Animal World
Protecting the Voiceless: Wayne Pacelle and the Humane Society of the United States      
We’re seeking to create a humane society, and there’s no way to do that without thinking more broadly about community, and the animals are part of our community.

Welcome gracious viewers to Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants. Today we are proud to present the first in a two-part program on Mr. Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive officer of the Humane Society of the United States and author of the best-selling book “The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them.”

With a mission of “celebrating animals and confronting cruelty,” the Humane Society strives to build a compassionate world where all animals are our cherished co-inhabitants, free to live without fear of abuse, exploitation or neglect.

As leader of the largest organization in the United States dedicated to animal protection, Mr. Pacelle, a vegan, works to constructively shape animal-human relations. He has secured lasting victories for our animal friends in federal and state legislatures as well as courtrooms and boardrooms across the nation. An animal lover from childhood and passionate advocate for animal rights throughout his career, Mr. Pacelle tells us about his early involvement in animal welfare causes and his decision to become vegan.

I had a kinship with animals from a very young age. I mean my mother would tell you when I was three or four, I was very focused on animals. And I believe that we have a bond with other creatures, I actually just wrote a book called “The Bond,” and it explores and explains why we’re so connected to animals, and why a three or four year-old with really no inculcation and no direction in terms of kind of an active compassion for animals, felt this fellow feeling for other creatures.

And as that, feeling just really got imbedded in me, as I got older, I began to make some connections, and it just continued to grow, and become more powerful. And when I was a college student, I started an animal protection organization to work against factory farming, and other abuses of animals, that’s when I became vegan, when I was 19 years of age. And I felt that this was really my life’s calling, was to speak up for these creatures who can’t speak for themselves.

A long-standing champion of the voiceless, Mr. Pacelle believes humans have a duty of care and responsibility towards all the animals with whom we share our Earth.

In the relationship we have with other creatures, we have all the power, and we should use our power not just to advance our own economic gain or selfish interest, but to be good to other animals and to be altruistic and other-centered. And I’ve often felt that how we treat animals is a basic test of our character, because they are so vulnerable, and they are so weak, compared to how strong we are, that it really is a reflection of the decency and restraint that we’re capable of.

The Humane Society has successfully campaigned for the passage of hundreds of new state and federal laws that safeguard animal lives. As the group’s president, Wayne Pacelle has testified before the US Congress on the urgent need for greater recognition of animal rights and animal industry reforms.

Well, I do believe that if we’re going to be active on animal protection issues, we need to take steps in our personal lives to kind of wring the cruelty out of our lives, and the daily behaviors that we engage in, whether it’s food or clothing or buying products tested on animals, and opting for the alternatives. But we also need to look at this on a macro level, and we need to prevent cruelty from happening in the first place.

So we need to strengthen policies to protect animals, and inevitably that leads us to the local, state, federal and even international bodies that can address these issues of how animals are treated, and to have certain standards that exist.

So I’m very focused on getting new laws passed to protect animals, and I have been fortunate enough to work in Congress to help pass a couple of dozen laws, and more than a thousand laws at the state level, including about 30 ballot initiatives where the citizens are organized to adopt policies to say stop factory farming or outlaw cockfighting, or stop bear baiting, or other inhumane practices.

So, I want to appeal directly to the people in power. So testifying before Senate committees or US House committees has been a way to transmit our message, and really make a compelling case that animals matter, and that we have responsibilities to be decent to them. If we have anti-cruelty statutes that are already accepted in America and in countries throughout the world, then that standard needs to be logically applied, and it needs to be applied even to settings where the conduct that we exhibit toward animals is legal, but it's very harmful to the animals like factory farming.

Under Mr. Pacelle’s leadership, the Humane Society is working throughout the United States to stop the mistreatment of animals. The organization has also extended its operations across the globe to address animal welfare issues.

We have a network of organizations now that operate under one umbrella. And one of our organizations is Humane Society International, because we’ve realized that animal cruelty doesn't stop at a nation’s boundaries, and in the era of globalization, and in an era of so much worldwide travel and the Internet, these industries that are causing harm to animals are operating on that global scale, and we need to be able to meet them and challenge what they’re doing, and show a different and a better way of interacting with animals, and to move away from this model of exploitation and harm, and move toward compassion and mercy and goodness toward all animals.

