Meet Nancy Roulston, senior director of corporate policy and animal science at ASPCA where she works with companies to improve the lives of livestock animals. We asked Nancy to highlight some key efforts helping animals, and what we as individuals can do to help.
Applegate: Most people think of ASPCA looking out for our pets. What work do you do to improve the lives of farm animals?
Nancy: Yes, indeed we are widely known for our long history of work with companion animals and believe that all animals—including those raised for food—should live free from abuse and suffering. The ASPCA works to reduce the suffering of farm animals raised on factory farms on multiple fronts. We fight for bans on cruel confinement practices and for higher standards through legislation, we advocate for government funding to support the transition to a more compassionate food system, we help businesses set progressive, welfare-focused policies, and we empower consumers to “shop with their heart.”
Applegate: ASPCA actually has a Shop With Your Heart program. Tell us about it.
Nancy: The ASPCA’s Shop With Your Heart program was launched in 2016 to create a market-based solution to improve the lives of the nearly 10 billion animals raised for food in the U.S. each year. Shoppers, food businesses, and lawmakers can learn more about the assurances of animal-welfare certification programs through resources like label guides and how to support the local farms and food brands that participate in them.
Applegate: Has it been successful? How do we sign on?
Nancy: Definitely - it has exceeded our expectations thanks to the actions of concerned consumers and businesses. In the few years since launch, the brand list has grown by more than 100 certified brands and the ASPCA has collaborated with companies to secure more than 100 additional commitments to welfare-certify their supply chain. In total, the three certifications recognized by the ASPCA now audit 190 million more farm animals annually. This is proof that whatever you eat, you can play an important part in improving the lives of farm animals. You can find more info by signing up at www.aspca.org/shopwithyourheart