June 13, 2011
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00:00:03
00:00:08>>From the Center for the Study and the Teaching
00:00:10of Writing at The Ohio State University, this is
00:00:12Writers Talk. I'm Doug Dangler. Wayne Pacelle is
00:00:15the President and CEO of the ten million-member
00:00:18Humane Society of the United States, the nation's
00:00:21largest animal advocacy group.
00:00:24He is an active speaker, blogger and author with
00:00:26his most recent book just out, The Bond: Our
00:00:29Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them,
00:00:32a New York Times best seller its first week.
00:00:34Welcome to Writers Talk, Wayne.
00:00:36>>Doug, glad to be with you.
00:00:37>>Alright, well I'm curious about your background.
00:00:39>>Yes.
00:00:40>>You have a bachelors in history and studies in
00:00:42the environment and at age 23 you were appointed
00:00:44the Executive Director of the Fund for Animals.
00:00:47It's a big jump. How did you go from history and
00:00:50studies in the environment to working as the
00:00:53Executive Director for the Funds for Animals?
00:00:56>>Well I always loved animals, not surprisingly
00:00:58given I've written a book called The Bond.
00:01:01I started an animal advocacy group when I was in
00:01:05college in Connecticut and I was actually going
00:01:07to go to law school, but then right after a few
00:01:10animal organizations had sort of followed some of
00:01:13my work and one of them offered me a job writing.
00:01:15I actually did a year's worth of writing for a
00:01:17magazine in the field and then Cleveland Amory,
00:01:20who was a legendary advocate for animals and a
00:01:24very noted author himself, kind of took interest
00:01:27in some of my work and I guess some of my
00:01:29potential and he offered me a job beyond my
00:01:34experience level for sure, but I worked hard at
00:01:38it and I worked there for five and a half years
00:01:41before I moved on to the
00:01:45Humane Society of the United States.
00:01:47>>What did you learn in that job, since this is
00:01:49Writers Talk? So there is a lot of writing in history,
00:01:51but what were some of the things that stay with
00:01:54you from this day about having to do that year
00:01:57of writing and then moving into another community?
00:02:02>>Well you know history of course does acquaint
00:02:04you with fabulous nonfiction work and historical
00:02:07work. I was really drawn to that.
00:02:09Then writing for a magazine I was doing news
00:02:13reporting, I was doing feature-length stuff, I
00:02:15was doing book reviews so it just kind of
00:02:17enhanced my interest in that and of course it was
00:02:19narrow issues given I was mainly talking about
00:02:23animal welfare issues and the human interface
00:02:27with animals. Then I had this wonderful experience
00:02:29with Cleveland Amory. He wrote a bunch of best
00:02:31selling books. He was a social historian.
00:02:34He wrote a book called The Proper Bostonians and
00:02:36another one called Who Killed Society?, but then
00:02:38he wrote a best selling book about him and his
00:02:41cat which was a tremendously entertaining, funny,
00:02:43literate book called The Cat Who Came for
00:02:48Christmas. It sounds like a very soft title, but it
00:02:51was a number one New York Times best seller.
00:02:54I talked to Cleveland about his own craft and how
00:02:55he thought about books and what sort of process
00:02:57he engaged in writing a book and it kind of all
00:03:02stuck with me. One day I was going to turn my
00:03:06attention to a book and his own kind of teaching
00:03:10was really important to me.
00:03:13>>So now you've turned to this book and maybe
00:03:16like you said part of it is coming from that experience
00:03:18of finding out about The Cat Who Came for Christmas.
00:03:22>>Yeah, right.
00:03:23>>Tell me about this book. You've got a lot of
00:03:25things that are on your plate as the president
00:03:27and CEO. How did you have time to write it?
00:03:29>>Well, I knew that would be one of my greatest
00:03:32challenges. Writing a book is a difficult task in the
00:03:35best of circumstances. You have all the time in the
00:03:37world, but it's still tough. I had this additional
00:03:40confounding element that my job is consuming.
00:03:44I mean, we are a ten million-member organization,
00:03:47as you say. We've got one hundred and fifty million
00:03:50dollar budget. I've got a hundred staff.
00:03:52I'm deeply engaged in battling on these issues
00:03:56that we focus on and try to spread the word.
