Episode 135 – Andrew Rowan

Andrew Rowan

Andrew Rowan started in animal welfare in February 1976, as a Scientific Administrator at the Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments in London, England. In 1978 he became the associate director for the Study of Animal Problems at the Humane Society of the US and then in 1983, proceeded to Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine as Professor and Chair for the institution’s Department of Environmental Studies.

He launched the Tufts Center for Animals and Public Policy, the academic journal “Anthrozoos” and the first Master’s degree program Animals and Public Policy. In 1997, he returned to HSUS and took over Humane Society International which he ran for 20 years and grew it from a $1million a year operation to $20 million a year!

Andrew left HSUS in 2018 and started WellBeing International to seek solutions for people, animals, and the environment. WBI is committed to a collaborative approach in developing, engaging and supporting effective coalitions, generating accurate data and sound analysis, and the transparent reporting of both successes and failures. WellBeing International seeks to achieve optimal wellbeing for the triad of People, Animals, and Environment, emphasizing the intersections of the three elements, through approaches to build global health and happiness.


Website: https://www.wellbeingintl.org/
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https://www.facebook.com/wellbeingintl/ https://www.facebook.com/andrew.rowan.184Welcome to the Animal Professionals podcast, where our goal is to introduce you two amazing people helping animals and share how you can get involved. This podcast is proudly sponsored by duper dot com. Do Bert is a free platform designed to connect volunteers with rescues and shelters and the only place that automates local rides in transports. Now on with our show. Andrew started an animal welfare in February 1976 as a scientific administrator at the Fund for the Replacement of Animals and Medical Experiments in London, England in 1978 became the associate director for the study of animal problems at the Humane Society of the U. S. And then, in 1983 proceeded to Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine as professor and chair for the Institutions Department of Environmental Studies. He launched the Tough Center for Animals and Public Policy, the Academic Journal and Throw Zoos and the first Masters degree program for animals and public policy. In 1997 he returned to Hsus and took over Humane Society International, which he ran for 20 years and grow up from a $1 million a year operation tow over $20 million a year. Andrew left HSUS in 2018 and started well being international to seek solutions for people animals in the environment. Wellbeing International is committed to a collaborative approach and developing, engaging and supporting effective coalitions, generating accurate data and sound analysis into the transparent reporting of both successes and failures. Will being international seeks to achieve optimal well being for the triad of people, animals and the environment, emphasizing the intersection of the three elements through approaches that build global health and happiness. Hey, Andrew, welcome to the program. Good to be here. I’m really excited to have you. You’ve got such a long career in animal welfare, So why don’t you give us a little bit of your background and kind of how you found the bug and got into this? Well, I’ve always been part of the animals like my grandfather was an entomologist. My mother was a pathologist. And so to be survive, I either had to be a fine arts major or a scientist. The camera. I sort of decided to join the family business and so I became interested in animals. Actually, I became interested by chemistry as ended up getting my PhD in biochemistry, but after that finish that I realized I wasn’t really that crazy about lab work. But I love the human animal or the human interaction. So I decided to good sense policy on Dhe through a couple of steps that led me to applying for a job in London for the fun full of places, valuables of medical experiments because I felt that if I did that, I may not be on the inside of scientific discovery, but they’re people would know. But I waas So I did that. And it was. It’s been a fascinating career. I joined at exactly the right time. 1976 was the beginning of, If You Will. The Animal rights movement. Peter Singer’s book of Just Appeared Richard Writer’s book in England had appeared on Victims of Science, Donald Griffin’s book Out of Questionable. Whether it just appeared there was a whole raft off. Peoples are becoming interested in how we treat and how we deal with animals, and so I started reading the stuff I started speaking to people I started representing. The organization is part of Andi just became more and more interesting, more ideal dinner and I’ve always been interested in sides policy, and in fact, that’s what let me into this area was to have some sort of impact on science policy, and it’s proved to be a phenomenal opportunity. I must admit that most my colleagues in the animal movement find my fascination with numbers of all were, but that’s the way it is. So now, after that, I mean, you took this to another low. You are a Tufts University, and you established all sorts of things. The organization