Treatment of Animals in Industrial Agriculture

This is a writeup of a shallow investigation, a brief look at an area that we use to decide how to prioritize further research.

In a nutshell

  • What is the problem? Industrial agriculture in the United States involves billions of animals each year. The information we’ve seen suggests that these animals are often treated in ways that may cause extreme suffering over the course of their lives.
  • What are possible interventions? Efforts to address the harms of industrial agriculture on animals typically focus on advocacy to individuals (to reduce their meat consumption), corporations (to reduce consumption or improve animal welfare conditions), or governments (to ban particular practices deemed especially harmful), though there are a number of other potential activities as well.
  • Who else is working on it? Although the overall field of animal welfare receives a large amount of support from donors, relatively little funding appears to go to addressing the significant impacts of industrial agriculture on animal welfare.


Published: September 2013

What is the problem?

There are over a billion animals in the United States being raised for food.1 Animal advocates report that the vast majority of them are raised on factory farms where they are treated in ways that may cause them extreme suffering.2 For example, of the 291 million egg-laying hens in the U.S., roughly 95% are raised in battery cages, which restrict motion and prevent hens from engaging in natural behaviors.3

We have not yet vetted animal advocates’ claims about the extent to which industrial agriculture practices inflict harm upon chickens and other farm animals and how much they suffer as a result. Vetting these claims would be one of our top priorities were we to investigate this area further.

What are possible interventions?

Most work to advance farm animal welfare falls under the general rubric of advocacy, whether targeting individuals, corporations, or governments. Farm animal advocacy interventions we have heard about include:

  • Legislative advocacy, lobbying, or ballot initiative campaigns to encourage state governments to ban particularly harmful practices.4
  • Advertising to individuals to encourage them to reduce their meat consumption (e.g. by becoming vegetarian or vegan).5
  • Maintaining farm animal sanctuaries that are open to the public, to enable people to interact with farm animals with the intention of increasing empathy for them.6
  • Outreach to large institutions, such as school districts and hospitals to encourage the adoption of “Meatless Mondays” (to reduce overall meat consumption).7
  • Pressuring large food sellers (e.g. fast food or grocery chains) and corporate animal producers to improve animal welfare practices in their supply chains.8
  • Investigative reporting that exposes and raises the profile of abuses of animals in industrial agriculture.9
  • Litigation against corporations (to compel compliance with laws) or government agencies (to compel them to enforce laws).10

Outside the realm of advocacy, a funder may be able to support groups that evaluate the treatment of farm animals by different producers to enable consumers to make more informed choices with regards to animal welfare.

We do not have a strong sense of the likely costs or returns to any of these strategies.

Who else is working on this?

For this investigation we focused on organizations based in the United States.

The Humane Society of the United States, which has a budget of roughly $140 million/year, is the largest national animal welfare advocacy organization by a wide margin. However, its Farm Animal Protection team has only 11 staff members and an annual budget of around $1 million/year (though resources from other parts of the organization that are directed to improving farm animal welfare may raise the total allocation to 5-10% of the annual budget).11

A number of other large animal protection organizations do some work on farm animal welfare:

  • American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)12
  • Animal Legal Defense Fund13
  • PETA

However, none of these groups are primarily focused on farm animals, and we are unable to say with precision what portion of their budgets are directed towards efforts on farm animals.14

We also heard about six considerably smaller advocacy organizations, with annual budgets in the approximate range from $500 thousand/year to $2 million/year, and Farm Sanctuary, which has a budget of ~$9 million/year but is not exclusively focused on advocacy.15

The relatively small field of factory farming groups we heard about from advocates contrasted with our initial impression that animal issues tend to receive significant attention from a large number of advocacy groups.16 Our current understanding is that issues affecting stereotypically “cute” animals, such as cats and dogs, tend to receive disproportionate attention from most animal welfare advocates and donors, but that the treatment of animals in industrial agriculture may be relatively neglected.17

Questions for further investigation

Our research in this area has been relatively limited, and many important questions remain unanswered by our investigation.

Amongst other topics, our further research on this cause might address:

  • What does the existing scientific literature indicate about the magnitude of harm imposed upon animals by industrial agriculture, and about the extent to which chickens and other farm animals are capable of suffering?
  • How effective and cost-effective are the various advocacy strategies outlined above? How much funding is currently allocated to each of them?
  • Animal welfare improvements may generate less significant flow-through benefits than efforts in other causes because animals, unlike humans, are unable to use their improved welfare to further empower others. How important is this consideration?