Since Mr. Pacelle’s appointment as president in 2004, the Humane Society has introduced bold new initiatives and accomplished much in the realm of bettering the well-being of wildlife and companion animals including freeing many imprisoned in research facilities.

Notable accomplishments include the group playing an instrumental role in banning “Internet hunting” in nearly all states in the US. Internet hunting involves remotely shooting animals with a real gun by using a computer and webcams. Also the Humane Society assisted in the successful evacuation of thousands of animals following Hurricane Katrina which devastated the southeastern US in 2005.

In part due to the efforts of the organization, the Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards (PETS) Act become federal law in 2006 and requires local and state agencies to plan for the rescue, care and shelter of companion animals following disasters. Mr. Pacelle has been lauded for his achievements in crafting, qualifying, and passing animal-related state ballot initiatives.

Thanks to his leadership, voters in the state of Missouri enacted a law in 2010 addressing cruelty in puppy mills and California voters passed “Proposition 2” in 2008 which ended the intensive confinement of 20 million farm animals in the state. What lies ahead for the Humane Society of the United States? Mr. Pacelle shared with us some of the group’s upcoming projects and long-term objectives.

Science is also going to allow us to innovate and really leave behind methods that we thought were indispensable or central at one point, and now just look like acts of cruelty with new technologies ahead. So, I think that we’ve got to address the massive killing and inhumane treatment of animals in agriculture. Ten billion animals a year killed in the United States, 65 billion worldwide.

The billions of sea creatures who are also victims, not just the fish who are used for food, but the so-called bycatch, the collateral damage from all of these industrial fishing practices like sea turtles being killed or sea birds like Albatrosses. So we’re going to address that, we’re going to crack down on puppy mills, we want to eliminate animal fighting, dogfighting and cockfighting worldwide.

We want to stop the trade in wildlife parts and products, like elephant ivory, and rhino horn and the skins of many species throughout the world, many of whom are in danger. So it’s a very broad agenda. We are concerned about all animals, and our mission statement is celebrating animals, and confronting cruelty.

So those are our twin focuses, we want to celebrate the positive expression of the human-animal bond, and we want to recognize the attributes, the cognitive qualities of these animals. At the same time, when people use their power in a way that’s harmful to animals, we want to try to stop that. We want to show them the better way. So confronting cruelty is central to our mission.

We end our show today with a note of optimism from Wayne Pacelle regarding the future of animal-human relations.

I think that more and more people are recognizing their own responsibilities to other creatures, that these other creatures are conscious, aware, thinking, feeling beings, and they have the same spark of life that we have, they have the same will to live that we have, they have the same wish to avoid pain and suffering that we do. And once we are alert to their needs and to their wants, then I think decent people are going to act in a better way.

And a lot of people can characterize it in different ways. They can say that the animals have rights, or they can talk about how this framework works for them. But ultimately this is really more about us than it is about them. It’s about our being responsible and exhibiting a lighter step on the planet.

Thank you Mr. Pacelle for all that you and the Humane Society of the United States volunteers do for animals in the US as well as around the globe. We share your view that animals and humans have a shining future together, filled with peace and harmony.

For more details on the Humane Society of the United States, please visit Mr. Pacelle’s book “The Bond” is available at

Wonderful viewers, please join us tomorrow on Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants for the conclusion of our two-part program when we will speak with Wayne Pacelle about his bestselling new book “The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them.” We will also have highlights from the 2011 Genesis Awards, a Humane Society sponsored event that recognizes major news and entertainment media for producing outstanding works that raise public awareness of animal issues.

Thank you for your company today on our program. Coming up next is Enlightening Entertainment, after Noteworthy News. May Heaven grace us all with beauty, wisdom, strength and kindness.
Welcome good-hearted viewers to Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants. Today we are proud to present the conclusion of a two-part program on Mr. Wayne Pacelle, president and chief executive officer of the Humane Society of the United States.