is that this tiny in London for the first year I was there there total budget was £8000. So we’re not talking of his tank. Andi was myself and a part time secretary who was the star, but I was living for 2.5 years on. We ended up with a symposium at the Royal Society in London on the idea of alternatives to animal testing. Well, it was clear that this was not where I was going to say, and I’d always been an exchange student in America, decided I wanted to try and get back to America, heard about a job at the Humane Society applied on, but ended up, I got the job. So I then, in 78 came over to the United States to Washington. I was working at the lab. Animal specialists for the Humane Society in their Institute of Study. Valuable problems on Dhe After several years there, 4.5 to be precise. I was after the job Tufts to establish an animal welfare program, and I’ve always described myself as having a foot in two camps, one in the academic camp and one in the animal protection advocacy world. And so this was an opportunity to go back into the academic arena. The dean at Tufts wanted me to establish a program on animal welfare that the referee school could be happy with. So that’s what I was asked to do. And so I spent 15 years of toughs on. During that time started the Degree program, launched the Journal on Resorts for the Delta Society. Andi generally made a nuisance of myself, but again it was a great experience. And then I was recruited back from tough back to the Humane Society to come and help them with building a bigger and better organization, and one that’s had greater impact So and spent the next 20 ideas with them. Yeah, it doesn’t sound like you shy away from a challenge. I’ve always enjoyed that. You know, I sometimes describe myself as being, you know, a gullible skeptic. So somebody says something and you sort of say, Well, that doesn’t sound quite right. What do you know? It sounds intriguing. And so I will follow it up. In a sense, that’s why I got into frame. I mean, I had taken a very traditional scientific program, an ox. It’s done my PhD and Oxygen de fil Estate is a toxin on, then decided to go into science policy after graduating from box it. But people were saying, Why would you do a research degree in biochemistry and then go up from the camp of the Animal Texas movement? And part of it was, I remember seeing some of the frame one for the basement of animals medical experiments literature when I was at Oxford and remember being intrigued by some of the materials and some of the ideas they’re putting out there. And I remember, I think, part of my lab we all had different methods that we were using and different approaches. And I kept thinking why we all using difference approaches where we always during our experiments in slightly different ways. Shouldn’t we all be doing in the same way very interested in the whole idea of methods development? And so I felt that this was getting in the frame would be an interesting way to start challenging methods. And one of the things that happened in those early months after I joined frame was I went around talking to people in industry and talking to people in academics on the people in industry told me that what they did was great. It was very humane, very necessary. But if I really wants to see wasteful use of animals actually go to the academic world. And then I went to talk to people in academics, and they said what they did was great, very necessary Carson money. But if I really want to the Seattle abuse, I should go into industry, you know, And so you get these two messages that are in conflict and you think what’s going on here? So I mean, it’s Bean. I just dealt into the history. I delved into the scholarship around why we’re concerned about this and how we can make the world a better place. And I have to say that in 1976 I was looking at the whole idea animal testing and toxicity testing because I felt that that was probably an area where we are animal activists could have the most impact on DDE. In 2007 the National Academy of Sciences produced a report saying the future of toxicity testing is known animal method. I never thought that in my career I would reach the point where I could say, OK, we’re gonna end animal testing. But we are, you know, it’s gonna happen in 5 10 15 years, but we’re gonna end it. Uh, what did things look like when you took over a chess I than in 97? It was just getting started, right? Just getting off the ground. Well, that would have been around. It was because I was formed in 1991. Okay, but the reason it was formed was because there were people at HSUS who wants to engage with international organization on. So they felt that they needed an international operation if you were so that they could do that. In fact, some of the international organizations required you to have officers and at least three different countries. And so one of the things ages I did was established in office in Europe and another one in something Central America. Now they have offices in three different countries. They were eligible to apply attend international meeting. So that was the original idea behind ages. I was simply that provided opportunity for HSUS employees who were interested in things like wailing on some stocking. Wailing to go in attends something like the International Whaling Commission. But when I joined in 97 alone with then