Ellen: Wayne Pacelle: The Bond, Animal Cruelty & Hen Confinement


Ellen: Wayne Pacelle

Ellen DeGeneres said part of the privilege of being a talk show host is getting to shine a spotlight on people she admires. That’s why she invited the president of the Humane Society of the United States, author Wayne Pacelle, to her show.

He wrote a book called The Bond, about the relationship between animals and people. Wayne had nothing but good things to say about Ellen’s work for animal advocacy.


Ellen: Hen Confinement

Ellen and Wayne Pacelle talked about the conditions in which egg laying hens are kept, as exposed by The New York Times.

Ellen: The Bond Author Wayne Pacelle

Wayne Pacelle said that he’s loved animals since childhood, and there is science behind the bonds we have with our pets.

“It’s no accident that we have 171 millions dogs and cats in our homes. 80 million of us are wildlife watchers. There are 120,000 animal welfare groups in the country,” he said. “We’re not inventing a concern for animals. We’re just kind of expressing it and saying, ‘Hey, we need to be good to these other creatures,’ because they’re vulnerable.’”


Ellen: How Animals Help Humans

He said there’s a power imbalance in our relationships, and humans have the responsibility of control over animals. Everyone has the choice to be kind or cruel to animals.

Ellen said the book highlights a lot of the things that animals do to protect humans, such as dolphins protecting lifeguards from sharks. Wayne recounted the story of a heroic dog who intervened to protect its owner, who was being attacked.

Wayne said that it’s unfair and inaccurate to explain away animal behavior as instinct, because they can be heroic just like humans. Wayne said that they get countless entries to their annual contest looking for Dogs of Valour.

Even someone on Ellen’s staff told Wayne about how the family dog saved them by alerting them to a house fire.

Ellen: Humane Society Disaster Relief

Wayne said the Humane Society protects animals from abuses and issues caused by humans, such as dog fighting, puppy mills, and hoarding. But they also respond to help animals after natural disasters, setting up emergency shelters and attempting to reunite families with their displaced pets.

Ellen showed a video of Puddles, a dog that was reunited with its family after the 2011 Joplin, Missouri, tornadoes.

“This family lost everything. They lost their home, and getting their dog back was the thing that kept them going emotionally,” Wayne said.

He also recalled that some New Orleans residents refused to evacuate before Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005, because the emergency shelters wouldn’t allow them to bring their pets.

Ellen: New York Times & Hens Confinement

Wayne shared a developing story about egg laying hens, who provide the eggs we purchase at the grocery store. He said that these hens are confined to a living space of less than the size of a sheet of letter paper for their short lives.

The New York Times recently broke a story after an undercover investigation revealed that some farms were confining the birds to even smaller spaces of just 54”. The HSUS worked with the United Egg Producers to help them increase the space animals get.

Ellen: Wayne Pacelle Veganism

Wayne said that he has been Vegan for decades, but he understands people are going to continue to eat meat. But he doesn’t think that means we have to treat animals poorly or cruelly.

Ellen is also Vegan, and she said she believes that people truly don’t understand what goes on to get food from farms to our tables.

“If you love animals, there shouldn’t be a difference between a dog or a cow or anything else,” Ellen said. “They’re all thinking, feeling beings.”

Ellen’s audience received Wayne’s book, The Bond.

Read The Bond: Our Kinship With Animals, Our Call To Defend Them by Wayne Pacelle.



  1. BTF says

    Anyone concerned about egg industry cruelty should oppose the HSUS-UEP legislation (HR 3798) that would keep laying hens IN battery cages forever, while eliminating the rights of voters! The bill would allow the egg industry to avoid ever having to answer the public’s call to eliminate cages. Check out the Stop the Rotten Egg Bill campaign online to learn more and contact your representatives to OPPOSE this legislation.

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