A highly sought after media commentator, columnist and contributor to numerous newspapers, journals and magazines, Mr. Pacelle released a book in April 2011, entitled “The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them.” The bestseller is highly lauded by noted authors and animal welfare advocates, including Dr. Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and a United Nations Messenger of Peace.

In many ways this was a life’s work for me, and I explore this kinship that we have toward other creatures, something that really gives us a head start in our good relationships with animals. But I also talk in the book how the bond has been broken, how we’re really not living up to the standards of humanity, by exploiting animals in agriculture and other settings.

And in the end I really talk about how we can restore the bond and how we can re-establish a good and appropriate relationship with other creatures. And I talk about the humane economy, a way to value animals appropriately, a way to conduct business and industry without leaving a trail of animal victims, and it's a way that I think ultimately is going to be more profitable, it's going to be more sustainable, and it's going to allow us to reclaim our full humanity. So I’m very excited about that.

With a career devoted to the pursuit of bettering animal well-being, it is clear that Mr. Pacelle holds a deep affinity and close connection with many members of the animal kingdom.

I’ve had the pleasure of going to thousands of animal sanctuaries and meeting pigs and meeting cows who’ve grown up. They were veal calves, they were supposed to have been killed at 16 weeks of age or 20 (weeks) and now they’re these giant creatures.

There have been so many things that I’ve seen and done and in every case I just recognize that each individual creature is an individual. They have their own independent existence, they have their own personalities. We happen to be the most dominant, powerful species on the planet because of our mind.

But let’s use our mind for the good, let’s figure out ways to live with other creatures, rather than figure out ways to cause them harm. I mean that’s the beautiful expression of human creativity and innovation, not this way of figuring out ways to plunder animals and the rest of the natural world.

The Humane Society of the United States hosts an annual Hollywood gala called the Genesis Awards. The awards recognize major news and entertainment media for producing outstanding works that raise public awareness of animal issues.

Past ceremonies have featured celebrity presenters such as Christian Bale, Pierce Brosnan, Ellen DeGeneres, Melanie Griffith, Teri Hatcher, Isabella Rossellini, Martin Sheen, Alicia Silverstone, Amy Smart and William Shatner. We asked Mr. Pacelle for his perspective on film and television celebrities’ understanding of animal welfare issues.

I think people within the artistic community have always been very sensitive to animals as a general proposition. You have seen a greater awareness among that sub-group in society than many other sub-groups or the population at large. So, I think we kind of had a head start, and I think there’s a lot of empathy and kindness.

The 2011 Genesis Awards, the 25th anniversary of the event, was held in March 2011. The Wyler Award, one of the most prestigious awards given, was presented to Hollywood actress Kristin Davis for her ongoing support of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust which rescues and cares for baby elephants and rhinos in Kenya who have been orphaned due to the actions of ivory and rhino horn poachers.

The sad thing that I’ve seen unfortunately since I’ve been aware, is this huge increase in poaching of elephants for their ivory, and America unfortunately is the second biggest market for ivory products, second only to China. And people don’t think that this is still happening, but it’s happening because the people on the black market say that it’s antique ivory, but it isn’t. So don’t buy ivory products of any kind, because it’s having a very real effect in that it’s making the people illegally go out and kill the elephants and leave their babies behind, and elephants could be gone from the planet in the wild, and that’s not right.

What can we do to help?

Don’t buy ivory, number one. Number two, don’t buy black rhino horn, not that you would, but just don’t, in case you thought about it. And then you can support the Sheldrick Foundation by being an adoptive parent of a black rhino or an elephant.

Let’s meet some of the other luminaries who were in attendance starting with Hollywood actress Charlotte Ross who starred in the popular American television police drama NYPD Blue.

What animal welfare projects are you involved in?

Currently I’m the spokesperson for Operation Blankets of Love, which is this really wonderful grassroots organization that’s now growing. And what they do is very simplistic, but it make a huge difference, and that is they bring blankets and towels to the shelter animals that are on cold cement floors that are oftentimes wet.

Tonight they are serving a gourmet vegan dinner. What do you think about the vegan diet?

It’s awesome! I think people that don’t know about it, don’t know how great it is. I certainly feel better when I’m not eating meat. I just feel like my workouts are better and I’m emotionally better. And I’ve learned to get more creative with my cooking. And I love coming to these events because you get good vegan food.