Our process

We initially decided to investigate this issue because of our perception that animals involved in industrial agriculture in the U.S. are subject to significant harm.

The investigation that went into this report has been quite limited, consisting primarily of conversations with three individuals:

  • Jon Bockman, Executive Director, Effective Animal Activism (notes)
  • Paul Shapiro, Vice President, Farm Animal Protection, The Humane Society of the United States (notes)
  • Adam Sheingate, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Johns Hopkins University (notes)

Sources

Document Source
American Egg Board, “Egg Industry Fact Sheet” Source (archive)
ASPCA, “About the ASPCA” Source (archive)
ASPCA, “Farm Animal Cruelty” Source (archive)
GuideStar, “Animal Legal Defense Fund” Source (archive)
GuideStar, “ASPCA” Source (archive)
Humane Society of the United States, “An HSUS Report: The Welfare of Animals in the Chicken Industry” Source (archive)
Humane Society of the United States, “An HSUS Report: The Welfare of Animals in the Meat, Egg, and Dairy Industries” Source (archive)
Humane Society of the United States, “Crammed into Gestation Crates” Source (archive)
Humane Society of the United States, “Farm Animal Statistics: Slaughter Totals” Source (archive)
Notes from a conversation with Adam Sheingate, 8/2/2013 Source
Notes from a conversation with Frank Baumgartner, 5/13/2013 Source
Notes from a conversation with Jon Bockman, 7/12/2013 Source
Notes from a conversation with Paul Shapiro, 7/15/2013 Source
Shields and Duncan, “An HSUS Report: A Comparison of the Welfare of Hens in Battery Cages and Alternative Systems” Source (archive)
  • 1.

    “Of the approximately 11 billion animals killed annually in the United States, 86% are birds—98% of land animals in agriculture—and the overwhelming majority are “broiler” chickens raised for meat, approximately 1 million killed each hour. Additionally, approximately 340 million laying hens are raised in the egg industry (280 million birds who produce table eggs and 60 million kept for breeding), and more than 270 million turkeys are slaughtered for meat… Market weight is reached after 6-7 weeks for broiler chickens, approximately 99 days for turkey hens, and 136 days for tom turkeys.” Humane Society of the United States, “An HSUS Report: The Welfare of Animals in the Meat, Egg, and Dairy Industries”

  • 2.
    • “While many people are concerned with animal suffering, be it through vivisection, puppy mills, or entertainment, few realize that 98% of animals killed in the U.S. are killed for food supplies, and that 95% of those were raised on factory farms.” Notes from a conversation with Jon Bockman, 7/12/2013.
    • “Farm animals are more than 9 out of 10 of all the animals who are institutionally killed in America. Other institutional uses of animals include experimentation and the fur, circus, and hunting industries; these uses together account for under 5% of total institutional animal usage.
      In order to improve animal welfare, it is necessary to pursue reforms to end the industrial abuse of animals, but also to reduce the total number of animals raised for food in the first place. Currently, 9 billion land animals are raised for food each year. The agricultural systems needed to raise that many animals cannot have high animal welfare or be good for the environment.” Notes from a conversation with Paul Shapiro, 7/15/2013.

    • “Much of farm animal advocacy focuses on chickens, because they represent the vast majority of land animals abused on factory farms and killed in the US. Excluding aquatic animals, 9 out of 10 animals that are killed in the US are farm animals, and more than 9 out of 10 of those farm animals are chickens. More than 90% of eggs come from laying hens who spend their whole lives locked inside of cages where they do not have enough space to spread their wings. Legislative campaigns to improve the welfare of egg-laying hens focus on improving the conditions under which they live.
      Chickens raised for meat, called “broilers,” are bred to grow very fast so that they are obese at a young age; many broiler chickens are unable to walk because they collapse under their own weight; they are bred to suffer, no matter what their environment.” Notes from a conversation with Paul Shapiro, 7/15/2013.

