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The Humane Society on Factory Farms

Posted Feb 19 2009 5:51pm
When I think about The Humane Society of the United States, I think of their efforts in helping cats and dogs. Until I read about their link to California's Proposition 2 of 2008 in VegNews Magazine I had no idea that their scope was so varied: they work on behalf of all kinds of pets, wildlife, farm animals, and animals used in research. PETA is not alone!

From "In just one hour in the United States, more than one million land animals are killed for food. Before their slaughter, most of thesefarm animals—nearly 10 billion each year—endure lives of abuse with virtually no legal protection at all. Considering this staggering figure, the mistreatment of farm animals is among the gravest animal welfare problems in the nation. Instead of being recognized as the social, intelligent individuals they are, chickens, pigs, cows, turkeys, and other animals are treated as mere meat-, egg-, and milk-production units and denied expression of many natural behaviors."

Curious about their factory farming campaign I contacted Erin Williams, the campaign's Communications Director at the HSUS headquarters in Washington, DC. She says their main goal is to "work with retailers, elected officials, the courts, and members of the public to advocate on behalf of farm animals." This is accomplished by:

1. Attempting to reduce the amount of animalproducts that people consume.Read a guide to vegetarian eating and dozens of recipes.

2. Urging consumers to replace animal products with plant-based alternatives. For example, the HSUS now has a partnership with Tofurky.

3. Refining the ways that factory farms treat animals—namely by eliminating some of the worst cruelties. Prop 2 alone freed about 20 million egg-laying hens, breeding pigs, and veal calves from the confines of tiny cages where they could barely move.

The Human Society has seen much success in the past 50 years. To read more about their current campaigns and to learn what you can do to help, visit their Take Action page.

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