Animal factories and the abuse of power: Wayne Pacelle at TEDxManhattan

Animal factories and the abuse of power: Wayne Pacelle at TEDxManhattan


Translator: Katarina Ericson
Reviewer: Denise RQ Thank you Laurie, and thank you
Diane for inviting me, and thank you all organizers
for including the impact on animals when we’re talking about
food and agriculture. As Laurie mentioned,
I feel very privileged to serve The Humane Society
of the United States. This is our logo, and you can see it consists
of 19 different animals in the shape of the country. We work on all animal issues,
and we work on a national scale; not just conducting rescue,
which is so important but inevitably deals with
the symptoms of the problems, but looking to prevent cruelty, and looking at the broadest,
biggest issues of our human relationship with animals. One of the central questions
that we confront at the Humane Society of the United States is the incredible moment of contradiction that we live in now, in our society. With so many expressions of love
and appreciation for animals, but so much cruelty occurring
on a vast and industrial scale. You know, I did write a book
called ‘The Bond,’ and the thesis of this is there’s
a bond built into every one of us that gives us a headstart in doing
the right thing for our fellow creatures. All kids have this
connectivity to animals, and all of us here, at some level,
have a connection to other creatures. We have so many expressions of this bond and appreciation
for animals in our society. Two thirds of American households
have dogs and cats, 171 million dogs and cats; we let our cats on our kitchen tables,
we sleep in the same bed as our dogs. There are another 140-150 million
pets in our households, there are more pets than people
in American households. We spend more than $50 billion
a year on our pets. Another 80 million of us
are active wildlife watchers. We take to the forests and the fields to watch the incredible feats of flights
of birds and other creatures, and take in the tonic
of being in the natural world and experiencing an area that’s not
completely controlled by humans. These ideas are embedded in our culture. There are 20,000 animal welfare
groups in the country. There’s an animal group
for every kind of animal; there are groups that work on
Chihuahua rescue, St. Bernard rescue work,
feral cats, or you name it, there are rabbit rescue groups. We run a rabbit sanctuary
for homeless and injured rabbits, we say we’re providing
hope for the “hopless.” (Laughter) There’s an animal group
for every kind of creature, of course there are farm animal groups and there are groups that are thinking
about every sort of creature in crisis. And we have a nation
where the basic notion that cruelty to animals is wrong
is already a universal value. All 50 states have anti-cruelty statutes that codify the notion
that malicious torment of animals is not just a moral problem,
it is a legal problem. It is a felony in 47 states. Cockfighting is a federal felony, and it’s now illegal in all 50 states. Dog fighting is a felony in every state, so staging fights between animals, even if you have
some sort of interest in that, get some sort of titillation from it, we as a state, as a nation, say no,
you’re not allowed to do that, we’re going to protect the animals
from that sort of vice and that sort of entertainment. But what about farm animals? The largest category of animals
in use, in our society. Ten billion animals raised for food
in the United States every year. Ten billion. More animals go through
slaughterhouse lines every year in the United States than there are people on the planet. Just as a logistical enterprise
it’s an extraordinary sort of thing. And how do we feel about this? I mean we love our dogs and our cats, and we express all sorts of appreciation,
fascination for wildlife, but do we care about farm animals? Well, all of the surveys
show that indeed we do. Here’s a survey from
the American Farm Bureau Federation, kind of the symbol
of industrial agriculture, through Oklahoma State University, measuring public attitudes
towards farm animals: 95% of people believe farm animals
should be well cared for, 95%. Every survey shows this. That we care about all animals,
including animals raised for food. We at The Humane Society of US
don’t talk so much about animal rights; we talk about human responsibility. It’s really more about us
than it is about them. I mean, we need to understand
a basic framework when we’re talking about animals; that they think, that they feel,
that they make choices, that they want to live
just as much as we want to live, that they want to avoid pain and suffering
just as much as each one of us does. But it’s really about our choices, because in the relationship between us
and animals we hold all the cards. We have all the power. We’re the lords of the animals. We make life and death
decisions in our society without even casually thinking
about it sometimes. The little actions that we take have
such consequences for these creatures. And one of the greatest disconnects
that exist in our society is our relationship with animals, and what we think we believe,
and how we act in this world, where animals are not just a sideline
to the human experience, whether we realize it or not, they’re at the center
of the human experience and they’ve always been at the center
of the human experience. Are we syncing up our values
and our beliefs with our conduct? This is a barren battery cage; 280 million laying hens
in the United States and 95% of them are
in these barren battery cages; six or eight birds jammed into a cage. Each bird under the industry standard
has 67 square inches of space, now this is an 8.5 by 11 piece
of paper, 8.5 times 11 is 93, so 67 is two thirds of this page. That’s the living space
that a laying hen has as the industry standard
and norm in our nation for the year and a half that she is alive. A year and a half in this space? I mean, it’s as if eight or nine of us
were in an elevator for our whole lives. Imagine after five or ten minutes
how you’d feel stuck in an elevator, imagine if you were stuck in there
for a whole day or a week, or a month or a year,
or a year and a half. I mean are we this uncreative
when it comes to agricultural practices? Are we this miserly? Are we this oblivious