00:03:58I actually have a friend, Matthew Skully, who
00:04:00wrote a book called Dominion, and his book was
00:04:02one of the most critically acclaimed books in the
00:04:05field of animal welfare. Matthew was a speechwriter
00:04:09for President Bush and actually wrote his book
00:04:16during the campaign, the 2000 campaign, plus
00:04:19sometime into the first Bush administration.
00:04:22He got up at four every morning and wrote from
00:04:26four to eight and then did his job speech writing,
00:04:29whether for the campaign or for the president.
00:04:34I thought if he could do that then I can do that.
00:04:38>>It's a four a.m. rise time for you.
00:04:41>>Four a.m. rise time. When the phone is not
00:04:43ringing, when the e-mail isn't flowing in, then
00:04:46I can concentrate and then I would write for two
00:04:49or three or four hours or research or do all the
00:04:51things I want for the book.
00:04:52I would do my work during the day at HSUS and
00:04:53then sometimes at night I would turn to it at
00:04:55eight or nine o'clock and I would start with that
00:04:56process all over again.
00:04:57>>So how long did that process take?
00:04:59How long are you getting up at four?
00:05:03>>Well, you know, the book proposal took me
00:05:06eight months because I was really trying to
00:05:08frame. I'm the kind of guy drawn to the big picture.
00:05:12This is not just a sympathetic story about a boy
00:05:14and his dog; this is a much bigger, richer,
00:05:15fuller treatment. Not to diminish those other works
00:05:17about a boy and his dog in any way. I decided
00:05:21that I wanted to take this very expansive view.
00:05:27It took me eight months to do that proposal and
00:05:29then I went to New York, I got an agent, I met
00:05:32with all the big publishing houses and they all
00:05:35bid on the book and eventually I settled with
00:05:36William Morrow from Harper Collins.
00:05:39Once I signed that dotted line I had one year.
00:05:43I was just nose to the grindstone. Every single
00:05:45day I was devoting time to the book as long
00:05:47as I could. I was traveling a lot; I was writing
00:05:49on planes, I was writing in airports.
00:05:53I have the ability to compartmentalize, so there
00:05:56is a lot of tumult around me and I can still
00:05:59concentrate. I just have a fabulous staff.
00:06:02I could consult doctors and wildlife biologists
00:06:04and others on our staff if I had questions.
00:06:06They helped me with some of the research elements
00:06:08of this, getting me papers and information and
00:06:13that was a great benefit to the whole process.
00:06:16>>I noticed there were a lot of footnotes in
00:06:18this book, a surprisingly large number.
00:06:20Also, you have an excellent index.
00:06:22I have to say hooray for the index because it
00:06:24allows you to go back and forth and look up some
00:06:26interesting aspects that I wanted to talk to you
00:06:30about. That's how you need a research staff.
00:06:34Is that what you're getting at?
00:06:36>>Well, I had it and I'm not sure you need it.
00:06:38I really felt like I just wanted to tie every
00:06:39loose end together with this book.
00:06:44The work that we do is tremendously fulfilling,
00:06:46very popular in America, but we do have our share
00:06:50of critics and I wanted to make this bulletproof.
00:06:53I read a gazillion books it seemed like and I did
00:06:57a lot of research, plus, I just had my two
00:06:59decades worth of emersion in this field.
00:07:02I was so intimately familiar. I used narrative
00:07:04devices to try to illuminate these issues.
00:07:10This is not just a compendium of facts, I put
00:07:12myself in the middle of these stories in order to
00:07:14create a story and narrative so it's interesting
00:07:18and engaging to the reader. At the end of the
00:07:20process I wanted to make sure I had all the facts
00:07:22in line so I asked my staff to review it, whether
00:07:24the program experts in wildlife or companion
00:07:29animals or farm animals and then our research
00:07:31staff gave me papers and others to make sure
00:07:32that I was hitting it right on point on all these details.
00:07:39>>When you do research a lot of times you end
00:07:41up with things you didn't really expect.
00:07:42Tell me about moments like that for you in here
00:07:44when you come up on something you think I thought
00:07:46I knew this but there's a different take on it
00:07:48and it's going to cause me trouble in writing it
00:07:50or in my conceptualization. How often did that happen?
00:07:51>>You know, I was so familiar with the set of
00:07:53topics. You pick and choose. I mean you can't
00:07:59write a book about all human relations with animals.