    • “The overwhelming majority of the more than 9 billion chickens slaughtered for meat in the United States each year are raised in industrial production systems that severely impair their welfare. These animals experience crowded confinement, unnatural lighting regimes, poor air quality, stressful handling and transportation, and inadequate stunning and slaughter procedures. Selectively bred for rapid growth, broiler chickens are prone to a variety of skeletal and metabolic disorders that can cause suffering, pain, and death. Broiler breeders, the parent stock of chickens raised for meat, are subjected to severe feed restriction, and males may undergo painful toe and beak amputations, mutilations performed without pain relief. Rapid and immediate reform is needed to improve the welfare of chickens raised for meat.” Humane Society of the United States, “An HSUS Report: The Welfare of Animals in the Chicken Industry”
    • “Each year in the United States, approximately 11 billion animals are raised and killed for meat, eggs, and milk. These farm animals—sentient, complex, and capable of feeling pain and frustration, joy and excitement—are viewed by industrialized agriculture as commodities and suffer myriad assaults to their physical, mental, and emotional well-being, typically denied the ability to engage in their species-specific behavioral needs. Despite the routine abuses they endure, no federal law protects animals from cruelty on the farm, and the majority of states exempt customary agricultural practices—no matter how abusive—from the scope of their animal cruelty statutes. The treatment of farm animals and the conditions in which they are raised, transported, and slaughter within industrialized agriculture are incompatible with providing adequate levels of welfare.” Humane Society of the United States, “An HSUS Report: The Welfare of Animals in the Meat, Egg, and Dairy Industries”
  • 3.
    • “In 2012, the average number of egg-type laying hens in the United States was 286 million. Flock size for March 1, 2013 was 291 million layers. Rate of lay per day on March 1, 2013 averaged 74.3 eggs per 100 layers, up slightly from last year.” American Egg Board, “Egg Industry Fact Sheet”
    • “An estimated 95% of the 280 million hens in the U.S. egg-laying flock are confined in battery cages. Egg industry guidelines recommend 432.3 cm2
      (67 in2) of floor space per typical egg-laying hen, and the most commonly used cages hold 5-10 birds per cage. Cages are placed side by side, lined in rows, and stacked in tiers up to five levels high; tens of thousands of hens can be caged in a single building. Conventional battery cages provide a feed trough and water lines, but are otherwise barren environments. Scientists using preference testing techniques have demonstrated that hens generally prefer more space than is provided to them in a conventional battery cage.” Shields and Duncan, “An HSUS Report: A Comparison of the Welfare of Hens in Battery Cages and Alternative Systems”

    • “Cages prevent hens from performing the bulk of their natural behavior, including nesting, perching, dustbathing, scratching, foraging, exercising, running, jumping, flying, stretching, wingflapping, and freely walking. Cages also lead to severe disuse osteoporosis due to lack of exercise. Alternative, cage-free systems allow hens to move freely through their environment and to engage in most of the behavior thwarted by battery-cage confinement. Given their complexity, cage-free systems can be more challenging to manage and may require superior husbandry skills and knowledge. Laying hens must be genetically suited to the alternative housing system to realize its full welfare advantages. Regardless of how a battery-cage confinement system is managed, all caged hens are permanently denied the opportunity to express most of their basic behavior within their natural repertoire. The science is clear that this deprivation represents a serious inherent welfare disadvantage compared to any cage-free production system.” Shields and Duncan, “An HSUS Report: A Comparison of the Welfare of Hens in Battery Cages and Alternative Systems”
  • 4.

    Notes from a conversation with Paul Shapiro, 7/15/2013:

    • “HSUS promotes legislation to prohibit some of worst abuses of farm animals on factory farms. HSUS has helped to pass laws in 9 states to criminalize various factory farming practices (e.g., battery cages for egg-laying hens, gestation crates for pigs, and veal crates for calves).”
    • “HSUS has carried out multimillion-dollar campaigns on legislative initiatives, such as the Proposition 2 ballot measure in California, which succeeded in banning 3 of the worst factory farming practices. That campaign cost $10 million over 2 years (four million of which came directly from HSUS, which was by far the biggest backer of the measure).”
    • “HSUS does extensive public opinion polling to help figure out what is tractable and what message will resonate with people. For factory farming campaigns, it often focuses its work on states with a large number of factory farms, but also campaigns in states with lots of consumers, even if they don’t have as many factory farms.
      Past legislative campaigns
      In the case of Proposition 2 in California, HSUS conducted a poll in 2004 and found that public opinion could be improved when it came to the issue. After a few years, HSUS conducted another poll and found that California residents were then overwhelmingly supportive of farm animal welfare and said they would vote for Proposition 2 if it appeared on the ballot. HSUS then launched its campaign to get Proposition 2 on the ballot, and it passed in 2008. HSUS estimates that Proposition 2 will affect the lives of about 19 million farm animals when it takes effect in 2015.
      HSUS has also conducted successful campaigns in Ohio, Florida, Arizona, Colorado, Oregon, Maine, Michigan, and Rhode Island.
      Ongoing legislative campaigns
      HSUS is currently working on a campaign to ban gestation crates in New Jersey. The bill passed through the state legislature but was then vetoed by Governor Chris Christie. HSUS will wage a campaign to override the veto in the legislature. This type of campaign requires significantly less funding than advocating for a ballot measure.
      There is also a bill pending in the US Congress that would ban barren battery cages, but the meat industry is fighting hard to kill it, and it may not be feasible to defeat those interests in the Congress. If this fight is to be won in the Congress, it will be key to win more agricultural support for the legislation.”

    • “The main advocacy strategies that HSUS employs are TV ads and online ads to shift public awareness, and in-district work to influence lawmakers, which includes directly contacting local legislators as well as grassroots organizing to get community groups involved and active on these issues.
      If FAP was able to double its budget, Mr. Shapiro said that it would likely use additional funds for more advertising targeting both dietary change and legislative campaigns. Mr. Shapiro believes that advertising is an effective strategy and one that is used heavily by HSUS’s opponents.”
  • 5.
    • “The work done on behalf of broiler chickens is largely campaigns to reduce consumption; there is very little legislative advocacy done on behalf of broiler chickens.” Notes from a conversation with Paul Shapiro, 7/15/2013.
    • “The main advocacy strategies that HSUS employs are TV ads and online ads to shift public awareness, and in-district work to influence lawmakers, which includes directly contacting local legislators as well as grassroots organizing to get community groups involved and active on these issues.
      If FAP was able to double its budget, Mr. Shapiro said that it would likely use additional funds for more advertising targeting both dietary change and legislative campaigns. Mr. Shapiro believes that advertising is an effective strategy and one that is used heavily by HSUS’s opponents.” Notes from a conversation with Paul Shapiro, 7/15/2013.
  • 6.

    “Farm Sanctuary’s approach is to improve individual animal lives by creating sanctuaries for farm animals, and also to build support for farm animal advocacy by allowing people to meet and connect with these animals, thereby increasing how much people care for the welfare of farm animals.” Notes from a conversation with Paul Shapiro, 7/15/2013.

  • 7.

    “HSUS works with institutions, such as school districts and hospitals, to implement “Meatless Mondays.” This program has benefits for public health and the environment in addition to animal welfare. HSUS recently got the Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest school district in the country, to implement Meatless Mondays. This means that the 650,000 meals served in LA schools on a given day will now be meat-free at least once per week.” Notes from a conversation with Paul Shapiro, 7/15/2013.

  • 8.
  • 9.

    “Compassion over Killing and Mercy for Animals have litigation programs, but these organizations are not as focused on litigation as HSUS. These groups are more focused on undercover investigations and TV and online ad campaigns encouraging people to change their diets and to support other positive reforms for farm animals.” Notes from a conversation with Paul Shapiro, 7/15/2013.

  • 10.
    • “HSUS’s Animal Protection Litigation department is active in the court room on issues directly related to the treatment of farm animals, and also indirectly, by suing companies for false advertising about the treatment of farm animals. While many cruel practices may still be legal, it is illegal to lie to consumers about them. Currently, HSUS is representing plaintiffs who are suing Perdue, a chicken producer, in a false advertising case.” Notes from a conversation with Paul Shapiro, 7/15/2013.
    • “Pursuing enforcement through the courts: Advocates for farm animal welfare can sue federal agencies for failing to enforce their own rules. In the 1970s, for example, a case was brought against the FDA for not completing the review process for the use of certain antibiotics in farmed animals. The federal court judge ruled that FDA had to complete the review process. This may be a more tractable way to make progress than advocating for major legislation.” Notes from a conversation with Adam Sheingate, 8/2/2013.
  • 11.
    • “Some organizations that work on farm animal advocacy, and their rough annual budgets: Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS), ~$140 million…”
      Notes from a conversation with Jon Bockman, 7/12/2013.