to the needs of other creatures to do this sort of thing to them? Confine them in a space where they can’t
even turn around or extend their limbs, is that the way we are? Is that the kind of country we are? Is that the kind of people we are? Or take pigs. This is Smithfield Foods,
it’s one of their farms, we did an undercover investigation there. These are pigs in gestation crates,
the breeding sows, the females have it worst
in the general sense. These sows are
in a two foot by seven foot cage, they can take one step forward
and one step back, they can’t turn around. The only time they get out of that cage is just before they give birth and they are moved into another cage
where they are similarly immobilized, and then after a short time
with their piglets, then they’re re-impregnated
and put back into the gestation crates. Seven, eight, nine,
ten successive pregnancies, three years, three
and a half years in a cage. Now these are intelligent,
sociable animals. Is this what we should be doing to them? If we did this to a dog? You could be prosecuted
under one of those anti-cruelty statutes. So how do we narrow the gap? How do we address these problems
of ten billion animals, so many of them caught up
in this industrial food production system where the animals are no longer animals, they’ve been turned into meat,
milk, and egg producing machines. They’ve been genetically manipulated
to exaggerate certain body parts. They’ve been moved from outdoor settings, where they could feel
sunlight on their backs, soil beneath their feet,
where they can amble around, where they can interact
with others of their kind and they can have a decent life. Yes, they’re going to have at least
one bad day when they go to slaughter, but the rest of their life, the rest of their life does not need
to be one of misery and privation. Of course, the answer is
human creativity and innovation, which has solved so many things,
and made moot so many past problems through the advance of
entrepreneurial activity and imagination. This is an aviary system
where these laying hens can actually, to some degree,
they can act like laying hens. They can perch, get up on a high place, they can go to a nest box
and lay their egg, they can move around,
I mean, what a radical notion, that animals built to move
should be allowed to move. Or pigs, you know Fred talked about this, these animals want to be around others, they live in a herd environment,
but there are limits to the herd, you don’t press them
together side by side, so the ammonia overtakes the atmosphere,
that they’re living above manure, that falls between
the slatted concrete floors. They should be able to feel
some grass or hay beneath their feet. The science is clear on these issues, I mean our common sense
leads us in the right direction. This is a Netherlands study about a variety of different
egg-laying hen production systems. You can see that the cage system,
the barren battery cage, on a scale of 0 to 10,
doesn’t come in at 7, or 8, something that’s a little deficient,
it comes in at zero. Zero. The barn system, again,
not free range, comes in at 5.8, and the aviary system,
the one that you saw, at 5.9. These incremental improvements, little decisions for us that are
entirely inconsequential in our lives, mean everything for these animals,
everything for them. Temple Grandin, there was
a movie about her on HBO – here’s Clare Danes as Temple Grandin – says: “I feel very strongly
that we’ve got to treat animals right, and that gestation stalls have got to go.” The Pew Commission on
Industrialized Farm Animal Production took a look at all of these issues
that we’ve been talking about today, and they looked at the issue
of the overuse of antibiotics and the manure management systems,
the effect on rural communities, and they looked also at animal welfare. A commission which consisted
of a wide variety of stakeholders, including a former US DA Secretary,
a former Governor of a Midwest state, “The Commission recommends the phase-out
of all intensive confinement systems that restrict natural movement
and normal behaviors, including battery cages
and gestation crates.” We’ve got to have these principles
of anti-cruelty, the words humane, they’re not abstractions, they’re things that need
to be put to work in our daily lives. And we have no better opportunity
to put them to work in our daily lives than with the food choices
that confront us every single day. We’ve got to eat with conscience,
wherever we are in the spectrum, whether we’re a vegan or vegetarian
or an inveterate carnivore. We can all make choices that have
better consequences for animals. And we’ve got to change
the legal framework. Eight states have recently adopted laws that are urging to ban
confinement crates or cages. Prop2 in California, which was a measure to stop
the extreme confinement of laying hens, and breeding sows, and veal calves, got more votes in a contested election than any citizen initiative
in American history. People voted for farm animals, even though they were told
it would cost them more, that there would be all sorts
of problems and complications. People don’t want
the animals treated this way. Even the United Egg Producers,
the group that was our biggest adversary, has now seen the writing on the wall. It is now jointly supporting
with HSUS in efforts in Congress to have a minimum standard
of care for laying hens, to ban forced molting,
to reduce ammonia levels, to require labeling of all eggs
in the marketplace, to double the space allowed for the birds
and to give them enrichments. And of course, all of us,
as individuals, can take action. Meatless Mondays is a great,
easy way to ease into this. Choosing higher welfare products which are now more and more
available in the marketplace, we’ve got to demand
that they’re more widely available. And urging corporations. We’re a capitalist economy; corporations have an enormous
sway on our behavior, the opportunities that we have. All of these companies
have taken preliminary steps to infuse their supply chain
with more humanely produced products. And we’ve got to spread the word. It’s said that not a sparrow falls
without his Maker knowing. We’ve got to be mindful
of all these creatures, every single one of them. Thank you. (Applause)