00:08:03This is one of the central questions of the human
00:08:06experience is our relationship with animals and
00:08:08nature. We have to pick and choose, but I would
00:08:10say that I really took some jabs at some organizations
00:08:12in this. I took aim at the National Riffle Association
00:08:15frankly because it's been standing in the way of
00:08:19some very legitimate reforms like outlawing
00:08:24pigeon shooting in Pennsylvania, or stopping bear
00:08:26bating. I wanted to make sure I had all the facts right
00:08:29in there so I did some research on that like the
00:08:32use of a lead shot, for instance. If a hunter is
00:08:34shooting waterfowl it is no longer permissible
00:08:37to use lead shot. It was banned in the mid-1980s,
00:08:40but for many other species lead shot is permitted
00:08:42and when it's discharged it pollutes the
00:08:45environment, if you will. Sometimes animals shot
00:08:50by hunters are filled with lead and they aren't
00:08:54retrieved by the hunter. They are wounded
00:08:56and they go off. Carrion-feeding birds like
00:08:59the California condors, they may feed on the
00:09:01carcass of the animal not retrieved.
00:09:03I did a lot of research on this whole lead shot
00:09:04issue and figuring out what the toxicity of the
00:09:08lead was and what the frequency of death was and
00:09:09the causes. This lead me into the scientific literature
00:09:13in many ways and it was really compelling, powerful
00:09:16information and I wanted to include it in the book.
00:09:19>>Ok. Well I think you had something you were
00:09:22going to read to sort of set up some aspects of that.
00:09:24So please, go ahead.
00:09:27>>Yes. Well this is from the preface. I wrote a
00:09:29preface and then an introduction and I hit a lot
00:09:32of the big issues in the book. I think this two
00:09:35paragraphs kind of sets up some of my thinking
00:09:38on the book. "As harsh as nature is for animals,
00:09:41cruelty comes only from human hands.
00:09:45We're the creature of conscience, aware of the
00:09:47wrongs we do and fully capable of making things
00:09:49right. Our best instincts will always tend in that
00:09:53direction because a bond with animals is built
00:09:56into every one of us. That bond of kinship and
00:10:00fellow feeling has been with us for the entire
00:10:03arch of human experience, from our first bare
00:10:06footsteps on the planet, through the era of
00:10:09domestication of animals and into the modern age.
00:10:12For all that sets humanity apart, animals remain
00:10:15our companions in creation.
00:10:16To borrow a phrase from Pope Benedict XVI,
00:10:21'Bound up with us in the story of life on Earth,
00:10:24every act of callousness towards an animal is a
00:10:27betrayal of that bond and every act of kindness
00:10:30we keep faith with the bond and broadly speaking
00:10:32the whole mission of the animal welfare cause is
00:10:34to repair the bond, for their sake and for our
00:10:36own.' In our day there are stresses and fractures
00:10:38of the human-animals bond and some forces at
00:10:41work would sever it once and for all.
00:10:43They pull us in the wrong direction and away from
00:10:44the decent honorable code that makes us care for
00:10:48creatures that are entirely at our mercy.
00:10:52Especially within the last two hundred years,
00:10:54we've come to apply an industrial mindset to the
00:10:55use of animals too often viewing them as if they
00:10:58were nothing but articles of commerce and the raw
00:11:00material of science, agriculture, and wildlife management.
00:11:04Here as in other pursuits, human ingenuity has a
00:11:08way of outrunning human conscience and
00:11:11something's we do only because we can, forgetting
00:11:13to ask whether we should." I think, Doug, it kind
00:11:18of frames the issue when talking about this bond,
00:11:20which kind of gives us a head start in doing the
00:11:24right thing for animals, but then there's still
00:11:26in our society so many manifestations of human
00:11:28love and affection and appreciation for animals,
00:11:31we also have so much cruelty. I say that cruelty
00:11:34only comes from human hands, we're the ones
00:11:36who do it. They're suffering in nature. I mean
00:11:39animals at risk in wild settings and of course all
00:11:43living organisms die, so it's not as if I'm saying
00:11:47we have to have eternal life for all creatures.
00:11:50I'm saying we must really take a serious moral
00:11:53look at our conduct that causes misery and
00:11:58suffering and cruelty to other creatures and then
00:11:59I think we can really honor this bond and find a
00:12:02way to live our lives, maintain a robust economy,
00:12:07a high quality of life, but not leave a trail of
00:12:09animal victims in the process.
00:12:12>>And you outline some of that in the book at
00:12:13the end talking about sort of scientific things
00:12:16that have changed the ways that animals are
00:12:17treated. I'd like to go back to one of the things
00:12:20you mentioned in there. You say but cruelty only
00:12:23comes at human hands, right?
