We are running a campaign to ask people to be a hero for animals by supporting The HSUS. When people do step up, things happen for the good of animals.
But there are so many ways in which people and the institutions they represent can help.
To that end, we’ve made many announcements with major corporations that are integrating animal welfare in their business plans. Now, we are making some sense of that list and identifying McDonald’s, Aramark, Compass Group, Sodexo, Costco, Hugo Boss, and Pets Plus Natural as recipients of our 2015 Henry Spira Humane Corporate Progress Awards.
The Spira Awards were created in 2011, when The HSUS partnered with friends of the late Henry Spira (including philosopher Peter Singer), an animal advocate, the founder of Animal Rights International, and a pioneer of the humane economy. Spira worked to move corporations toward humane reforms, and his campaigns in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s were remarkable for their corporate sophistication and focus on cooperation. The awards created in his honor go each year to forward-thinking companies, business associations, and entrepreneurs who have collectively helped relieve suffering for millions of animals worldwide.
One of this year’s honorees, Hugo Boss, a leading luxury brand, worked with The HSUS and the Fur Free Alliance to adopt a 100 percent fur-free policy in 2015, which will come into effect with its 2016 Fall/Winter collection. Among other reforms, Hugo Boss also banned angora, down feathers from force-fed, live-plucked geese, and it will give preferential treatment to wool suppliers who stop mulesing their sheep (a procedure in which farmers slice strips of wool-bearing skin off sheep without painkillers). Given how influential Hugo Boss is in the world of fashion, its forward-thinking policies will no doubt inspire present and future generations to make more humane fashion choices.
Pets Plus Natural, a chain of eight pet stores with locations in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, has been working with The HSUS since August 2013 to convert to a more humane model by offering adoptable shelter pups and dogs in their stores instead of selling commercially raised puppies who often end up being sourced from puppy mills. By the end of 2015, all eight Pets Plus Natural locations were no longer selling commercially-raised puppies, and to date it has helped place more than 2,600 puppies and other homeless animals into loving homes.
You have been reading almost weekly on A Humane Nation about our sprint toward a cage-free future for egg-laying hens, with most major food corporations announcing a shift away from extreme confinement. Among our Spira Award honorees this year are McDonald’s, which became the first major restaurant chain in 2015 to set a timeline for converting to 100 percent cage-free eggs. The McDonald’s announcement broke the dam, and announcements from dozens of other corporate leaders have been flowing ever since, including Panera Bread, Denny’s, IHOP, Starbucks, and Kroger.
Also being honored with the Spira Awards this year is Costco, the mammoth retailer that moves more eggs to customers than even McDonald’s, for becoming the first of the country’s top grocers to commit to a cage-free future. Compass Group, Aramark, and Sodexo, the largest food service companies in the world, are being honored for their cage-free commitments, all of which preceded even McDonald’s announcement. Compass Group also launched the industry’s first all plant-based dining concept called “Rooted,” which makes humane eating easier than ever at its accounts.
We salute all of these pioneers for carrying forward the principled and humane ideas that Henry Spira championed, and for helping drive forward the humane economy.