100 thoughts on “Animal factories and the abuse of power: Wayne Pacelle at TEDxManhattan”

  1. i love how disconnected this is… what he is suggesting, even if it was morally okay – which it isn't cause murder is murder, is not possible in a world with such a high demand for meat. people consume too much of it, and it's not efficient to give animals more space, not only is it not efficient – it's also harmful for the planet. making space is not as easy as he says, you need to get the space somewhere = cut down more forests… simple solution, stop force breeding animals and go vegan. that's what we're biologically (don't confuse culture and tradition in here) designed to eat.

  2. How about we just stop this bullshit industrial farming and go back to more of a natural farming environment. This Big Business Industrial World has gotten outta control. Its just too many people to take care of. Demand is getting to large for these businesses to give people what they want. Humans need to start taking responsibility for themselves and live independently.

  3. We have 2 choices, either support a future with laboratory grown meat or go vegan. Animal cruelty needs to stop and also it's about rescuing our environment our planet.

  4. Well, at least we now know the Humane Society is fuking bullshit! Bigger prisons? That's the "humane" society's solution?
    Go vegan: health, wealth, and knowledge of yourself…

  5. This pleasant dream world he's imagining is not sustainable at the rate we consume meat. How about we actually try encouraging people to do something rather than make them feel good by putting a bandaid on the issue? #govegan

  6. We are not carnivores. We don’t eat the anus, nose, brains, tongue, genitals and intestines.  We have to heat meat up to ingest it, what other carnivores selectively eat meat like humans?  Our intestines are the same length as every vegetable eating sentient being (30+ feet long) unlike carnivores (15-20 feet long) because their bodies have evolved to push it out faster.  We can move our jaws side to side like every vegetable eating being.  Carnivores can only move their jaws up and down.  What other sentient being drinks milk outside of its own species let alone past adolescence?  It doesn’t naturally exist!  You think eating meat is natural then please point me in the direction where the lions have zebras in a meat processing facilities.  Get it through your thick skull that we are not meant to digest meat.  Look at the health statistics of meat eaters vs. vegetarians vs. vegans.  Do your own research and pull the veil that has been placed over your eyes.  I guarantee if you met me you wouldn’t know I was vegan based on looks and conversation.  We can lead completely ethical lives without sacrificing what you believe to be “necessity”.