00:12:25>>Yes, right.
00:12:27>>And one of the chapters in this book is
00:12:29probably your most controversial chapter.
00:12:32It's a controversial relationship with Michael Vick.
00:12:34>>Yes, it is.
00:12:36>>And you talk about meeting him in prison and
00:12:40the belief you have that he can be a positive
00:12:42force within the animal rights community.
00:12:43Tell me about writing this section. Did you keep
00:12:45notes on your interactions with him? Do you have
00:12:47to rely on memory? How did you reconstruct this
00:12:49and walk yourself through it?
00:12:52>>Sure. Well, let me set it up a little bit because it's
00:12:57got a lot of backstory to it. Of course the Humane Society
00:13:00of the United States is as tough as any organization
00:13:03can be on dog fighting. I mean we have the most
00:13:06dedicated unit focused on dog fighting crimes and
00:13:10I actually helped to write the 2002 Federal law under
00:13:13which Michael Vick was prosecuted.
00:13:17There was another Federal stature that was also
00:13:19invoked to prosecute him, but it was the Federal
00:13:23Animal Fighting Law that we were responsible for
00:13:26that lead to his prosecution. We wanted him prosecuted.
00:13:31No person is above the law. We wanted to make sure
00:13:33that the federal prosecutors took this seriously and
00:13:39they did very, very well in advancing this case.
00:13:43We demanded that Vick be axed from the NFL and
00:13:46that his sponsors drop him. We were not the least bit
00:13:48soft in anyway on Michael Vick.
00:13:50As his prison term was about to end, he reached
00:13:53out to me through one of his intermediaries and
00:13:56said he wanted to get involved in our anti-dog
00:13:58fighting work, which again is the most developed
00:14:00work in the field. I decided no, the guy is too
00:14:05radioactive, too difficult.
00:14:08We were so at odds with him that it was just too
00:14:12big a leap, but then I had this nagging feeling
00:14:14that what are we really about at the Humane
00:14:16Society? We are really about change.
00:14:18We're about people who do the wrong thing and
00:14:20moving into a better place. We just don't take the
00:14:22easy cases, we take the tough cases. We just don't
00:14:26want to preach to a choir of a suburban housewife
00:14:30who is already very much in alignment with the
00:14:31velocity of the Human Society of the United States.
00:14:34We have to take people who are really in a bad
00:14:37state and try to help them get to a better place.
00:14:41The second piece is that I knew from our work
00:14:44against dog fighting that the biggest growth
00:14:45ahead for dog fighting was urban based dog
00:14:48fighting, what we call street fighting.
00:14:49Young African American kids often getting pit
00:14:51bulls for their own reasons staging fights in
00:14:55back alleys and abandoned buildings and even on
00:14:56the street, hence the name street fighting.
00:14:59I thought, who better to offer these kids a
00:15:01cautionary tale about this than Michael Vick.
00:15:03So after a lot of soul searching and a lot of
00:15:06reflection I agreed to meet him.
00:15:10I flew out to Leavenworth penitentiary with his
00:15:11lawyer and I sat down with him and had a one-hour
00:15:14courtyard conversation with him, which I recount
00:15:18in the opening of the fourth chapter.
00:15:20I took notes right after the conversation ended.
00:15:24I didn't record it, but I took notes immediately
00:15:25afterwards. I met with Vick a second time after
00:15:28he got out of jail and he was in home confinement
00:15:30for three months. I went to his home in Hampton Roads,
00:15:32Virginia and sat with him for a few hours and really
00:15:34kind of probed what happened in his life and when
00:15:37he started. He told me he started dog fighting when
00:15:39he was seven years old and all the kids were
00:15:43engaged in dog fighting. They were fighting dogs
00:15:45during the day and chasing cats and killing them
00:15:46with pit bulls at night. He just continued to do it
00:15:49as he got older. Even when he was in college at
00:15:51Virginia Tech breaking records and making a name
00:15:56for himself, we was still doing it. Even when he was
00:15:59an Atlanta Falcon, every week his one day off he
00:16:02would fly to Virginia to fight dogs.
00:16:04It was staggering to me that he did it, but he
00:16:06was transparent with me and he said he wanted to
00:16:10make a long-term commitment to help us with our
00:16:12anti-dog fighting work and we've been doing it
00:16:16since. It was a tough thing to begin with for me
00:16:19to work with Michael Vick. A lot of our supporters
00:16:23didn't understand it, but I would do it again.
