There are currently more than 9 billion land animals raised in the U.S. every year for meat, milk, eggs, and other by-products. Sadly, the vast majority of these creatures suffer intensely on today’s factory farms, which employ barbaric techniques that are deemed as “standard practice” by the big (and greedy) players in the Animal Agriculture industry.
The systematic butchering of animals is not only inhumane, but also has significant repercussions for the environment: from air and water pollution to deforestation to careless monoculture, there are many reasons why factory farms are inherently problematic. And of course, there’s a whole other set of arguments to be made against meat consumption in general. (In case you forgot, the WHO thinks you hold off on the bacon on your next BLT salad.)
Yet, in spite of all these valid reasons to curtail the excessive farming of animals, the animal agriculture industry has been slow to change its cruel and unsustainable practices. Fortunately, however, there are many animal advocacy groups and organizations that are fighting to create real change on this front.
The Humane League is one of these organizations, and let me tell you, they are one helluva mighty one!
What’s the story?
The mission of The Humane League (THL) is to reduce animal suffering by inspiring change at all levels. This sense of purpose drives every action in their unrelenting march forward for animals. THL advocates for farm animals through public education and corporate campaigns. THL works through an ever-expanding network of field offices across the country providing information and encouragement to help people make choices that will reduce animal suffering. Their work with schools, retailers, and foodservice providers has won policy changes that spare hundreds of thousands of farm animals a year from the misery of intensive confinement. Additionally, their online and community-based vegetarian advocacy programs reach millions of young people each year, reducing meat consumption and sparing even more animals.
Their work is guided by a clear bottom line: How many animals are they helping and how much suffering are they reducing.
Since its inception in 2005, THL has held a steadfast commitment to a continual revision of its campaign strategies and priorities, informed by a deep interest in their effectiveness on behalf of animals and the value they see in evidence-driven advocacy. Thus, the organization’s programs are data-driven and informed by the latest research in social psychology, as well as the work of their research wing, Humane League Labs.
Humane League Labs
Humane League Labs is a unit of THL that aims to inform advocacy strategies through actionable research on their effectiveness. Since its creation in 2013, Humane League Labs (HLL) has pioneered research on various forms of activism related to the mission of THL.
The HLL have conducted exploratory studies on the relative effectiveness of videos depicting cruelty on factory farms, leaflets used for outreach at campuses, photographs accompanying our literature and the messaging we use in our online and printed materials.
In the coming months and years, HLL will embark on a research agenda covering some of the testable interventions used in the farm animal advocacy movement. They will produce four categories of appropriately labeled research output: blog posts, exploratory research reports, confirmatory research reports, and advocacy recommendations.
“Among animal advocacy organizations, THL makes exceptionally strong efforts to assess its own programs and to look for and test out ways of improving them. Their success in applying these techniques to their online ads program, and their publication of their research through Humane League Labs, has shifted the outlook and programming of several larger advocacy organizations toward finding the best ways to advocate for animals…. We find THL an excellent giving opportunity because of their strong programs and evidence-driven outlook, and we are pleased to recommend donating to them.” –Animal Charity Evaluators
What’s the impact?
Check out THL’s (short) video on how their work is making an impact!
How to get involved
Whether you are a vegan, a vegetarian or an open-minded omnivore, there are plenty of ways to support the work of this heartful organization. For instance, you can sign up to be a part of THL’s Fast Action Network and complete short actions that support animal welfare. You can also make a donation on their website.
Alternatively, if you’re getting married and want to use your big day to give back, consider creating a charitable wedding registry in honor of THL’s wonderful work.