CEO wanted to expand role of ages, I on once just rebuild it. And so we started building. We had a small staff. We’ve hired a fellow who had a lot of ex international experience to take over sort of director, executive director of HS i Onda. Then we started building hands on program. We had a whole raft of programs on international treaties that we’re in a separate section of the organization, but we started building hands on programs, disaster response, don’t cat programs in different parts of the world and slowly began to build this on DSO by 2000 for we then pushed everything together into one organization. H is I, as it is today really started in 2000 and so I spent the next 15 years running ages I in that form it was again a very good time. My, I estimate estimate that in 2000 international animal groups of spending about $30 million a year on International Arable Protection program by 2017 there was spending $300 million a year. Wow. So there’s a huge increase in just international activities and then you can see in China today, for example, the 2000 maybe the number of organizations animal sexual organizations could count on the fingers of one hand. Today there are houses, you know and so on, all driven by local Chinese. This is not something where international groups of established officers in China, although some have. But these are all local groups. And just last year I attended the 11 Asia for Animals conference is Italian Diner on. There were 2000 people, 2000 people, their countries from all over Asia, and it was hosted by Chinese and that’s amazing. So I mean, yeah, it’s really interesting what’s happening there in India, there always been a bunch of animal groups that they’ve become more professional than become a raising more money. They’re able to do more. There is no federation of Indian Animal protection organizations that isn’t standing in its footprints in Delhi. So you know, you could just see the growth of curry in Africa, where we had the third African Animal Welfare Conference in Addis Ababa isn’t part last year. This year there will be the fourth in Ghana. So again you concede this these movements in these associations, developing and strengthening Very gratifying. So now what did the role then of hs I when you were doing it? What did get involved too? Because I just you can’t take on the entire world. So were you hoping to spark some of these groups and provide organization and structure? Hsus has launched an operation on Expo Animal Care Expo back in the 19 nineties on DDE. What we did in 1998 99 was we started an international. We would invite people from rest well to come to the Animal care act, so it had opportunities for people to meet other animal activists and things like that, and that has expanded. I mean, way started off with maybe 40 or 50 attendees. That’s now a couple of 110 days from 40 or 50 countries every year on. I always remember we used to have a program in the evening where we get everybody who of the international attendees in the room. Then we would ask them to sort of talk about what they were doing in their country and the sun African woman who happened to be living in Peru going out and started talking about harsh, you know, in Peru, where she was living, there was no animal protection activities. There was nobody she could talk to about what she was interested in. But yeah, she really and she burst into tears. You know, saying this is really feels Empire honestly re energizes me, and they go back to Peru and work even harder and so on. That’s part of what’s happened with building of these communities is part of what’s happened through H s. I and through what we were doing on the international arena, and we tried a star as possible not just tell people what to do and how to do it, but try to help them. So Okay, well, you want to try and do this? Here are some ideas that might work for you, and this is how we might be able to help. He doesn’t have lots of money. We couldn’t. Some of the organization’s was doling out small grants to a lot of these groups, but we didn’t have a lot of money. But we try to focus on one of the things we started in about 1998. 90 99 was a board member of the Humane Society. Wants us to do a sterilization projects in Bahamas. He had a house on Abaco on. So way did the project the community where they were had about 400 street dogs. One of the things that we did was we didn’t just go down and do the sterilization. We sent by a statistician into ABA coach actually do a survey. So we did a survey. How many street dogs there? Well, what people thought of them. And that’s all the things that we sent the veterinarians in to do three clinics and at the end of the clinics we had sterilized about $450 which is about the number of street dogs in the community. And we sent him back in to do another a follow up survey. And we identified People said The dogs are friendlier, they’re healthier. We didn’t know they were, but the people thought they were. And this is our first project, and we then started to build dark projects around the world and ended up working with the government of Bhutan to sterilize a ll the street dogs we plant, which ended up being about 70,000. Although it took us about 66 years to reach the target. So I mean, it’s been a fascinating program, and I now I mean, you asked about wellbeing international. Well, one of the things that