    • “How budget allocations are determined
      HSUS’s budget is determined in part by donor interest, because many donors restrict their donations to certain causes. HSUS distributes unrestricted funds to its campaigns based on its supporters’ interests.
      Many donors to animal protection charities don’t always think in terms of the number of animals affected. Due to human psychology, we’re often more motivated by individual stories and by helping animals who we’re more familiar with. In general, people are more sympathetic to mammals, though the increasing interest in protection for chickens serves as a good example of how we do often care about birds, too.
      HSUS does a lot of work for dogs and cats. This work includes spay and neuter campaigns, promoting adoption from animal shelters, and free veterinary care.
      Budget allocation for farm animal welfare
      Among the campaigns that do not target dogs and cats, farm animal protection is an important priority. HSUS has carried out multimillion-dollar campaigns on legislative initiatives, such as the Proposition 2 ballot measure in California, which succeeded in banning 3 of the worst factory farming practices. That campaign cost $10 million over 2 years (four million of which came directly from HSUS, which was by far the biggest backer of the measure).
      The FAP team currently has 11 full-time staff members. The FAP budget allocation is probably on the order of $1 million, though this varies from year to year based on what it is working on. While FAP is the only department focused solely on farm animals, many other HSUS staff devote part of their time to farm animals as well, including staff litigators, lobbyists, and investigators. Overall, farm animal issues probably receive less than 5-10% of HSUS’s overall budget.
      Other campaigns
      HSUS has other campaigns to end various practices, including horse slaughter, the use of chimpanzees in scientific experimentation, wearing fur as fashion, dog and cock fighting, and puppy mills.” Notes from a conversation with Paul Shapiro, 7/15/2013.
  • 12.
    • Total expenses (2009): $106,702,710
      GuideStar, “ASPCA”

    • “Since 1866, the ASPCA has worked to stop cruelty to animals involved in the food production process. The industry has fallen into the hands of large corporations, and the issue of cruelty remains. The ASPCA continues its efforts to create distress-free lives for the many animals raised for food.”

      ASPCA, “Farm Animal Cruelty”

  • 13.

    Total expenses (2012): $5,874,168,
    GuideStar, “Animal Legal Defense Fund”

  • 14.
    • “What We Do
      As the first humane organization to be granted legal authority to investigate and make arrests for crimes against animals, we are wholly dedicated to fulfilling the ASPCA mission through nonviolent approaches. Our organization provides local and national leadership in three key areas: caring for pet parents and pets, providing positive outcomes for at-risk animals and serving victims of animal cruelty. For more on our work in each of these areas, please visit our programs and services page.”
      ASPCA, “About the ASPCA”

    • “Some organizations that work on farm animal advocacy, and their rough annual budgets:

      Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS), ~$140 million
      People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), ~$30 million
      Farm Sanctuary, ~$8-10 million
      Mercy For Animals, ~$2 million
      Vegfund, ~ $2 million
      Vegan Outreach, ~$1 million
      Compassion Over Killing, ~$800,000
      FARM, ~$500,000

      As you can see, PETA and HSUS are by far the largest; however, they only spend
      a small portion of their budget on advocacy for farm animals. HSUS, for example, advocates for a wide variety of animal causes, with a large percentage of their budget going towards non-farm animal related advocacy such as companion animals and wildlife. The farm animal protection team has about 10 members, which is considerably smaller than some of their other departments. Still, they’ve produced some amazingly significant results with that team.

      HSUS has 3 staff members who coordinate Meatless Monday campaigns by reaching out to schools and business groups.; one of their recent successes includes persuading an entire school district in Los Angeles to commit to Meatless Mondays. HSUS is also coordinating corporate campaigns that target food production businesses and encourage them to remove certain ingredients (e.g. eggs) from their products or to use more humane products (i.e. free-range eggs, gestation crate-free pork).

      PETA is an effective organization in some areas, and they are very good at getting publicity, but unfortunately it seemingly creates a lot of negative stigma for people who care about animal rights. PETA’s tactics may be partially responsible for the characterizations, which you often see reflected in movies and television, of vegetarians and vegans as being weird, radical, or outcasts. These characterizations are unfortunately representative of how society has viewed people who care about animals’ rights, although I am happy to say that I believe that is starting to change.

