What’s the best way for me to help the movement?

This chart provides a good breakdown of five different tiers of the animal-protection movement.  Find the one that’s right for you and then let the Humane Party know by submitting the volunteer application.

Effective Activist

Effective Activist

Why didn’t the Humane Party keep “the Abolition Party” as its formal name?

During the process of creating and naming what is now called the Humane Party, this organization had three alternate names.  They were:

  • the “Vegan Party”
  • the “Abolition Party”
  • the “Humane Party”

All three of these names are now, always have been, and always will be accurate ways to refer to the Humane Party.

For example, the Humane Party is indeed the Vegan Party, because it requires, through the Humane Party Oath, that all candidates, officers, and board members must be vegan. Moreover, the Humane Party is indeed the Abolition Party, because it is expressly committed to abolition of all forms of slavery.

Notwithstanding the accuracy of all three names, the Humane Party chose the “Humane Party” name as its formal name because the word “humane” encompasses many concerns that fall outside of the commonly understood scope of the word “abolition”. For instance, the Humane Party’s leadership in areas such as civil rights (for example, the Equal Rights Amendment II (ERA2)) falls comfortably within the generally recognized ambit of the word “humane” but may not relate as directly to the word “abolition.”

"Wow.. Being Property Sucks." - cartoon by Jim Bertram, 2011

“Wow.. Being Property Sucks.” – cartoon by Jim Bertram, 2011

What is the Humane Party’s rotating-Coordinator system? Why does the HP rotate the Staff Coordinator position? Is there any precedent for such a system?

Rotating Staff Coordinator System

Schedule

The position of Staff Coordinator of the Humane Party rotates among a group of volunteers roughly according to the following schedule:

  • Winter Shift: November – January
  • Spring Shift: February – April
  • Summer Shift: May – July
  • Autumn Shift: August – October
CEO Rotation Schedule | Humane Party

Staff Coordinator Rotation Schedule | Humane Party

Practical realities sometimes prevent the HP from adhering perfectly to this rotation schedule.  For instance, a given Staff Coordinator may shorten or lengthen her or his shift on a particular occasion.  But the basic schedule remains that depicted above.

Advantages

Rotating the Staff Coordinator position offers many benefits to the Humane Party, including:

  • preserving the all-volunteer nature of the HP
  • expanding the range and diversity of leadership skills and approaches
  • reducing the likelihood of stagnation
  • reducing burnout and fatigue

Precedents

Modern governments, non-profit organizations, and for-profit businesses employ rotating-responsibility work models in many contexts. For instance, hospitals provide round-the-clock care for patients by rotating doctors and nurses in shifts. Military, police, fire, and security forces stand ready 24 hours per day by virtue of rotations.

The rotating-leadership approach is not strictly a modern innovation; this approach has ancient roots. For instance, Herodotus reports that the ancient Athenians rotated command of the army between approximately ten generals—each shift lasting only one day—during their history-making defense of Greece against invading forces of the Persian Empire.

What is “humane”? The Three-Yes Test.

Introducing the Three-Yes Test

The meat, dairy, egg, and other animal-exploitation industries—as well as the political parties that work for these industries—have spent decades debasing the word “humane” through oxymorons such as the “Humane Slaughter Act”.  It’s time to reclaim and restore the word “humane” to its basic meaning.

The Humane Party has developed the Three-Yes Test™ as an easy way for people to sort out false from true uses of the word “humane”.  For a product to be actually humane, the answer to all three of these questions must be “yes”:

  • Is the product itself vegan and organic?

  • Was the process used to create the product free from exploitation (of humans and all other animals)?

  • Will the impact—both of the product itself and of the processes used to make, distribute, and market the product—be ecosystem-neutral, before, during, and after use of the product?

If a product fails any of these criteria, use of the word “humane” to describe that product is disingenuous.

This entry, like the Humane Party FAQ generally, is a work-in-progress and will be continually updated to address additional issues as they arise.  In the meantime, please fee free to share one of the images below to help take back the word “humane”.

Three-Yes Test | image by Chris Censullo

Three-Yes Test | image by Chris Censullo

Three-Yes Test | image by Chris Censullo

Three-Yes Test | image by Chris Censullo

Why didn’t the Humane Party stick with “the Vegan Party” as its formal name?

