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Vegan Sommelier will attend an event to benefit "The Someone Project" of Farm Sanctuary.
Senior Director for Strategic Initiatives Bruce Friedrich explains the mission and intention behind the Someone, Not Something project.
What is the “Someone, Not Something” project?
Ever since I heard Cameron Diaz tell Jay Leno that she wouldn’t eat a pig because scientists had found that pigs have cognitive abilities beyond those of three-year-old human children — and so eating a pig would be like eating her niece — I’ve been intrigued by the disconnect most Americans experience between the animals we eat and the animals we welcome into our homes and families. Gene is fond of saying that “at Farm Sanctuary, the animals are our friends, and we don’t eat our friends.” I like that concept a lot — it’s simple, and it captures what we’re trying to do: to help everyone see farm animals as “someones.”
Q:How is this project different from other Farm Sanctuary programs?
Why is this project important to Farm Sanctuary’s mission and advocacy for farm animals?
Recent studies of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in chimpanzees have been instrumental in getting more rights for them; in fact, one of our scientific advisors, primatologist and medical doctor Hope Ferdowsian, explains that “recent events, fueled by emerging science, have resulted in the de facto termination of chimpanzee experimentation in the United States.” Similarly, recent studies of cetaceans (i.e. whales, dolphins, and porpoises) led to a declaration of rights for them that was presented to a packed room at the annual American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting. There’s no reason ethology can’t do the same thing for farm animals, who are complex individuals and are more like us than they are unlike us.
Why are farm animal intelligence, emotion, and behavior important for us to understand — isn’t simple respect for life enough?
But for many people, that argument is clearly not enough. Fully 97 percent of Americans agree that animals should be protected from abuse, and one-quarter say that animals should have the same rights as humans. And yet the vast majority of people eat animals. Why? We think it’s because they don’t know and empathize with farm animals in the same way they do with dogs and cats, animals most Americans would never eat.
Q:How can this project help change the way society views and treats farm animals?
Can you comment on the current state of research on farm animal cognition and emotion?
What should we look forward to seeing in the Someone, Not Something section of the website in the future?