Canisius ISHAR

Institute for the Study of Human-Animal Relations


A History of Animal Cruelty and the Human-Animal Bond, and the Modern-Day Efforts to Build a New Humane Economy

Wayne Pacelle
President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States
Author, The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them

September 7th, 2012

Animals have always played a central role in the human story, and how we have interacted with them – from the dawn of the era of hunting and gathering, through the age of domestication and animal sacrifice, and into the modern era of pet-keeping and industrialized agriculture – has defined our living patterns and daily experiences. Today, there are more manifestations of love and fascination for animals than ever before, but there is also so much cruelty and exploitation, occurring on a vast scale, with enterprises such as factory farming and the legal and illegal trade in wildlife producing suffering and death to billions of creatures every year.

Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States and author of the New York Times-bestseller The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them, led the discussion regarding how we, as individuals and as a society, must untangle this human-animal relationship, shed normalized forms of animal exploitation, and build a new humane economy.  A conscious concern for animals is a necessary feature of our moral progress and our economic success, and that a greater quotient of decency to animals is one of the building blocks of a civil society.