection to these operations, including a major piece on ABC’s Nightline. And now Gosling’s statement has been heard throughout the world.
This week too, a host of celebrities, including Ricky Gervais, Kesha, Giselle Bundchen, Simon Cowell, Nikki Reed, and Leona Lewis, have shared their shock and disgust with the Yulin Dog Meat Festival. Humane Society International is leading the fight to stop this appalling spectacle. Dogs in this southern Chinese city are bludgeoned and then butchered by the thousands to be eaten. Our team has identified that most of the dogs are stolen pets or strays, and it’s a black mark on any nation to tolerate this kind of conduct. More and more people in China are speaking up and acting to stop it forever.
This spring, Paul McCartney joined our efforts to stop the seal slaughter in Canada. Kate Mara starred in a video for us touting Meatless Mondays. Kaley Cuoco told her followers that eating horsemeat is wrong any day of the week. Priscilla Presley kept fighting alongside us to end horse soring. A number of celebrities have raised their voices against ag-gag bills, from Carrie Underwood to Martha Stewart.
We are working through so many channels to drive change, and we’re grateful for so many people in the entertainment industry who are using their voices to drive awareness about the biggest animal issues in the world.