  7. I was totally on board with this until he started talking about the levels of welfare of the animals within the industry and how we should start demanding the farming of animals who somehow have a "better life". Who are we to determine how happy an animal is to be slaughtered? Once again people are getting this wrong. Buying meat or dairy that is "free-range" and "grass fed" means absolutely nothing to the animal. That only satisfies YOU, not the animal. The animal is still killed and the environment of the world and the people in it still suffer.

  8. I worked under them at Black Beauty Ranch. Unfortunately they do not follow their own teachings. There was a vet and vet tech who worked at BBR and they were quite inhumane with some of their practices. Funny how the pot is calling the kettle black. I watched a horse there die inhumanely. They brushed it off and said that they needed to do what they did and that the horse dying at the expense of their actions was apart of protocols.

  9. humane rape, humane slaghter… you are close but fall short. Whenever a being is treated as a product, there will be abuse and cruelty. Her milk, her eggs, her flesh, none of it belongs to us or is here for us, anymore that black people were meant to be slaves to white people or women were made for men! What we need to do is stop trying to make ourselves feel better by finding the right way to continue to do the wrong thing! #veganisistheanswer

  10. Go vegan- it is the ONLY solution. Pigs are smarter than dogs- why would you never even think of eating a dog, yet you eat pigs every day?

  11. I agree with the other sentiments to GO VEGAN. But maybe this TED talk is a first step for many – just to actually start thinking about the poor Life Quality of farmed animals.

  12. I'll explain as simple as possible why we humans should be vegan.
    1. Animal products cannot be obtained without cruelty. They are all sentient beings who love to live. We should share this wonderful planet with them all.
    2. There is absolutely no NECESSITY to eat any meat. All the nutrients we want, it's available in plants. Even your precious fucking proteins and vitamins. I'm talking to you, corpse muncher.
    3. Tasty, juicy, crunchy, fibrous. You crave your food that way and that's why you eat meat? Veggies got you covered there as well. Just look better.

    I'm 25 years old. Fit and healthy. Active all of the time I'm awake. 3d artist. Drummer. Biker.
    Vegetarian since birth. Recently went fully vegan. (I've tasted meat. Tastes good. Not worth it. I value morality and compassion much much more.)
    NO NEED FOR MEAT, PEOPLE.
    Let's live and let all animals live peaceful, healthy, happy lives on this planet of plenty.
    Peace /

  13. it doesn't matter who this guy is or how much he makes….he is 100% correct. people have to stop finding excuses and open their eyes! today's farming practices are evil and demented. obviously lots of people want their meat and it's easy just to say mmmmmm…..and pretend that you don't really know how it was processed, but in the back of your mind you do….but eating and buying meat is normal, all we see are the cuts in the grocery store. most people just don't want to see images or videos of animal abuse, and whenever someone says I'm not eating meat anymore, meat eaters get defensive and reply why???? thats wrong you need meat! lol

  14. he is saying that people will continue to eat meat no matter what , and it would be better if the animals had a good life. as far as I heard he didn't say if he was a vegan or not, he just said he was for animal rights. did I understand correctly?

  15. "Meat Free Mondays", hopefully one day as offensive at "Ethnic Cleansing Free Tuesdays". See Carnage by Simon Amstell

  16. Not good enough! Good life until slaughter? Preposterous! Years and years fighting for bigger cages! No more time for that. Let people eat and die! Let them have to decide whether its us on this planet or not! Not compatible with our planet needs to eat them. There is no more water, there is no more air or space for this disgusting western diet.

  17. What a shame – Wayne has a chance to influence using the platforms like this which he has, and yet he just doesn't get it, his talk gives meat eaters the excuse to continue this unnecessary and appalling behaviour. GO VEGAN!!! No slavery, no killing is ever right it's never humane.

  18. Hey everyone getting all upset because others are suggesting you go vegan. Why stay and argue? Why just NOT go vegan? Or do you think that you have to stay and convince us (or yourself) that you should stay a meat eater? It's the system by which we consume meat. The cruelty lies in the system. And until we change it, eating meat is supporting the continuation of that system. Anyway there's the truth, take it or leave it.

  19. Animal welfare is important, not when you're going to eat them! This is like a murderer taking someone on a date, feeding them really nice giving them a great night of their life, for a few weeks or so making them feel safe, then taking them somewhere terrifying and slitting their throat and then tell the judge "she had a good life tho"

  20. I don't know what you all are getting pissed about. Most people know this group is animal welfare and not rights. Don't like it? Go back to PETA.

