Wayne Hsiung

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Wayne Hsiung in San Francisco, October 2017

Wayne Hsiung (born c. 1981) is a co-founder and organizer with the animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere (DxE).[1] Prior to founding DxE, Wayne was a lawyer with law firm DLA Piper, a Searle Fellow and visiting assistant professor at the Northwestern University School of Law, and a NSF Graduate Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[2][3][4]


Hsiung graduated from the University of Chicago in 2001 and received a National Science Foundation graduate fellowship to study economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but went on leave after his first year to pursue a JD/PhD.[5] He attended the University of Chicago law school with a focus on behavioral law and economics.[6] After graduating, Hsiung taught at Northwestern's Pritzker School of Law as a visiting assistant professor for one year.

As a lawyer, Hsiung was involved in environmental advocacy and studied behavioral economics, studying with economics scholars including Eric Posner and Mark Duggan.[7] He partnered with behavioral law and economics scholar Cass Sunstein to write an analysis of the effect of climate change on nonhuman animals.[3]

Direct Action Everywhere[edit]

At DxE, Hsiung helped organize a resurgence of grassroots protest in the animal rights movement focused on animals raised for food, unlike earlier anti-fur and anti-vivisection campaigns. Hsiung helped organize a campaign around Chipotle restaurants, accusing Chipotle of "humane washing."[8]

In January 2015, Hsiung became one of the organizers of the first open rescue in the United States in several years, focusing on Whole Foods and the Global Animal Partnership with an investigation of a Certified Humane egg farm in Petaluma, California.[9] He helped to lead several other investigations, including a highly rated Whole Foods turkey ranch, dog meat farms in Yulin, China, and a cage-free Costco egg supplier.[10][11]

Hsiung has also been a part of several high-profile protests, most notably a disruption of a San Francisco Giants-LA Dodgers baseball game in September 2016 that led to him being tackled by Giants player Angel Pagan on national TV.[12] He was also a high-profile spokesman for a series of protests at Bernie Sanders rallies during the 2016 Democratic Presidential Primary over the candidate's support for the dairy industry and refusal to support animal rights against the interests of animal agriculture.[13]

On April 24, 2018, he was arrested and charged with "threatening bodily injury" in Boulder, CO at Whole Foods after asking questions at the company about the source of its meat products. Musician Moby posted a video questioning whether Whole Foods was "support[ing] an unconstitutional police state wherein people aren’t allowed to ask questions."[14] In May, 2018 Hsiung was indicted in Utah on multiple charges including felonies (burglary, livestock theft, and engaging in a pattern of illegal activity) and a misdemeanor riot charge relating to an investigation of animal cruelty at Smithfield Foods.[1] Journalist Glenn Greenwald reported that the prosecution was politically motivated, as attorneys prosecuting the case had financial ties to Smithfield.[15]


  1. ^ Colman, Zack (2016-04-16). "The Fight for Cage-Free Eggs". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  2. ^ "In Re: Allstate Life Insurance Company Litigation". www.law360.com. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  3. ^ a b Wayne, Hsiung,; R., Sunstein, Cass (2007-01-01). "Climate Change and Animals". University of Pennsylvania Law Review. 155 (6).
  4. ^ "Wayne Hsiung | The Huffington Post". www.huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  5. ^ "Graduate, undergraduate students awarded with numerous scholarships, grants, fellowships". The University of Chicago Chronicle. 2001-06-07. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  6. ^ "Our Attorneys". Current Law Group. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  7. ^ Jack L. Goldsmith; Eric A. Posner (February 3, 2005). The Limits of International Law. Oxford University Press. p. 227. ISBN 9780198037668.
  8. ^ Hsiung, Wayne (2014-03-10). "Why Bay Area Animal Rights Activists Are Protesting Chipotle - Beyond Chron". Beyond Chron. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  9. ^ Strom, Stephanie; Tavernise, Sabrina (2015-01-08). "Animal Rights Group's Video of Hens Raises Questions, but Not Just for Farms". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  10. ^ Brian Ross; Megan Christie; Zoe Lake; Eric Cheung (2016-06-23). "Celebrities Square Off Against Chinese Dog Meat Festival". ABC News. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  11. ^ Gee, Kelsey (2015-11-24). "Video Shows Abuse at Whole Foods Turkey Supplier, Activists Say". The Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  12. ^ Gafni, Matthias (2016-10-01). "Angel Pagan slam: Why the protester ran on field". The Mercury News. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  13. ^ Woodruff, Betsy (2016-06-02). "Animal Activists Go Apesh*t on Bernie Sanders, While Hillary Clinton Panders". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2017-02-27.
  14. ^ "moby xⓋx auf Instagram: "Dear @wholefoods what do you think about this? When one of your employees was asked a few simple questions she called the police to have…"". Instagram (in German). Retrieved 2018-11-28.
  15. ^ Greenwald, Glenn; Fang, Lee; Woodhouse, Leighton Akio (2018-06-07). "Animal Rights Activists Face Multiple Felony Charges, Brought by Prosecutors With Ties to Smithfield Foods". The Intercept. Retrieved 2018-11-28.