Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The Long Road to Animal Welfare

This is a very long essay by Wayne Pacelle published in the magazine Foreign Affairs by the Council on Foreign Relations. In this essay he covers ballot initiatives; use of Michael Vick to promote anti-dog fighting (not to mention raise money); history of the animal rights movement; HSUS successes. Pacelle covers his version of the HSUS heroic efforts in New Orleans following hurricane Katrina. Pacelle includes as a success story an anti-confinement ballot measure in Florida in 2002; however he fails to mention there were only 2 hog farmers in the state. After the ballot passed, both farmers sent their herds to slaughter. 

The article states: "The two largest groups, the HSUS and the ASPCA, together raise and spend nearly $400 million a year and have assets approaching $500 million."

The Long Road to Animal Welfare -
How Activism Works in Practice
By Wayne Pacelle

On election night in November 1992, I waited anxiously with other animal welfare activists at the Radisson Hotel in Denver, Colorado, to learn the outcome of a statewide ballot measure to ban the baiting, hound hunting, and spring hunting of black bears. The initiative was a big deal both for me (it had been my idea) and for the animal welfare movement more generally. Colorado was a political redoubt for the National Rifle Association and other pro-hunting groups; if the ballot measure passed, it might inspire other reforms for animals, and if it failed, it might set the movement back years. Most of my fellow activists had been skeptical about the initiative, arguing that it was a fool’s errand because the hunting lobby was too strong to defeat. But the leaders of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS—then as now, the largest animal protection organization in the country—had overruled their political staff and decided to support the effort, on principle. “It’s too important not to try,” John Hoyt, then the group’s president, told me. “If we lose, I want to be on the side of the losers.” In the end, we won big, getting 70 percent of the vote.

Full Article at link: 

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