we want to do it well, being international is a global don’t campaign. We think we can do a lot better than we were doing. There are a lot of people out there taking care of dogs, street dogs. I think we can do a lot better. I think it will convert most of the street dogs into, you know, so cared for pets or care for dogs in homes. So we’re going to try and see half hour to get in that regard. I don’t my activities that people can do that will improve the status of dogs but also improve the community in one community that we’ve been helping. For about 20 years now, the number of dog bites has gone down by 2/3 on All we did was paralyzed the street. There was no sort of attempts to reduce stock right number. That should happen. Interesting. I really love the fact that what you focused on is not trying to lecture and not trying to tell, but really to understand the community support, you know, provide them. Resource is, I really think that’s a good approach. Yes, it doesn’t happen as often as it should, unfortunately, but it’s something that really, I’ve observed of the really does work. Um, it’s sort of like building a great team. The ideal thing to do is to identify the strengths, address the weaknesses on, then get out of the way and that people get on. You want to empower people to do what they can do, maybe helping the little bits in areas of the weekend. But otherwise, you know, little get on with it on people see that what they’re doing is having an impact. One of the things about this is you can’t do it, but one. Yet for 12 months, that’s not long enough. It has to be 5 10 15 years in order to really to see the impact of the street. Dougherty. Now one of things I noticed you’re doing blow being is you’re focused on people’s animals and the environment. So talk a little bit about why that that seems to be such a big, vast focus area. It is about Syria. After I left them inside there, I wasn’t really ready to hang up my roll aboard. And so the issue was, What do I do know? And my wife had also retired, and she was in the human arena, as she had been working on nonprofit human relief organizations, human development groups and things like that on her skill sets or complements mine. We said, Why don’t we start the nonprofit on? She came out with the name well being. It’s nationalized. Absolutely. That’s the answer. She came up with the tagline Solutions with people animals and environment. I said Absolutely so. It’s all her idea. But when you look at problems around the world, it’s always people, animals and environment. They’re never in isolation. It’s like, you know, you want to help dogs in a city in India. Well, the dogs are interacting with people. They’re also interacting with the environment. I mean, you know, you’re one of the reasons why we went into Bhutan was because the street dogs were keeping tourist awake at night. They were barking all through the night, had people tourists were complaining about. Well, one of the reasons they’re barking is because they’re engaging in all sorts of reproductive behavior, challenging each other for dominance and so on. And when you sterilize them, that sucks. So what we found happening when we sterilized the dogs in the capital city of Bhutan was barking, just went down radically. There’s still some barking, but my sick you could see through that, you know, I mean, so it’s you’re improving the environment for the people. You’re improving the situation for the dogs because they’re healthier if they’re not breathing. Breathing is a very stressful activity. If they’re not breathing, they get major the same rate. They don’t get this dreadful transmissible that material tumors awful things on there, just generally in better shape. So you’re helping the dark. You’re hoping the people on that the dogs are roaming around is not chasing wildlife. You’re hoping that elected now is the focus of well being. Is it primarily on companion animals, or is it expand? From there? We’ve got three or four nature strategic areas, so the dog campaign is one, and we’ll probably extend into cats as well, because that’ll sort of carry on from the dogs. We’re looking at a program looking at your population on human consumption, which are really challenging the Globe Consul stain The number of people we have, the consuming at the rate that the United States conserves just can’t do it. So we need to cut both consumption on Population Group on. It’s interesting this were part of the campaigns launched by a British reproductive health organization, and the reason they launched it and tried to recruit conservation groups to get involved was because they said the U. N. Projects that there’ll be 11 billion people in the world by 2100 but this organization says it doesn’t have to be that way. If we simply eliminate unintended birth, the human population will stabilize 8.8. That’s 1.2 billion less than 11 and it, by 2100 will be back to the same population that we have today. So imagine wildlife is gonna in Africa. The projections are that Africa will go from 1.2 to 4 billion people by 21 with four billion people in Africa. They’re not going to be any liar. There aren’t gonna be any leopards are going to be any elephants, giraffe, hippo riders except in some small, especially narrative reserves, you know, I mean, it’s just not get to be a wild constant has bean for most of people’s existence, most of