The year 2018 was a historic one for farm animals, with California passing the strongest law against farm animal confinement in the world. We successfully campaigned to protect chickens in the meat industry—moving major US companies to adopt comprehensive welfare reforms and spotlighting those lagging behind. HSI worked with dozens of food industry leaders around the world to adopt and implement cage-free egg policies. And we partnered with the largest foodservice companies, entire school districts and leading universities on incorporating more plant-based foods onto their menus.
Big public policy wins
Our public policy team won big for farm animals in 2018.
- In California, we spearheaded the successful campaign to pass the historic Proposition 12 measure, which strengthens California’s law prohibiting confining laying hens, mother pigs and veal calves in cages—and bans the sale of eggs, pork and veal from caged animals statewide regardless where those products were produced. This is the strongest law of its kind in the world!
- After several years of campaigning by HSI and our partner groups, the Delhi High Court directed the government of India to ensure that no new battery caged farms are established in the country.
- In Rhode Island, we successfully campaigned to pass a bill banning battery cage confinement of egg-laying hens.
- In Iowa, our pressure campaign helped lead to amendments that weakened a bizarre measure to require grocery stores to sell at least some eggs from caged hens.
- In Mississippi, we thwarted a dangerous ag-gag measure.
- In Oregon, we helped persuade the state Department of Agriculture to revoke the operation permit for a mega-dairy, Lost Valley Farms, arguing that it had failed to implement required waste management processes.
- In the federal courts, we won a lawsuit preventing the government from sending more than $20 million to the pork industry’s largest lobbying group, the National Pork Producers Council, to fuel opposition efforts against our policy work to protect farm animals across the country.
Shifting people globally toward plants
Through our Forward Food, Green Monday, and other meat reduction campaigns, our Food and Nutrition teams are helping foodservice professionals from the US to South Africa to Vietnam serve more plant-based meals.
- In the United States and Canada, we hosted more than 130 plant-based culinary trainings in 2018 for major universities, hospitals, K-12 school districts and other institutional food buyers. In total, we trained 3,533 professionals through these trainings—including staff at the California Department of Education, Utah State University, Vanderbilt, University of Florida, Harvard, Cornell, Northeastern and Virginia Tech.
- We garnered nearly 100 meat reduction policies—from institutions including Academica Charter Schools (Florida’s fifth-largest school district), Arizona State University, Virginia Tech, University of Pittsburgh, Columbus Public Schools and University of Nevada Las Vegas.
- We announced major partnerships with the foodservice sector around plant-based eating—including with Sodexo USA(the second largest food service company) and Fresh Ideas (a foodservice company that serves more than 100 schools and other locations).
- In Brazil, HSI implemented its “Carnes da Terra” (Meats of the Land) meat reduction program with school districts and other institutions, garnering commitments from four new school districts to go 100 percent plant-based at least one day a week. HSI launched its “Sustainable School” partnership with four cities in the country to go 100 percent plant-based at all of their public schools by the end of 2019. This will affect approximately 23 million meals per year. HSI is also implementing Meatless Monday in a Sao Paulo program that encompasses 1270 institutions, including daycares, vocational schools and nursing homes.
- HSI worked with the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, to launch its Green Monday South Africa program, offering many new plant-based options in all its residence dining halls, including one that will be 100 percent plant-based every Monday. This is the first dining hall in Africa to become 100 percent plant-based on Mondays.
- HSI continued to expand its Green Monday program in Vietnam, and worked with three manufacturing factories to implement Green Monday in their corporate cafeterias, impacting over 22,000 workers.
- We battled big for chickens in the meat industry throughout 2018—moving major companies to adopt animal welfare reforms, and spotlighting McDonald’s for having fallen behind. Our HSI team worked globally with corporations to end the use of cages for hens.
- We helped move many companies—including Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Accor Hotels and Bruegger’s Bagels—to adopt chicken welfare policies in 2018.
- We worked with the State of New York’s Comptroller to send a strong letter urging McDonald’s to improve its chicken welfare policy, generating coverage from Bloomberg. (The State of New York holds $300 million in McDonald’s stock, for its pension funds.)
- In Thailand, our HSI team worked with Charoen Pokphand Foods (CP Foods), one of the largest agribusiness and food conglomerates in the world and the third largest pig producer globally, to announce a commitment to phase out the use of cages for 100 percent of company-owned layer hen farms in Thailand. The company also committed to transition to higher welfare group housing systems for mother pigs by 2025.
- In Singapore, hotel and food companies Grand Hyatt Singapore and Andaz Singapore, The Privé Group and Asia’s leading healthy food chain Salad Stop!—with locations in nine countries—committed to going cage-free in partnership with HSI.
- In Brazil, our HSI team worked with Carrefour, the country’s leading retailer and second largest supermarket chain, to announce a commitment to sell exclusively cage-free eggs in all its 650 stores in the country by 2028.
- We garnered the first-ever cage-free egg commitment in Argentina, from the leading food company Havanna, and from Colombina in Colombia, one of the country’s leading food manufacturers.
The work we do for farm animals, as for all animals, involves working with stakeholders across the spectrum, from corporations to farmers, from NGO partners to caring citizens, from scientists to nutritionists, and from celebrities to politicians of every stripe. We are committed to a world where farm animals do not suffer needlessly, and you can rest assured that in the coming year, the HSUS and HSI will continue to push progress for farm animals, in campaigns designed and carried out with purpose, passion, and vision.