Manage episode 346156948 series 2306864
Wayne Hsiung is a former law professor who was recently acquitted by a Utah jury after being charged with stealing two piglets from a factory farm, in a story that made national news. In 2017, animal liberation activist group Direct Action Everywhere (DxE) released a video showing the horrifying conditions of pigs in a facility run by Smithfield Foods, and showing the rescue of two dying piglets from the farm. The activists, including Hsiung, were pursued relentlessly for the next five years, with the FBI even invading animal sanctuaries in order to try to recover the stolen piglets. Hsiung faced significant jail time if convicted, but successfully managed to convince the jury to acquit him. The case is important because a conviction would have had a chilling effect on important activism exposing the abuses of factory farms. But jurors even went so far as to ask why Hsiung hadn't rescued more of the facility's sick piglets.
Today, Wayne joins us along with DxE investigator Matt Johnson, to discuss the original nighttime operation, the Utah trial, and what DxE hopes to expose about the animal farming industry. We talk about why DxE chooses the tactic of going into factory farms and removing animals, how a Utah jury became convinced Wayne's actions weren't a crime, and the work yet to be done in creating a humane life for animals everywhere.
More on the time Matt tricked Fox Business into thinking he was the CEO of Smithfield Foods is here. Wayne's blog The Simple Heart is here and information on the campaigns surrounding is at righttorescue.com. The interview with Marina Bolotnikova on factory farming is here.