Layer’s battery cage in Bustan Hagalil, Israel
The South Asia Institute has partnered with the Animal Law & Policy Program at Harvard Law School, led by Kristen Stilt, to examine animal agriculture from the Middle East to Asia. The Program is hosting a workshop in May 2017 and is now accepting proposals.
This article was originally published in the Harvard Gazette.
In 2006, Jeff Thomas swore off animal products.
For the philanthropist and Duke-educated author it wasn’t one “aha” moment that turned him vegan and into an outspoken supporter of farm animals, it was a series of moments: dinner with a passionate vegetarian; the realization that a beautiful pet is essentially “no different from a beautiful cow”; the book “Animal Liberation” by Princeton philosopher Peter Singer.
Then there was the fundamental question about the human — and animal — condition.
“There is a logical path from existentially wondering how we can do the most good to helping farm animals,” said Thomas, adding: “Young people who are contemplating how to mitigate the most suffering should consider helping farm animals, where an ordinary person can positively affect millions of lives.”
Billions, in fact, when you count chickens.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 9 billion chickens, 115 million pigs, and 29 million cows were slaughtered in 2015 in the United States. Across the country, farmed animals are unprotected by any federal rules until shortly before slaughter and are exempt from the majority of state cruelty laws. Those facts stand in sharp contrast to a nationwide 2012 poll by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in which 94 percent of respondents said that animals raised for food should be free from abuse or cruelty.
Continue reading →