00:16:24It was actually exactly the way you want
00:16:26something to play out: a man commits a terrible
00:16:27crime, he's prosecuted for them under the laws
00:16:31that we help write, he serves a meaningful
00:16:33sentence in jail, when he's coming out of jail he
00:16:36wants to now turn around, he wants to help
00:16:41address the societal problem that he was caught
00:16:44up in and he wants to reach others in part of a
00:16:48broader campaign to turn the problem around.
00:16:51To me that's exactly the way we want our penal
00:16:52system to work and I felt that it was important
00:16:55for me to recount that story because it was such
00:16:57a conflicted thing for me to go through.
00:17:00>>Right. One of the things that I felt as I was
00:17:02reading it is that I can sense some of the conflict
00:17:05that you had with him. I also sense that there is
00:17:08a moment in which you say you can use this as
00:17:11a moment of this person has redemption.
00:17:14This person has changed.
00:17:16Then there is that sort of cynical moment when
00:17:17you say well the guy is also just getting back
00:17:20into football. Are there other high profile, and
00:17:22I can't think of any, that would fit this mold as well?
00:17:25Does it just mean that somebody high profile
00:17:29would be able to go through the process that you
00:17:34described? Are there others? If I were a pit bull
00:17:38fighter, would I get this sort of redemption?
00:17:42>>Well let me just say in general that the
00:17:44humane movement is a movement full of sinners.
00:17:46Animal use is caught up in our daily lives.
00:17:51We're eating meat, we're wearing clothing that
00:17:52may come from animals, whether it's exotic skins
00:17:55or fur, many people have hunted throughout their
00:17:59life, maybe even engaged in trapping.
00:18:03We are all caught up in this world where we have
00:18:06all these mixed messages about animals, where we
00:18:09say we love them, we say we're against cruelty,
00:18:11yet we have factory farming, we have trophy
00:18:13hunting, we have trapped for fur and there's
00:18:15animal testing going on around us.
00:18:18None of us are perfect and I say some of my own
00:18:23conduct when I was a kid is something I was not
00:18:24proud about and not fully informed.
00:18:26I didn't make all the right decisions.
00:18:28Some of the most powerful voices in our field are
00:18:30ex-ranchers who are kind of industrial style,
00:18:35agricultural operators who now show a new way.
00:18:38I have a friend who is an ex-primate researcher.
00:18:40He was doing terrible things to primates in
00:18:42laboratory settings and now he's one of the best
00:18:45advocates for helping these animals and calling
00:18:49wasteful, inhumane research exactly that.
00:18:53I feel like our whole movement is populated and
00:18:55that was very instructive to me. I didn't feel like
00:18:59I was breaking new ground with this.
00:19:01I was one of the only leaders of a major group
00:19:04who was willing to work with Vick at the time,
00:19:06but I'm very cognisant that we want to have
00:19:09people moving in the right direction and our
00:19:11movement is full of those people.
00:19:13>>I think one of the interesting things about
00:19:14this book and for someone like you to write this
00:19:16book is that you do tread in some ways.
00:19:18You mentioned at the beginning a line at which
00:19:21you're taking aim at certain groups like the NRA
00:19:23and other groups that you're not taking.
00:19:25I was actually sort of surprised when you
00:19:28mentioned Sarah Palin and the wolf hunting.
00:19:32The question I have on that is what is your.
00:19:38You seem to be establishing a fairly neutral
00:19:42political tone, or trying to be politically
00:19:44neutral for the good of the organization and I'm
00:19:47wondering how difficult that was for you to write
00:19:51about. If you set aside personal feelings and
00:19:53just said. You talk about how there are some
00:19:57people who are republicans are good allies and
00:19:59some people are democrats.
00:20:00>>Not difficult at all. I have friends in Congress
00:20:02and many state legislatures on both sides of
00:20:06the aisle and we value them greatly. I consider this
00:20:09issue, being decent to animals, a universal value.
00:20:15I mean opposition to cruelty is something that
00:20:18everyone should hold. It would be the worse thing
00:20:20imaginable for it to be the province of one political
00:20:21party and to be a football that's contested between
00:20:24these two parties. I am studiously nonpartisan in
00:20:26our work and I'll criticize Sarah Palin for promoting
00:20:30aerial wolf gunning and I'll criticize a Democrat on
00:20:35the add committee, like former U.S. representative
00:20:39Charlie Stenholm from Texas, for defending terrible
00:20:43practices like downer cows in the food supply.