  21. He's pretty much saying for these animals to have a nice death. Any death with a murderer and a victim is not a nice death. I bet he knows what the actual solution is but just doesn't want to say it. If everyone were to go vegan, and do it right, here would be the side effects: health weight loss or gain(if that's your goal), little to no chronic illness(while you're young or old), environment improves drastically(including cleaner water, no deforestation, no rising sea levels, and cleaner air), and no wildlife or any species going extinct.

  22. If we don't need to eat animals to live (I have not eaten animals dairy and eggs for over twenty years), why would we ? The number one cause of heart disease, is consuming animals and animal products. Animal agriculture is the main cause of rainforest destruction; but if you don't care about your own health how can we get you to care about anyone else ?

  23. this guys SUCKS! why canta he just accept that its WRONG what we do to animals and the best and only way to cure this is by going vegan!!

  24. Yes, go vegan! There is no humane slaughter. Torture can be minimized but they would still be being exploited and murdered.

  25. Solution : let all domestic breeds of cattle, goats , sheep, chickens , turkeys and pigs go extinct it's the only way to get people to shut up and end this

  26. نادر الی راحمان

    Stop the human overpopulation. Unless you give up with your political correctness, this mass factory farming and genetic modifying of food isn't going to stop. When are you going to wake up?

  27. I’m not going to go vegan, I like my excessive amount of protein because I’m an athlete. But this is a problem, a long time ago, we used to hunt, now we are keeping them in farms with no fresh oxygen and harmful shelters. If humans were more creative with keeping animals in safer ways, the animals and us could be less prone to disease.

  28. The process of going through a slaughterhouse is abusive and traumatic and there is no need for it. Billions around the world are going through it right NOW. We have no excuse for this. Go Vegan!

  29. I hope we humans will evolve into vegan creatures, but right now we have a much better chance of improving the conditions of farm animals than convincing everyone to be vegan. Let's give them a good life!

  30. The systems humans design to exploit animals will eventually be systems that serve as models for exploiting each other.

  31. Go vegan–that's the only way to end this madness. OK, so I know it's hard. Just take baby steps. Try just one day a week. Stop eating meat and poultry. Just go vegetarian to start. Yes, I do know it's hard, especially at the beginning. Visit a farm animal rescue. Follow your heart. Don't strive for perfection, or you will give up. Every little bit helps. Start with listening to this entire video. Don't turn away from this because you feel so bad for the animals. Just do a little–it will help.

  32. Yeah, going Vegan is the single best thing each and every one of us can do against that, attack the source through supply&demand. Giving it a try is the least one can do ("challenge 22" can help out, it's free, no money and no obligations)

  33. But I don’t want to stop torturing my basement slaves on Mondays though. It’s just not convenient for me. Also human bacon tho.

  34. People that supposedly are vegan are hypocrites. They use leather purses, leather shoes, leather wallets. So they can't eat them but they can use their skin? What a double standard.

  35. oneandonlykumar007x

    Animal used in factory farming, fur/leather farms, animal experimentation, glue traps, animal circuses… ALL of it needs to end.

  36. Vegans need to listen to the actual message and not criticize. It is true that if everyone go vegan, it would be 100% better for the animals. Yes, it would not cause any animal suffering if everyone switches their life style vegan. But not everyone can go vegan, and not everyone cares enough to go vegan. The majority of the population has been raised to be omnivore. The extreme switch to vegan would be almost impossible for some; while others can totally switch to vegan. And again, not everyone is willing to go vegan.

    What Wayne Pacelle suggests is the next small step to help the animals. If everyone can do the no meat Mondays, then there would be less slaughtering/breeding. There need to be more vegan product available in America. There's cultural differences too. For example, I grew up in Asia. I didn't eat cow cheese or drink cow milk. But with Western influences nowadays, there are cheese and milk in Asia now. America might want to adopt coconut milk from Asia, or Banana milk instead for children. Animal cruelty need to be educated in schools too, if not at home or in religious sessions. You need to look at successful vegan diets culturally. India has a very successful vegan/vegetarian culture (food wise, many Indian families only eat vegan food).

