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The Humane Society of the United States held its annual To the Rescue! Gala on Saturday night at Paramount Pictures in Los Angeles, where guests such as Bellamy Young, Diane Warren, Kathy Freston and host Carrie Ann Inaba showed their support.
The event benefited the Farm Animal Protection campaign in its effort to increase awareness and activism regarding animal abuse, particularly farm animals. It also honored surfer Conrad Carr, HSUS director of investigations Mary Beth Sweetland, HSUS investigator Whitney Warrington and the Latham & Watkins law firm for their efforts in confronting and ending animal cruelty.
The gala gathered enough signatures necessary to pass the historic farm animal protection measure on the November ballot in California. “The law will be the strongest passed on farm animal protection and will get chickens out of cages and calves and pigs out of crates,” said Kitty Block, CEO of The Humane Society, who noted that while there have been many significant improvements in animal rights issues and the environment, there is still room for improvement. “There’s legislative work to be done to continue to protect our animals, and we don’t want to lose any ground on trophy hunting areas. It’s about being aware and becoming active. And we have volunteers all over the country to help out animals.”
“It’s exciting. I love this organization and the work they do and I’ve supported them for years. It’s an honor to present for the Humane Hero Award tonight,” said MacGyver actress Isabel Lucas. “I grew up with a lot of animals; I saved up for a horse when I was 12. And I’ve still got her, she’s 34 now. I feel like animals help us connect and they’re healing. They’re great to have around because they are honest and so responsive.”
Warrington expressed her thoughts on the animal rights movement and what can be done to further the cause. “What we can do is actively research where our money is going. We can change the world with every dollar we spend,” she said. Her time working as an undercover investigator for HSUS has exposed her to the horrific and inhumane treatment of farm animals across America. “It wasn’t until I became an undercover investigator that I understood there was a whole other way to help animals. And it’s not what you think … there are more animals that are suffering out there by the billions, and that’s where we need to start,” said Warrington.
Acotr Goran Visnjic (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) discussed his concerns regarding pollution and the health of our planet in the years to come: “Let’s talk about pollution on the planet. This planet just can’t sustain farming on such a large scale. We can’t be selfish and say, ‘Let’s just destroy the Amazon, and pillage and kill everything — who cares?’ We’re guardians of this planet, we can’t just take everything. Eating a plant-based diet is the way to go and to minimize our impact on the planet.”
Following a vegan dinner created by Kathleen and Charlie Schaffer of hospitality group Schaffer, guests enjoyed a performance by musical guest Moby.
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