By Anna Griffin, Editor in Chief
Founded in 2017 by president and animal advocate, Wayne Pacelle, the Center for a Humane Economy advocates for the humane treatment of animals throughout multiple sectors of industry that affect their welfare.
Pacelle says, “It’s really in some ways, a follow up to my book, A Humane Economy, where I talked about how business is one critical pathway for reform. Most animals that are used in our society are owned or affected by businesses. Agribusiness corporations own millions of animals that are used for food,pharmaceutical companies own animals for testing purposes, animal parts are used by the fashion industry, and the list goes on. The thesis of my book is that a business must, if it’s going to compete and succeed in a world where people are more alert to animal welfare and conservation issues, absolutely adhere to these values: A company has to have animal welfare built into its business plan. I felt that there was a gap in the animal welfare movement as there was no group focused on influencing business, so the Center is built around that.”
Analyzing business practices to calculate direct and indirect impact on farm, laboratory, and wild animals, the Center has identified and evaluated a number of industries, including food, agriculture, pharmaceutical, retail, travel, leisure, energy, construction, and household and personal products. Within its overview, it studies corporate performance in an effort to track and normalize animal welfare practices. Companies are benchmarked with their industry peers, and then categorized on their performance.
With a commitment to recognizing industry leaders who are innovative in managing their impact on animals, wildlife and biodiversity, the Center highlights companies who are taking significant steps to improve animal welfare within their business practices. Engaging in compassionate campaigns, they address both corporations and government agencies, to outline and create lasting change within industry. Their focus is to enroll companies in formal communications, create petitions, lobby policymakers, champion alternative products, and inspire consumers to be Citizens of Conscience.
The Center’s current campaigns include:
Animal Fighting is the Pits
Banning Greyhound Racing
Ending Torture in Testing
Ending Soring in Horse Showing
No Doping In Racing
Keeping Them Wild
In the Stable, Not on the Table
Plant Based: Ready for Take Off
Getting Foie Gras Off the Menu
Hatching Plant-Based Eggs
Creating a Cage-Free Future
Tourism Without Trophy Hunting
Keeping Wildlife in One Piece
Wildlife Killing is No Contest
Their latest campaign, Kangaroos Are Not Shoes, was created to save kangaroos from being made into soccer shoes. In response to the Center’s statewide investigation revealing massive non-compliance with California’s law forbidding the sale of kangaroo parts, Nike has already stopped illegal sales of kangaroo-skin shoes to California shoppers from its website.
Pacelle says, “We are interested in animal protection because we realize there’s a problem with our human treatment of animals, specifically our inhumane treatment of animals. We want to see the world change, but social change is difficult. You need a cultural climate to evolve, but you also need very specific tailored campaigns to execute and deliver that change. Whether it’s through laws, corporate policies or wake-up moments in our society, we need everybody who cares to be working collectively with a shared purpose, to change the way the world operates for animals. When we hurt animals, we often hurt ourselves.”