On this episode I will be talking to Asher Smith, who is the Director of Litigation at the PETA Foundation, about Usler v Vital Farms, which is a class action against an egg facility which makes some very elaborate claims about how well they are treating their hens (“our girls!”) and charges their customers a hefty premium for doing so. So, guess what? Shockingly, their chickens appear to be living miserable, short, overcrowded lives that are nothing like the bucolic heaven that customers were told about. This is one of a number of recent class actions against so-called “humane” egg farms, and it’s hugely important.
*We are thrilled to expand the accessibility of our podcast by offering written transcripts of the interviews! Click here to read Mariann’s interview with Asher Smith*
Asher Smith is Director of Litigation at the PETA Foundation. His current cases include actions under the Endangered Species Act against roadside zoos abusively keeping protected animals, constitutional lawsuits on behalf of both animals and humans, and false advertising claims challenging the deceptive marketing of animal products as “humane.” He has previously won precedent-setting victories against multiple exhibitors featured on the Netflix show Tiger King, as well as Vital Farms and Pete and Gerry’s Organics, the seller of Nellie’s Free Range Eggs. Smith joined the PETA Foundation in 2018 after working for the law firm Paul, Weiss on matters including multibillion-dollar securities litigation and the fight for gay marriage in the deep south and at the Supreme Court. He is a graduate of Yale Law School. His family includes a cat, Princessa, and a dog, Beezus.
This episode of The Animal Law Podcast is brought to you in part by The Animal Law Conference. Co-hosted by the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the Center for Animal Law Studies at Lewis and Clark Law School — this year’s conference marks the thirtieth anniversary of this premier animal law event. Save the date for November 4-6, 2022!
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