Adele Douglass, Founder and CEO of Humane Farm Animal Care, Joins Denver Frederick
by Jul 30, 2019 | Guest Interview|
The following is a conversation between Adele Douglass, Founder and CEO of Humane Farm Animal Care, and Denver Frederick, Host of The Business of Giving on AM 970 The Answer WNYM in New York City.
Denver: When in the meat or dairy aisle at the grocery store, have you ever seen the label that reads “Certified Humane Raised and Handled®”? Have you wondered when and how the certification process got started? Well, tonight, we’ll find out directly from the person who started it. She is Adele Douglass, the Founder and CEO of Humane Farm Animal Care.
Good evening, Adele, and welcome to The Business of Giving!
Adele: Thank you very much. It’s a pleasure to be here.
Denver: Share with us the mission and goals of Humane Farm Animal Care.
Adele: Well, the mission is: we’re a non-profit certification organization, dedicated to improving the lives of farm animals in food production, from birth through slaughter. The goal of the program is to improve the lives of farm animals by driving consumer demand for kinder and more responsible farm animal practices. When you see the Certified Humane Raised and Handled® label on a product, you can be assured that the food products have come from facilities that meet precise objective standards for farm animal treatment.
Denver: Now, you were raised in New York City, Adele, and not on the farm. So, what got you interested in this subject? Was there a moment when you decided that something had to be done?
Adele: Yes, yes and yes. I worked for a member of Congress, and then I lobbied Congress on behalf of children and animals. I was asked in the late ‘90s to be part of various animal welfare committees, and they figured, “Well, she doesn’t know anything about farm animals, so we can do whatever we want.” Well, it didn’t work out that way. Because I was – when I went and saw how chickens were… how hens were…. in cages and they couldn’t move, they couldn’t stand up, they couldn’t sit down at the same time – I was appalled. I thought, “If consumers knew this, they wouldn’t buy this food.”
So, I asked friends who were scientists to show me the opposite, to show me different ways animals are raised, and that was very inspirational. And I thought, “Well, I’ve got to do something to help farm animals. This helps farmers, and it helps consumers; so therefore, who would object to this?” I needed money to start it, so I cashed in my 401k so I had money, and then I got some funding from HSUS, from ASPCA, and that was for four or five years. We’ve been on our own ever since.