SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. -- Alene Anello's childhood love for animals has translated into a budding legal career as an advocate for the animals we eat without giving a thought to how they live their shortened lives on factory farms.
Now headed into her second year of law school at Harvard University, the Sleepy Hollow native has already made strides in acquiring legal tools that will arm her in the protection animals used for food.
"I am not proposing that everyone be vegetarian or stop eating animals because that is not realistic, although it would be great," Anello said. "What we want to do is educate people about how these animals are treated while they are alive. So many of them are abused and the food produced is often unhealthy."
As at freshman at Harvard College, Anello helped convince the school to switch to using cage-free eggs about half the time (Harvard College later went 100 percent cage-free). After this success she helped start the Harvard College Vegetarian Society and served as co-president.
Before law school, Anello worked at People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) for three years, where she created positive news events -- such as PETA’s Person of the Year awards given to President Bill Clinton, music mogul Russell Simmons, and actress Anjelica Huston -- that show Americans how simple choices can help animals.
Anello served on the board of her Harvard Law School Student Animal Legal Defense Fund chapter, helping to organize three pro-animal talks which drew large audiences.
"In the past, farm-grown animals were treated more humanely because farmers seem to have more respect for the life cycle and the process," Anello said. "The factory farms keep animals in tight cages, they never get a chance to stretch or move even a few feet in any direction."
Anello will spend the summer in Washington D.C. in the Animal Protection Litigation Department of the Humane Society. After law school, she plans to combine legislative advocacy and litigation to fight the abuse of animals on factory farms.
"Consumers are much more educated about free range, organic foods and the unhealthy ways animals are raised -- you can see that at local farmers markets and is grocery stores," Anello said. "I think we can do more to force producers to treat animals better."