Recently on a mainstream talk show (The Ellen Show), Wayne Pacelle from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) asked for the support of high-profile talk show host Ellen Degeneres to urge her large audience to speak out against the California “Ag gag” laws. HSUS (along with PETA and other large animal organisations) bring in big bucks using their undercover investigation “cruelty” videos in their requests for donations. Mr Pacelle might have been concerned that HSUS’ main source of fund-raising (HSUS undercover factory farming “cruelty” vids )– was being threatened by the possible introduction of these laws which would make it illegal to film “abuses” in factory farms. Today a California assembly member withdrew the bill that would limit undercover “abuse ” investigations.
Wayne Pacelle, who is CEO of the Humane Society of the United States made a statement on “The Ellen Show”.
Mr Pacelle said:
Every animal deserves “humane” treatment.
No Mr Pacelle. Every animal deserves at least one basic right — the right not to be used as property. That means we need to stop using them for food, clothing, entertainment or other reasons. We need to go vegan. Mr. Pacelle appears not to understand that ALL animal use is abusive. He does not seem to understand that it’s not HOW animals are used, it’s THAT they are used that is the problem.
There are many problems with the HSUS’ welfarist position and Mr. Pacelle’s recent statement. Here’s just a few:
1st: there’s no such thing as “humane” use of animals. There’s no such thing as “happy animal slavery” or “happy animal products”. There’s no such thing as non-abusive use of animals or non-abusive slaughterhouses. There’s no such thing as non-abusive “free range” facilities and non-abusive “organic” farming, and there’s no such thing as non-abusive factory farming and even if there were, it would still be unjust.
2nd: EVERY nonhuman animal deserves the right NOT to be used as property.
3rd: The HSUS welfare position says to the public that it’s morally acceptable to use animals as long as it is done “humanely”. But we need to examine our own speciesism and ask ourselves would it be acceptable to promote “humane” child slavery? If the answer is no, then why do we think it morally acceptable to promote “humane” animal slavery?
4th: Promoting “humane” animal exploitation (welfare “reform”) instead of promoting veganism (which is what large animal organisations like as HSUS, PETA and others do) makes the non-vegan public feel good about eating, wearing, and using animals. Obviously reinforcing the property paradigm is not in the interests of nonhuman animals. Promoting “happy animal slavery” and the regulation of animal exploitation reinforces speciesism, reinforces the property paradigm; and reinforces that it’s acceptable to exploit animals.
Welfare-based “reform” does little to nothing to “improve” the situation for animals. Animal welfare has been around for over 200 years and we see more animals being used in more horrific ways than ever before. Welfare “reform” will only ever go as far as it does not interfere with the profitability of industry. You may have noticed that increasingly large animal organisations are partnering with industry.
The truth is the regulation of animal exploitation will *never* bring an end to animal exploitation. Unfortunately Veganism is not the moral baseline of all large animal organisations, so they are part of the problem, not the solution. If they are concerned about non-human animals, the very least they should be is vegan organisations that only promote the end of animal use, not ‘better’ ways of doing the wrong thing.
Just to be clear, Mr Pacelle (who makes a six figure salary) has said on numerous occasions that HSUS has no interest in ending animal agriculture. So why would vegans support and donate to this or any other large animal organisation which does not have veganism as its foundation? It is astonishing and shows our own level of speciesism.
No ethical vegan, nor anyone of conscience, should ever support the continued use of non-human animals in any way. We should not support any animal organisation that makes such use “acceptable” and promotes “humane” use. We should not support single issue campaigns campaigns that promote one species as more important than another or promotes the idea that one form of animal use as worse than another. We should not support any large animal organisation that does not have veganism as their core. In fact, we do not need these organisations at all. Veganism is a grassroots, nonviolent, political movement and it’s growing every day.
For more information, please view these essays:
On Cruelty Videos
“In truth, anti-cruelty laws are based solely on maximizing the efficiency of animal exploitation and have nothing to do, in any practical sense whatsoever, with the type or severity of the cruelty or maltreatment.”