00:20:47I went after governor Stenholm for getting on the
00:20:52floor and saying no sick animal can ever get into
00:20:54the food supply and we were trying to pass
00:20:57legislation in Congress to require the humane
00:20:58euthanasia of animals too sick and injured to
00:21:01walk at slaughter plants. I mean these animals are
00:21:03down, ill, or severely injured and these folks are
00:21:07trying to get them in the slaughterhouse to feed
00:21:10ground beef to our kids. I just found that WORD
00:21:13and I detail it in my chapter on factory farming.
00:21:17>>Right. And I had to look up downer cow, by
00:21:22the way, which I thought in a sick way, humorously
00:21:24named because it's down but it's also like that's a
00:21:28downer cow. I thought what an odd term to describe it.
00:21:31>>It is. I had to look it up myself way back when I
00:21:35first heard it, but it literally means the animal
00:21:37is down on the ground and can't get up.
00:21:38>>And then there's downed cows that can apparently
00:21:40get back up, but the downer cows are the ones that are down.
00:21:41>>I think they're interchangeable. Sometimes the
00:21:44animals are non-ambulatory as they say. They can't walk.
00:21:47What I documented was that in an investigation
00:21:50that we did at a southern California slaughter
00:21:53plant they were tormenting these cows.
00:21:55They were ramming them with forklifts and they
00:21:58were using a hot shot on their eyes and their
00:22:01genital areas. They even put water hoses in their
00:22:04mouths to cause them such distress that they
00:22:06actually would get up because they were trying
00:22:08to avoid their tormentors. They would then move
00:22:10them over to the slaughter area to kill them because
00:22:13it was so difficult to move these large cows when
00:22:15they couldn't walk on their own.
00:22:19>>Ok. What part of this book did you find the most
00:22:20challenging to write?
00:22:21What part did you have the most difficulty?
00:22:23>>You know, I think the first part. The first chapter
00:22:26of the book was very difficult because I kind of had
00:22:30to frame the broader issue of our bond with animals.
00:22:33Chapter one is called, "The Ties that Bond" and I
00:22:38talk about the biochemistry of the bond of pet
00:22:41keeping through the ages so I had to take
00:22:43historical look at how we've viewed animals over
00:22:45time. The rise of domestication, which is one of
00:22:47the transformative events in the human
00:22:51experience. I mean nothing changed human
00:22:54culture and experience more than animal
00:22:56domestication. Animal sacrifice I looked at even
00:22:58as a way to represent the bond.
00:23:00Only certain animals where sacrificed and they
00:23:03had to be well cared for, only religious leaders
00:23:05could sacrifice the animals so I even said in
00:23:08that ritual which we now think about as
00:23:11antithetical to any animals welfare sensibility,
00:23:13there's actually some sort of bond built into it.
00:23:16Then I talked about the emergence of the modern
00:23:23era and the rise of the humane movement.
00:23:24The animal welfare in the great republic of the
00:23:27future, which is a comment from Henry Salt, a
00:23:28beautiful quote that I make, so I think that
00:23:31chapter in some ways because of the enormous
00:23:35arch of experience. I also talked about what the
00:23:39underlying basis of our connection with animals
00:23:42is not some weepy, sentimentalism that I have or
00:23:44that others have, it's really there's something
00:23:46built into us that connects us to other living beings.
00:23:51It's why we have two thirds of the American
00:23:54households with pets, why we love wildlife, why
00:23:55we have animal planet on television.
00:23:57I mean, we are drawn to other creatures.
00:23:59I just didn't just want to say, "ok, we're drawn
00:24:00to them", I wanted to explain what underlies it
00:24:02and I think in that chapter I do my best in
00:24:04providing a survey of what's going on here.
00:24:09>>Who do you see as the audience for your book?
00:24:11Who do you really want or expect to buy?
00:24:14>>You know really I have multiple audiences.
00:24:18Clearly this is something that I wrote to deepen
00:24:21an understanding about animal protection issues,
00:24:25about the history of our relationship with
00:24:28animals, and to point a way forward for us in
00:24:30society. Obviously our members would be very
00:24:33interested in it, but it's definitely aimed at
00:24:35mainstream American culture.
