The HSUS invited me to their celebratory event at the San Francisco SPCA on Saturday, the main topic being Prop 2 that passed in favor of chickens. I went gladly. Wayne Pacelle, HSUS president and CEO of the HSUS, proved to be an engaging speaker. His career as animal advocate began at age 23 under Cleveland Amory, who founded Fund for Animals, whose arm Black Beauty runs animal sanctuaries in several states. One of Black Beauty’s proud accomplishments was the rescue of hundreds of burros from the Grand Canyon area.
Pacelle described his plans for the new year to stop abuse of farm animals and to improve their living conditions. He urged us to speak to store managers wherever eggs of battery-caged hens are sold. Releasing calves and pregnant pigs from their tight cages was his constant target. He hopes to start Meatless Mondays among millions of meat eaters. A vegan since the age of 19, fit and slim, he looks convincing for the practice. He took questions; there were comments about the recently lifted ban on serving foie gras in California. They were mild, considering how we all felt about this. I cannot eradicate from my mind a TV video I saw of a goose, its head hanging over a bar on the assembly line, because it was too sick to raise it.
In an adjoining room some rescued chickens pecked peacefully in their roomy enclosure while most of their numbers were being adopted.
As often happens among like-minded people, it was a simple matter to speak to each other without prior introduction. We were all there for the same reasons.