In a speech at the second annual ''Taking Action for Animals'' conference in WashingtonD.C., Wayne Pacelle, President of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) committed to redoubling the animal rights group's efforts against modern animal agriculture. Pacelle indicated his belief that there is little difference between animals and humans. To support his position he used research that showed similarities between humans and non-human primates then asserted that the concept could be expanded to include any animal.

Approximately 500 people attended this conference, September 2-5, 2006, in the Washington, DC area. Major sponsors of the event were the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the Animal Protection Institute, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Farm Sanctuary, and the Doris Day Animal League (which recently announced its merger with HSUS). Attendance increased by about 200 over last year's event.

Pacelle pledged his ongoing commitment to legislation and lobbying as key paths for the animal rights movement to move its agenda forward. He urged the audience to continue pursuing animal guardianship laws to replace animal ownership laws. Pacelle suggested using the term ''Canine Americans'' instead of dogs to emphasize the rights of these animals.

This meeting continued to reflect the major changes in the animal rights movement shown in the last few years. The majority of the audience had a professional demeanor and was dressed in business casual attire. It is clear that HSUS has found - and is cultivating - a segment of activists that are educated, organized professionals capable of making calculated moves to further the organization's influence.