Paw’d Cast: Josh Balk, Animal Rights Hall-of-Fame, Humane Society of the US

josh balk

JoshJosh Balk, Humane Society of the US

Josh will be on Sunday 5/6 to discuss the Prevent Cruelty California campaign that has put a referendum item on the November ballot to make illegal the extreme crowding of layer hens, veal calves, and breeder pigs. If passed in November, California will again be the nation’s leader in protecting animals at factory farms. And because all eggs and meat brought into California would have to meet the new standard, farms across the US would have to comply. (Or skip selling in the world’s sixth-largest economy).

More than 660,000 signatures were collected. Josh talks about the initiative measure, the success of the signature drive, why the issue matters, how to sell the issue to non-animal people, and what must happen to win in November.

Balk has led efforts to enact animal welfare policies with many of the world’s largest companies, including Walmart, Wendy’s, Kroger, Denny’s and dozens more. These policies have helped shift the food industry’s reliance on veal crates, gestation crates, battery cages, and cruel methods of raising chickens in the meat industry. He’s also been a leader in creating and supporting start-up animal-friendly companies, including co-founding JUST, and guiding investment firms and high net worth individuals to invest in this space.

Balk also led discussions with the largest food service companies in creating the world’s first partnerships on shifting their focus to plant-based foods. On legislative priorities, he was a leader on successful campaigns passing laws for farm animals, including in California, Massachusetts, and Maine. Prior to coming to HSUS, Balk worked at Compassion Over Killing (COK) where he conducted investigations into factory farm operations slaughterhouses, and launched one of our nation’s first advertising campaigns on farm animals.

Balk’s work has been covered by the Associated Press, Fortune, CNN, New York Times, Washington Post and dozens of other outlets. He was inducted into the Animal Rights Hall of Fame in 2015.

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