      Farm Sanctuary serves as a national symbol for how farm animals should live. Farm Sanctuary rescues farm animals and takes care of them, letting them live out full lives on their farms. Farm Sanctuary also gives tours to the public, which creates exposure and helps people to understand the intelligence and personalities of farm animals. However, Farm Sanctuary puts a lot of money into caring for a small group of animals, so it may not be the most cost-effective form of animal advocacy.” Notes from a conversation with Jon Bockman, 7/12/2013.

  • 15.
    • “Some organizations that work on farm animal advocacy, and their rough annual budgets:

      Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS), ~$140 million
      People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), ~$30 million
      Farm Sanctuary, ~$8-10 million
      Mercy For Animals, ~$2 million
      Vegfund, ~ $2 million
      Vegan Outreach, ~$1 million
      Compassion Over Killing, ~$800,000
      FARM, ~$500,000
      […]
      VegFund, which was founded about 4 years ago, provides funding for activists to do outreach on behalf of farm animals internationally. VegFund supports outreach, like “feed ins,” where vegan food is given away for free in public, as well as programs screening undercover videos of factory farms and online vegan ads. They have provided funding that allows many activists to engage in outreach that they otherwise would not have been able to fund.

      Mercy For Animals primarily focuses on conducting undercover investigations. Some of these videos led to the production of a short video entitled “Farm to Fridge,” which provides the base for many video outreach and online veg ad programs. They also conduct outreach like leafleting and video outreach, which they conduct at many festivals across the country. They have created a substantial name for themselves through their PR efforts, and have expanded fairly rapidly in the past few years.

      Compassion Over Killing also conducts a variety of outreach activities, but also puts a focus on changing policy initiatives. They host vegfests, campaign with companies to reduce or eliminate animal products from their menus, and also conduct investigations into factory farms.

      FARM conducts a wide array of vegan outreach. This includes campaigns like their 10 Billion Lives Tour in which they travel the country to conduct video outreach. They are taking some initiative to conduct research on the effectiveness of their tactics, which is very encouraging. They also host an annual Animal Rights National Conference.” Notes from a conversation with Jon Bockman, 7/12/2013.

    • “There are a few groups doing similar work to HSUS on farm animal welfare. One way of assessing how effective these groups are is to pay attention to the factory farming industry perspective – to see which advocacy groups the industry is most concerned about, based on what is written in trade publications.
      In addition to HSUS, there are a few other groups that seem to be highly effective on this metric:
      Mercy for Animals (approximate annual budget: $2.5 million)
      Compassion over Killing (approximate annual budget: $1 million)
      The Humane League (approximate annual budget: less than $500,000)
      Farm Sanctuary (approximate annual budget: $9 million)
      Compassion over Killing and Mercy for Animals have litigation programs, but these organizations are not as focused on litigation as HSUS. These groups are more focused on undercover investigations and TV and online ad campaigns encouraging people to change their diets and to support other positive reforms for farm animals.” Notes from a conversation with Paul Shapiro, 7/15/2013.
  • 16.

    For instance, political scientist Frank Baumgartner told us that animal welfare issues tend to be “very crowded.” Notes from a conversation with Frank Baumgartner, 5/13/2013.

  • 17.
    • “Animal welfare is an area that receives a lot of attention and funding, but most of this is focused on pets and animals used for lab testing; farm animals receive less attention. This may be because people don’t want to think about where their food comes from, because they find it disgusting or don’t want to feel as if they should change their diet. Certain events have created short-lived increases in public interest, such as Mad Cow disease or the horsemeat scandal. However, this interest wanes, because people generally trust the federal government to address public health issues.” Notes from a conversation with Adam Sheingate, 8/2/2013.
    • “HSUS’s budget is determined in part by donor interest, because many donors restrict their donations to certain causes. HSUS distributes unrestricted funds to its campaigns based on its supporters’ interests.
      Many donors to animal protection charities don’t always think in terms of the number of animals affected. Due to human psychology, we’re often more motivated by individual stories and by helping animals who we’re more familiar with. In general, people are more sympathetic to mammals, though the increasing interest in protection for chickens serves as a good example of how we do often care about birds, too.
      HSUS does a lot of work for dogs and cats. This work includes spay and neuter campaigns, promoting adoption from animal shelters, and free veterinary care.” Notes from a conversation with Paul Shapiro, 7/15/2013.