During the earliest days of the entity now called the Humane Party, this organization had three alternate names: the “Vegan Party”, the “Abolition Party”, and the “Humane Party”.  All three of these names are now, always have been, and always will be accurate ways to refer to the Humane Party.

For example, the Humane Party is indeed the Vegan Party, because it is the first (and currently only) U.S. political party that requires all candidates, officers, and board members to be vegan. Moreover, the Humane party is indeed the Abolition Party, because it is the first (and currently only) U.S. political party committed to abolition of slavery.

Notwithstanding the accuracy of all three names, the Humane Party eventually chose the “Humane Party” name as its formal name because the word “humane” encompasses many concerns that fall outside of the commonly understood scope of the word “vegan” or the word “abolition”. For instance, the Humane Party’s leadership in areas such as civil rights, health care, economic development, and national security falls more comfortably within the generally recognized ambit of the word “humane” than that of the other two choices.

"I'm vegan, and I vote!" image from 2009

“I’m vegan, and I vote!” image from 2009

What is the Abolition Amendment?

The Abolition Amendment is a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution.  Upon ratification, the Abolition Amendment will abolish slavery with respect to all animals, thereby putting an immediate end to the meat, dairy, egg, and other exploitation- and killing-based industries.  In so doing, the Abolition Amendment represents the fruit of decades of labor by animal rights activists, environmentalists, and vegan advocates in the U.S.

The final version of the Abolition Amendment was published on Abolition Day, December 6, 2016.  The full text of the Abolition Amendment appears in the following image.

Abolition Amendment | Final Draft | December 6 2016

Abolition Amendment | Final Draft | December 6 2016

What is Platform Day?

The Humane Party’s Platform Day—April 22—is the day on which the Humane Party releases its biennial platform.

Platform Day occurs on the same day as Earth Day.  This date was chosen for Platform Day because it is also the date of the anniversary of the Humane Party’s initial launch—i.e., the HP’s “birthday”—, which occurred on April 22, 2009.

What are the primary effects and impact of the APE Amendment?

The primary effects and impact of the American Primate Emancipation Amendment (or APE Amendment) are those of:

1. Abolishing slavery with respect to all primates. Just as the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution served to abolish the institution of human slavery within the U.S., the APE Amendment abolishes the institution of slavery for all other primates. Such abolition means that primates—including apes, monkeys, chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans, and several other mammalian species who are particularly closely related to homo sapiens—can no longer be treated as “property” and therefore can no longer be used for entertainment purposes, vivisection, or other forms of exploitation.

2. Recognizing the availability of the writ of habeas corpus for protecting the rights of all primates. The writ of habeas corpus is a key procedural mechanism for protecting the substantive rights of individuals in the American legal system. This mechanism allows demand, through a legal proceeding, that either (i) an adequate reason for holding an individual in captivity be demonstrated or (ii) the individual be released. By explicitly making the writ of habeas corpus available for safeguarding the rights of all primates, the APE Amendment activates a key vehicle for ensuring that other primates are free from slavery not only in theory but in actuality.

3. Providing a guardian ad litem when necessary to protect the rights of a primate. In the American legal system, when an individual does not have the capacity to properly protect his or her rights (e.g., an infant), a guardian ad litem can be appointed to act on behalf of the incapacitated individual. By explicitly making the guardian ad litem procedural mechanism available for use with respect to all primates, the APE Amendment activates another key vehicle for ensuring that other primates are free from slavery not only in theory but in actuality.

4. Eliminating the 13th Amendment exception for slavery in criminal cases. The language of the 13th Amendment provides an exception to its general prohibition of human slavery, namely, an exception for “punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted”. The APE Amendment eliminates this exception, both for humans and for all other primates.  In closing this loophole, the APE Amendment directly affects humans and enhances humans’ civil rights in the United States.  This enhanced protection of human rights is particularly relevant and important in America today, where the Democrat-Republican bloc has incarcerated the largest population of prisoners in the world and has transformed the criminal justice system into a for-profit prison system.

APE Amendment

APE Amendment