your existence. We need to do something about population. The other end of the scale of the first world end. We need to do something about consumption, much more recycling, much less primary consumption. Part of that comes back to media’s well, because leads. The current estimates are that 77% of agricultural land is devoted to producing meat consumption, but it only produces 23% of the protein. That really doesn’t make sense When you add up the nurse, that’s just ridiculous. I mean, we’re not trying to sort of say that everybody has to stop eating meat with think. That’s step two ambitious at this point in time. But we’re going to sort of talk about, you know, how do you feel better, even less me? It’s you exercise more consumed last cycle. I mean, there are a whole bunch of behaviors that will make you feel better on the planet. Will, maybe survive. Sure. So what do you see is next for wellbeing. What’s your hope to the next few years? Well, we hope to my offender who will help us really developed the infrastructure for the global don’t campaign. And what that means is that we want to develop a database that people can access people in store. Their data is we need to have evidence, particular projects work and how they work on how we can improve them. And there’s very little material data on these projects together. People will tell you I sterilized $20,000 but well, what happened? You know, on this very little data on what happened, So we want to. So start establishing a database where people do that. We want to identify for five Flags of Project where we can so help track the day’s over and help show what happens when you do this and how we can change the world for dance and people all together. We want to, as I say, develop a campaign on population and consumption. We’re concerned about plastics. On the whole, you know what’s happening in the oceans with all this plastic garbage. And yet, you know, only about 8% of plastic garbage ends up in the ocean, so that small percentage off the plastic reproduced. Then we should be able to keep it out of the ocean. So our hope here is that we could get the Jews and the Queria in the world to start campaigning on this type of issue they’ve already identified. This is a problem, but they’re not campaigning. But we’re hoping that maybe we could get you know, the victim query of the big zoos to actually start campaigning over reaching out to the public, saying we gotta do something about it changed the way the head, especially in China, because that’s where a huge lots of plastic in the Pacific garbage patch is coming from. It’s coming down the river trying. So focus on the Chinese. They’re in the clear association. See whether we can get them paper because help get this idea out to the public on, then actually do something. So that’s what we’re hoping to get with. One of our partner groups is engaged in a building to an activity between wild lands so that, while like to get from one parcel to another without having to be shot, run over by cars or whatever. And so that’s something that’s really important, that we need to diminished the amount of new linear infrastructure. Every time you build a road, it’s decreases the space available awhile. And so we just need to start being more attentive than more. Careful about how we build on how we develop the There was a proposal that was gonna be funded by the Chinese to build a road from the Indian Ocean through this Aaron Getty. To some resources up on Lake Tanganyika on DDE that would have just destroyed her and get it, we would have divided tearing, getting into with this big road going through the middle of it. All right. For me, that’s been stocks. There was another proposal to drive a road from happen and do through Chip one, that national park into India. They need better infrastructure, but not true. Chip. What? You know, we need to preserve these places. And if you do drive a road down to Kathmandu to India, you need to put over Parsons so that the animals could go from one side to the other without being run down by trucks. I mean, we’ve got ambitious goals, but, you know, the idea is a pure and of the son. Maybe you’ll make it right now. I love it. And I think these are, like you said, ambitious goals. But you’re definitely not somebody that Shies away from a fight. And you’ve proven that. So I’m excited to see what you’re gonna tell the deer in the next few years. Well, I don’t know, Lane. Jer, this has been great talking to you, and I appreciate you sharing your story and everything. Is there anything else you want to mention before wrap things up today? Well, I just like to people on the podcast. I just like to say that you want to find us. Our website is well being. I ntl doddle, though its well being international that I am tl dot that’s, like, absolutely well, we’ll make sure the link it in our show nuts, and I really appreciate you coming on to talk to me today. My pleasure. Thanks very much for the stick. Thanks for tuning into today’s podcast. Be sure to subscribe to your favorite podcast platform and feel free to leave us a review so we can help even more animals. Also, don’t forget to sign up with Joubert dot com to join the tens of thousands of duper tears across the country and around the world helping animals and the organizations working to save them.

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