The Humane League is on a mission to improve animal welfare in our food system by advocating for the end of factory farming and caging farm animals. Through legislation and corporate partnerships, The Humane League has been instrumental in holding companies accountable for their practices and passing critical legislation that has saved the lives of millions of animals. Learn more about their work here!
Can you talk to me about what factory farming entails?
Over 70 billion animals are killed on factory farms every year. On factory farms, animals are kept in cages, mutilated without pain relief, and subjected to torturous conditions. Laying hens are kept in battery cages so small that they can’t spread their wings, which leads to brittle bones and various health issues. Chickens are fed to be as big as possible, creating heart and leg conditions from not being able to support their own weight. Factory farms create high greenhouse gas emissions and pollution that affects surrounding communities. The true cost of factory farming isn’t seen in the price— it’s a system that prioritizes profit at the expense of animals and the environment.
What legislation does The Humane League advocate for?
We push for new legislation and work to uphold any legislation that we’ve helped pass. When we first started advocating against battery cages, only 4% of hens lived in cage free systems. Now, that number is 40%. We now have 10 states with legislation to end the caging of farm animals. We advocate for state legislation like California’s Prop 12, which bans cages for laying hens, pigs, and veal calves, and national legislation. When congress introduced the EATS Act this year, which would jeopardize state animal protection laws, we immediately took action against it. The Humane League has freed over 5.4 million birds from cages and will continue fighting for cage-free farming for all farm animals.
What are some of the main issues you target when it comes to restaurants and food businesses?
We hold corporations accountable to enforce better welfare practices. We’ve gotten commitments from hundreds of companies to go cage-free, and their deadline to comply is 2025. Our corporate engagement work both celebrates the people and companies making progress, and holds accountable those who are falling behind on their promises. We work with the Open Wing Alliance, which brings together organizations to end cages for laying hens worldwide, to encourage companies to publicly report their progress to demonstrate their commitment to better conditions.
Are there things individuals can do to support your mission?
Volunteer with us! You can take part in local events, meet like minded people, and participate in a peaceful protest. You can take action by joining our Fast Action Network on our website. It gives you easy tasks to do, like sharing on social media or calling customer service representatives, that take only a few minutes but have a huge impact. If you are consuming animal products, look for cage-free eggs and slower growing chickens. We also encourage people to leave animals off their plates completely and try a plant based diet. Small steps can make a big difference in fixing our broken food system.