AgriTalk interview with Host Mike Adams, June 30th, 2009
featuring Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO
Humane Society of the
(listen to the podcast here)
Mike Adams – We have had a lot questions about where you come down on animal rights and welfare. The livestock industry and people I know believe in the humane treatment of animals. There is a difference between animal welfare and animal rights. How do you define the two? Are they same or different?
Wayne Pacelle – We at the Humane Society of the
I get distressed when I read so much of the ag trade press and when I heard spokespersons from the Farm Bureau caricature the positions of me or the HSUS. It’s easy to knock down a straw man if you make that straw man look like a nut. If you look at the actual things we do, and I do insist that people look at them, and we’re transparent, you can go to www.HSUS.org and my blog where I write 5 days a week and see what we campaign and talk about. We are focused on matters of decency and mercy toward animals. We’ll have some disagreements depending on what your orientation is, but I don’t think anyone can reasonably claim that our work is moving in the direction of eliminating animal agriculture as some of the folks in the industry keep repeating.
Pacelle: Yes, that is correct.
Adams: Some would say if you are out there working to get things passed like Prop 2 in
Pacelle: No. We have to drop the paranoia and look at the situation in another way. It is my core belief that Americans are going to continue to eat meat, milk and egg products. That is the way it is. These are long-standing cultural practices. Our diet has been at work for a long time with people and it will not change certainly not overnight and it’s not going to change over a decade or 50 years. We do think there are issues with the current state of production and the per capita consumption of animal products. We’ve said many times that our view with the effects of concentrated animal feeding operations on the environment, with the contribution that livestock concentration makes to greenhouse gas emissions there are sensible, practical, compelling reasons to have people think about eating a little less, whether that’s one day a week or one fewer meal a week where people reduce their consumption. HSUS has associated itself with those ideas but I don’t think in any kind of practical way one can say we are trying to eliminate animal agriculture.