For many years now, I have been arguing that the large animal protection groups are, for the most part, partners with institutional exploiters and are, in effect, lobbying arms of the food industry. They do not challenge animal use; in fact, they actively support institutionalized animal use, and claim that it’s only the welfare or treatment issues that matter. They promote what are largely insignificant changes, many of which actually improve production efficiency and many of which are never even implemented or have dates of implementation many years in the future. They promote “happy” exploitation labeling programs where “approved” animal products are sold with the purported blessing of the animal advocacy community. I have argued that welfare reforms (if they can even be called “reforms” rather than efficiency-promoting changes) make the public feel good about continuing to exploit nonhuman animals.
My views have drawn a great deal of sharp criticism by advocates of animal welfare.
So it is with great happiness that I report to you that Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, agrees with me.
Appearing before the Ohio Livestock Standards Board, which gained the support of HSUS after agreeing to abolish gestation crates after 2025 (so much for “helping the animals here now”), Pacelle praised animal agriculture:
“I do believe that agriculture is a deeply noble tradition,” he said. “There are so many great aspects to it, but we also must put animal welfare into the equation.”
Pacelle calls animal agriculture a “noble tradition” with “many great aspects.” We just need to put “animal welfare into the equation.” There you go. The problem is not animal use per se; the problem is treatment, and welfare reform, such as eliminating gestation crates after 2025, is the solution.
He also said that the welfare reforms supported by the Board:
will make Ohio agriculture “more honorable, defensible and pertinent to the consumer.”
Yes, indeed, they will. That’s exactly what I have been saying for more than two decades now and I am glad that Wayne Pacelle agrees with me.
If you are not vegan, go vegan. It’s easy; it’s better for your health and for the planet. But, most important, it’s the morally right thing to do. You will never do anything else in your life as easy and satisfying.
Gary L. Francione
©2011 Gary L. Francione