OK, so this video is a little rah rah Humane Society, but when the battle to stop animal cruelty can seem so uphill, it’s nice to know that some progress is being made. (Who would have thought that #MeatlessMonday would become such a thing, right?!)
Paul Shapiro: I'm Paul Shapiro with the Humane Society of the United States Farm Animal Protection Campaign. It's the honor of my life to get to come to work every day and try to transform our society, to build a more humane society in which our relationship with other animals is one that is no longer based just on violence and domination, but rather is based upon compassion and respect. Our goals are ambitious. We know that we have a long road to travel, but the longest journeys begin with single steps, and we've taken some impressively important steps in recent years to make history for farm animals.
Here's just a glimpse of some of the things that we're doing at HSUS to give farm animals a voice. We're inside of corporate boardrooms across the country helping major food retailers implement policies to eliminate gestation crates from their supply chains. Our undercover exposes have led to meat recalls, slaughter plant shut downs, criminal cruelty convictions, even new federal policies banning the slaughter of adult dam or cattle, and calves. The meat industry's response to our whistle blowing exposes is to keep the American public in the dark about these abuses by trying to pass ag-gag bills, and HSUS is leading the fight, state by state, to defeat these bills.
In the wake of our expose at a California dairy cow slaughter plant, HSUS litigators helped secure the largest settlement in any animal abuse case ever. Suing on behalf of neighbors, HSUS took a polluting egg factory to court and won, forcing the company to start cleaning up its act.
The Humane Society International is leading the fight to give farm animals a voice in other countries around the world. In fact, we just worked in Canada to pass a new rule that will eliminate gestation crates nationwide. Similarly, we are now putting battery cages on the path to extinction in India as well.
Many family farmers agree with us and are joining with us, standing side by side calling for an end to these extreme confinement and other inhumane practices on factory farms. For decades, meat consumption was on the rise in our country, but in the last six or seven years, we've seen the first ever drop by about 10%.
Just last year, we raised and slaughtered half a billion fewer animals than we did just five years prior. That's why we're working with school districts, hospitals, and other institutional purchasers of food across the country to implement meat reduction programs like meatless Monday.
We worked with Los Angeles Unified School District, the second biggest school district in the entire country, serving 650,000 meals every single day, and all of those meals every Monday are now entirely vegetarian.
The HSUS is full of all stars. Those of us here wake up every day thinking about what we can do to wage and win campaigns that will make history for animals. With your support, we will build that new, truly humane society.