Why do you think it’s important for media, news and entertainment to speak out for the animals?

Because they don’t have a voice. Animals, all animals, every species, none of them have a voice and I always say we’re their voice. And I think that’s what a lot of us understand, the people that do documentaries, and do television shows, and journalists, we know that we are their voice. And even if you’re not on television, you can be a voice for animals by volunteering at the shelters or traveling to Thailand and help rescue elephants or whatever your passion is. As long as you get out and volunteer, I think that’s the message.

In Los Angeles we have the toughest spay and neutering law in the United States. And we’re working hard to really promote adoptions.

Do you have any special animal in your life?

Monkey and Buggy. Monkey’s our dog and Buggy is our cat.

Supreme Master Ching Hai was invited to the 2011 Genesis Awards, but was regretfully unable to attend due to prior commitments. The following is an excerpt of a letter she sent to the organizers.

It is a great honor to be considered for such an illustrious event, I truly feel sorry that I cannot be there in praise of all the wonderful people, journalists and media groups that promote the humane treatment of animals. We all can only do our small part, yet together, through groups such as yours; we are a powerful and united voice for the protection of all beings.

To help you in continuing to do such noble deeds, our association would like to contribute $50,000 to further your outstanding efforts and help with purchasing medicine and vegan food for the animals under your care. Again, please accept my heartfelt appreciation for your invitation and apologies for not being able to attend.

Wishing you all my love, a very memorable night for all attendees and the greatest success that Heaven can bring. With Great Honor, Love and Blessings, Supreme Master Ching Hai

Wayne Pacelle graciously accepted Supreme Master Ching Hai’s donation on behalf of the Humane Society.

The animals are part of our community and can’t speak like we can, but they can communicate, and they richly deserve their lives as much as we do. And we’re really so pleased not just to get this financial support which is so meaningful for us, but also just to have the kinship and the support to protect farm animals and companion animals and wildlife.

So Supreme Master, thank you so much for your generosity and also for doing so much within your community and with your own talents to spread the word about animal protection. We thank you on behalf of the entire Humane Society of the United States family for what you’ve done for us, and we look forward to a long and fruitful relationship together to advance these ideals, which mean so much to us personally as well as institutionally. So I want to thank you very much, and we’re really excited about getting the message out.

We also talk about the principle of animal protection being a universal value, that it’s not just a province of any one race or nation or community. This is a global sensibility, and it is so important that we reach people in all parts of the world with these ideas, and we thank you for helping to spread that message.

Thank you.

On Supreme Master Ching Hai’s behalf, our local Association members presented Mr. Pacelle with a copy of her book “From Crisis to Peace – The Organic Vegan Way Is the Answer” as well as a DVD featuring the “Gifting Peace” concert, a celebration of Supreme Master Television’s 4th anniversary.

Mr. Pacelle later sent Supreme Master Ching Hai an autographed copy of “The Bond,” with a warm note written inside:

“Supreme Master Ching Hai – Thanks for the incredible leadership + vision you provide throughout the world! You are an inspiration. Wayne Pacelle 4/13/11

Also following the Genesis Awards, Deborah Peeples, Vice President of Philanthropy at the Humane Society, sent Supreme Master Ching Hai a kind letter, the following of which is a brief excerpt.

Dear Supreme Master Ching Hai, On behalf of our Board, staff and the animals for whom we work, please accept my deep appreciation for your generous gift of $50,000 to The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), received on March 21, 2011, and for your lovely letter. As you requested, your gift will be used for medicine and vegan food for animals under our care. We so appreciate your recognition of our work.

With warmest regards, Deborah Peeples Vice President, Philanthropy Wayne Pacelle, we are sure the Humane Society will continue to spread the good news to people everywhere that animals deserve only kindness and love and we are truly proud of your organization’s many achievements in the area of animal protection.

For more details on the Humane Society of the United States, please visit Mr. Pacelle’s book “The Bond” is available at

Thank you for your company today on Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants. Coming up is Enlightening Entertainment, after Noteworthy News. May we always remind ourselves of the bountiful blessings from Heaven.

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