Friday, July 10, 2009

Interview With Paul Shapiro

Paul Shapiro leads the factory farming campaign at HSUS. Here is a recent interview with Paul.

By the way, I've talked to Paul on the phone and exchange emails with him. He is a good guy. Whether or not you agree with him, most everyone would like him if they got to meet him.

I've previously argued, from an objective viewpoint, that livestock agriculture is losing the intellectual battle with HSUS and the battle for public support. Paul's quote below is a great response to those who think the large HSUS is just one vegan-conspiracy machine.

Just think about it — we’re the largest animal welfare charity not only in the country, but in the world. Do you think that an organization that didn’t take mainstream views would be so influential? Just about two-thirds of Californians voted for the proposal we put on the ballot ... If you look at the breakdown of the vote, we won the majority of virtually every demographic ... even some of the largest ag counties.

This interview is also the first time I have seen discussion of Feedstuffs' role in the farm animal welfare debate. I love Feedstuffs, and frequently publish in it. By like any other media, it has its biases, and has a huge, huge bias towards factory farming. There are some advantages of factory farming, and someone has to stand up and fight to ensure those advantages are understood. Feedstuffs has assumed this role. While it provides a slanted-viewpoint, that bias often provides valuable information you would not receive if they tried to be objective.

LF: Who has been promoting this caricature?
PS: Feedstuffs plays a big role in it, as do other publications. (That publication) regularly engages in vilifying tactics. It (recently) published an article comparing our president, Wayne Pacelle, to Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini. When you have the largest agribusiness trade journal in the country comparing the HSUS’s president to Hitler and Mussolini, does anybody think that’s really appropriate?