We intend to establish a veterinary think tank or panel that will engage in collaborative efforts with the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Our primary objective is to secure the veterinary profession's support and endorsement for a well-defined timeline aimed at the development of guidelines focused on the gradual reduction and ultimate cessation of animal slaughter as a method of nutrient production.
This will be an expert panel of diverse veterinarians and animal welfare experts similar to the AVMA's Panel on “Humane Endings.” The distinctive focus of our panel will be to envision a humane or slaughter-free future that ensures food security using slaughter-free forms of food production.
The goal is to create a panel of veterinarians who advocate for humane policies and a timeline for the phasing out of animal agriculture and re-wilding of agricultural lands, and defining the role of veterinarians in each phase as progress is made and fewer farmed animals exist.
The key to a sustainable and security food system is scaling down animal exploitation and supporting policies that promote slaughter-free nutrient production and consumption. This panel will support those goals by authoring academic papers and guidelines for farmed animal policy and a timeline for scaling down animal agriculture in order to address public health risks, animal welfare issues, food security & our environment.
This will shift the veterinary profession's perspective away from the concept that animal agriculture is an unchangeable fact, towards envisioning a world in which animal slaughter will no longer occur, at least in the scale it currently exists. Veterinary professionals will work with key stakeholders to show how we will see drastic innovations and changes in food production that will lead to revolutionary change in our lifetime. Introduction to concept: http://avmahod.ourhonor.org
The funding will be used to create academic papers and guidelines for policy and a timeline for scaling down animal agriculture in order to address public health risks, animal welfare issues, food security & our environment. The panel will be a fixture at veterinary conferences, presenting continuing education talks about the initiative. Upcoming Veterinary Conferences Include the AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference, VMX 2024, Western Veterinary Conference, Midwest Veterinary Conference, Uncharted Veterinary Conference, AVMA Annual Convention, Pacific Veterinary Conference, Southwest Veterinary Symposium, and AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conference.
Many veterinarians are involved in the project including Dr. Crystal Heath, Co-Founder, Executive Director of Our Honor, and Dr. Daniela Castillo, born and raised in Oaxaca, Mexico, with a Master's degree in wildlife conservation at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia.
Our Honor team
Crystal Heath- Co-Founder, Executive Director
Daniela Castillo- Co-Founder, Board Member
John Ward, CPA, Board Member, Treasurer, paid
Anastasia Rogers- Contractor and Volunteer
Shriya Swaminathan- Contractor and Volunteer
Kalyb Sims- Contractor and Volunteer
Alona Duhan- Volunteer
We will recruit 30+ veterinarians, animal welfare, and wildlife experts to participate in the panel.
In 2022, Our Honor expanded our contact list to include nearly 1,600 veterinarians supportive of the campaign against the mass killing of animals via heatstroke, also known as Ventilation Shutdown+ (VSD+).
We helped draft an amicus brief supporting California’s Proposition 12 to the U.S. Supreme Court and helped gather nearly 400 veterinarians and animal welfare scientists to sign on in support.
We developed key media relationships with those at Vox, Wired Magazine, the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and the British Veterinary Journal Vet Record, which laid the groundwork for the high-impact articles published in early 2023. (http://ourhonor.org/press)
We attended the annual AVMA Veterinary Leadership Conferences and the AVMA Convention in 2022 and 2023 to raise awareness about the cruelty of mass killing animals via heatstroke (VSD+) and the AVMA’s condoning of this practice. Simply advocating through appropriate channels, submitting petitions, and writing articles posed such a threat to the institution that the AVMA barred several anti-VSD veterinarians from attending the AVMA’s Cargill Sponsored Humane Endings Symposium. This institutional betrayal garnered attention from the national and international veterinary community. See http://vavsd.org
Our Honor veterinarians also drafted a statement about the cruelty of pig slaughterhouse gas chambers, the method used to kill 113.5 million pigs per year, calling it a violation of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, as well as California state laws and over 150 veterinarians signed the statement. See: http://humaneslaughter.org
We also drafted an Executive Summary to the AVMA House of Delegates on Sustainability highlighting the need for the veterinary profession to address animal exploitation as a vital part of achieving sustainability goals. See https://www.ourhonor.org/blognew/avmasustain.
A lack of funding and/or pushback from animal producers within AVMA are the two most likely causes of failure. If the project fails, AVMA, through its authority granted by USDA, may continue to allow the most barbaric practices to be used in animal agriculture.
Nevertheless, the scientifically substantiated guidelines we generate will serve to highlight the corporate capture of the AVMA and question their credibility as an authority in animal welfare, while establishing our group of experts as the preeminent body of authorities for policymakers and legislators to consult. Additionally, this endeavor will empower the emerging generation of veterinarians by equipping them with the requisite data and messaging to support their advocacy efforts, as well as the efforts of animal protection organizations.
Our Honor has a few major donors with an annual revenue of about $100,000 a year. To fund the work of the Panel, and to bring on new people to write press releases, op-eds, and scientific articles, we hope to increase that and expand to $250,000 per year.