  37. In response to some comments….To achieve a vegan planet we have to take 1step at a time…of course this animal cruelty
    Must stop like yesterday…but reality tells us this will not happen, so lets right now improve animal factory conditions, in 10 minutes end the slaughter in 20minutes set them free….let us all spread the word, educate people…keep pushing….contact ur current affairs..ur lical members…ur radio stations…ur neighbours…..go vegan for the survival of the planet, for your childrens future, for ur health, and for all the ANIMALS….

  38. Yes, I agree that the SOLUTION to all CRUELTY to Animals is GoingVegan! However, I appreciate these Talks from the Humane Society to MAKE HUMANS AWARE of the horrendous treatment we do to animals!
    That is the FIRST STEP! MAKE us aware!
    I used to be a Vegetarian for years and thanks to these kind of talks I decided to GO VEGAN and stop eating eggs, dairy products, honey as well as quit wearing any animal clothing or cosmetics, and of course I do not attend to any spectacle with tortured animals!
    The change is up to us! All this type of Talks HELP TO MAKE US AWARE!
    GoVegan!!

  39. This is only likely to worsen with the growing human population. We are already above our sustainable capacity. Why not stop having kids and adding more destruction to the environment and increasing the demand for feeding which results in this massive industrial farming. Veganism? Humans are omnivores like it or. Lots of people have attempted veganism, including myself. It's suicide for a species that ate meat going back millions of years. Better stop breeding before we destroy ourselves as well and the planet.

  40. Wayne Pacelle is a two-faced liar. He does not have the best interest of animals in mind. I read a blog entry from Pacelle where he stated dog torturer & murderer Michael Vick deserved another chance to own a pet because he served his time & it's possible he changed.

  41. There's an obvious disconnect in logic here. You just can't claim that we should think about an animal's welfare on an individual level, then still advocate for the commercialization and objectification of their bodies.
    You can't have respect for an individual all the while plotting to slaughter them as soon as they hit the "most meat per cost of keeping it alive" mark.
    Also, even if you don't believe it's unethical to treat animals in horrible ways, animal agriculture is not sustainable. We can't sustain the population of almost 8 billion and growing with meat, whether or not the animal suffered just a little or a whole lot.

  42. The meat industry is killing animals, it’s killing the environment, and it’s killing us. Factory Farming is insane. Anyone who claims to be Christians should abstain from consuming meat that comes from a factory farm as it is a sin. “Sacrificing animals to idols” -the idols are the meat companies who prosper off of the neglect and mistreatment of another living being. I’m not here to say go vegan or anything, but we must drive the inhumane meat industry out of business as well as the companies that test on animals. JUDGEMENT DAY WILL COME SOON, all those who neglect God’s Creation will be judged accordingly. Change your ways while you can, when God come it will be too late

  43. I live' in the second-to-last state to outlaw cockfighting (Louisiana was the last one). I want to add the following to you saying that cockfighting is illegal everywhere in the US: it still goes on anyway in under the radar fighting rings; and secondly, breeding fighting cocks isn't illegal. So what the breeders do here is breed them and then transport them to a place like the Phillipines, to fight them and sell them there. Andits big bucks, too. You can count on three things in a Filipino town: a Catholic Church, a town hall, and a cockfighting ring,

  44. To believe that you will make every single human stop eating meat- is ridiculous, but most of us are genuinely concerned about animal welfare & the environment. The future I hope for is where all animals are truly free range feeding on green pastures and yes- killed in a dignified manner and eaten at the end of their happy lives.

  45. I eat meat and vegetables soo I want my meat fresh and delicious so that means giving a good happy life and banning the use of antibiotics through the animals and giving them good natural food and space that makes meat taste better

  46. This is odd. He used to do a lot of animal rights work here in Seattle. I've done a lot of animal rights protests with Wayne Pacelle back in the day. He was vegan, I think he still is. But for him to advocate for welfare is beyond bizarre. And he brought upTemple Grendin, really? Yikes! What a disappointment.

  47. Christopher Schott

    I'm full of tears listening to this report ..
    Thank you for sharing this most important subject .
    We wonder as a species why there are problems in the world. It is directly related to our relationships with our fellow beings ..
    Your absolutely right … Human creativity and human consciousness , awareness
    Your not suggesting stopping eating animals. But they need more than humans treatment and housing. Etc.

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