00:24:38I had actually hoped that many people within
00:24:41animals use industries that sometimes we have
00:24:45very good relations and sometimes not so good
00:24:47relations would read it as well as a very
00:24:50coherent, logical treatment of how we can get
00:24:54beyond some of these problems.
00:24:57I don't want to be stuck in the mud in this
00:24:59issue. I just don't want warfare on the tough issues
00:25:01here. You've got some easy issues like dog fighting
00:25:04and about proper pet care, but you have tougher
00:25:08issues like factory farming.
00:25:10How do we produce food in a society where we have
00:25:12three hundred and ten million people in American
00:25:15and seven billion worldwide and those numbers are
00:25:17both going to grow? How do we do that without
00:25:19confining animals and mutilating them and causing
00:25:21them harm on these factory farms?
00:25:23In Ohio we've really forged some important
00:25:26relationships with the leaders of Ohio's
00:25:30agriculture community and I am so proud about
00:25:33that and I'm so appreciative of the dialogue that
00:25:36we're having. I want together for us to figure out these
00:25:39solutions. I don't just want to say you do it or I do it,
00:25:41but I want to say together let's figure it out so
00:25:44we can all win. I want farmers to win, I want members
00:25:47to win, I want all of society to win. I want to have a
00:25:50robust economy and also to be good to animals.
00:25:55That's the future for us, the humane economy,
00:25:58which is the last chapter.
00:26:00>>You can see that. You have a vision of that and
00:26:02a vision that you're offering in the book.
00:26:03You've got two minutes: what's that vision? How do you explain it?
00:26:09
00:26:09>>Well, it really is about the humane economy.
00:26:14It's really not so much about animal rights,
00:26:16which I don't really advocate for. I advocate for
00:26:20human responsibility. It's really more about us
00:26:24than it is about them. You have to understand
00:26:26the basic framework with animals that they feel
00:26:28pain, they suffer, they have a heartbeat,
00:26:31they breathe air, they want to live.
00:26:36I think we should use the genius and creativity
00:26:37and innovation of the human mind to figure out
00:26:40this set of problems that pass necessities, like
00:26:42wearing a fur coat, are today's minor
00:26:44conveniences for which we have alternatives.
00:26:48Let's find the alternative so we can live a good
00:26:50life and also give the animals a good life, too
00:26:53and that's the humane economy.
00:26:56A lot of people talk about the green economy,
00:26:58having an economy that's built around
00:26:59environmental sustainability, well this is about
00:27:02having a strong economy and not causing harm to
00:27:04animals, especially not in these severe, extreme ways.
00:27:08>>Can you name some specific places where you
00:27:11feel like the humane economy has really been
00:27:14achieved or is much great achievement. We have a
00:27:16lot of factory farms in Ohio. Are there other places?
00:27:20>>Well the quintessential example which I invoke
00:27:24in the book is from whaling to whale watching.
00:27:27We were the biggest whaling nation in the world.
00:27:31Now we're the biggest whale-watching nation. We're
00:27:33opponents of whaling. I talk about seals and killing seals.
00:27:37I've gone up to the ice flows of Canada and seen
00:27:40the beauty of these seals and the nursery of the
00:27:43north with their harp seals and hooded seals and
00:27:46I think you can monetize that and make millions
00:27:48of dollars. Killing the seals now generates so little
00:27:51revenue because no one wants these seal pelts.
00:27:53That's the old economy stubbornly clinging to
00:27:55custom and tradition when in reality we have a
00:27:59new economy to build it. But humane, sustainable
00:28:03agriculture. We're really excited to be working with
00:28:05farmers not only in Ohio, but all across the
00:28:07country to build an agricultural model that's
00:28:10productive, that produces safe food, but that's
00:28:12also humane for the animals.
00:28:15>>Ok. We will hope that Ohio will be able to
00:28:17contribute to that and be in the forefront of that
00:28:19as the movement moves forward.
00:28:23>>And it has been. It's been a really great
00:28:25relationship and we are working closely and
00:28:27we're really excited to see progress.
00:28:31>>Great. Well Wayne Pacelle, the President and
00:28:34CEO of the Humane Society of the United States,
00:28:36thank you for being here on Writers Talk.
00:28:38>>Doug, thank you so much.
00:28:39>>And from the Center for the Study and the
00:28:42Teaching of Writing at The Ohio State University,
00:28:43this is Doug Dangler. Keep writing.
Note : Transcripts are compiled from uncorrected captions