The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has been leading up to an event called “Hoofin it” for many years. What is “Hoofin it” you say? This event sponsored by HSUS occurred last month in Colorado USA where they served “happy” animal products from tortured and slaughtered nonhuman sentient beings with hooves. But don’t worry, the animals lead “happy” lives! Should we be surprised? Of course not! HSUS has many farmers and industry representatives and HSUS has been promoting and profiting from “happy animal exploitation” and “happy” animal products for years.
Not unlike all large animal charities, The Humane Society of the United States regularly asks their non-vegan supporters (the very people who create demand for animal use) for donations instead of asking them to go vegan. HSUS revenue was close to $126 million for 2012. In 2009, it had over 11 million US members and supporters and reported assets of over US$160 million. Not one cent goes to vegan education, the very solution to the problem of animal exploitation. Why? Because HSUS is a profitable business and if they ask their members to go vegan, what will happen to their six figure salaries? Wayne Pacelle, HSUS CEO earns over 250K annually. HSUS has stated a few times now to the public that it has no interest interfering with or ending animal use. HSUS just wants animal exploitation to be done “nicely” and as payback for its support of animal industry, HSUS get its piece of the pie.
I have been a vegan for 26 years, but the Humane Society is broad-minded when it comes to food. About 95 percent of our members are not vegetarian. But I believe eating is a moral act, and we can make choices to minimize the suffering of (food) animals. We can buy cage-free eggs, buy pork that doesn’t come from factory farms, and avoid eating veal and foie gras.
[… W]e don’t say you must be vegan and we must stop all hunting. We’re working to curb the worst abuses and we’re very involved in the political realm.
The “worst abuses”? Pray tell what could be worse than being bred into existence to be used as a resource all your short life and then murdered? And what does “broad-minded” mean? Does it mean HSUS makes business decisions that won’t get in the way of their revenue stream? Does it mean not only will HSUS promote “happy animal slavery”, but HSUS will have industry representatives and be the public relations branch of industry? Yes, that’s certainly “broad-minded”. I wonder if there are charities against child slavery that do the same: have slave owners who are representatives of their charity and the charity itself is the public relations branch for the promotion of “humane” child slavery and “humane” murder? Apparently there are a many people who claim to be vegan who support, promote and defend large animal charities that do not have veganism as their moral baseline and which promote this kind of moral confusion.
Mr. Pacelle has been a regular guest on “The Ellen Show” and has been utilising high profile celebrity Ellen Degeneres to protect HSUS reliable main source of income — undercover cruelty exposes. A year ago Pacelle requested Degeneres to ask her audience to speak out against the proposed “Ag gag” laws, laws which would make it illegal to do undercover investigations which expose factory farming “cruelty”. (As if the normal functioning on factory farms (or any farm for that matter) is non-abusive!.) The Humane Society of the United States regularly use these undercover investigations as a way of requesting donations.
We only have to witness this letter to Whole Foods from 2005 signed by many large animal and “vegan” charities to see where the “movement” is today. All these large charities support “happy animal slavery” and “happy” animal products. As you can see, just because an organisation has “vegan” in its name, doesn’t make it so.
Friends, ANYONE who claims to be vegan and who supports HSUS (or any large animal or “vegan” charity) needs to question why they continue to support organisations which are so obviously speciesist, anti-vegan/anti-animal rights. If we claim to be vegan, why do we support The “Vegan” Society, “Vegan” Outreach, Animals Australia, CIWF, Farm Sanctuary, PeTA, FARM, In Defense of Animals, Compassion Over Killing, Mercy for Animals etc? All of them promote speciesist single issue campaigns, animal welfare/”humane” animal use, and “happy” animal products. Why do we support speciesist gimmicks like “Meat Free Mondays”, “flexitarianism“, Carnism and so forth? Why do we support organisations which either ignore or water-down veganism or conflate it with vegetarianism? Why are we so feeble and so ambiguous about an important justice issue such as veganism? We need to understand what animal *rights*/ veganism is. I say this regularly and I will say it again. We need to recognise our own speciesism. One way we can do this is to question the status quo and ask ourselves if we would promote these same measures in relation to humans? Another way is to read non-speciesist animal ethics books and material.
Let’s consider this for a minute.
If we would not support a civil rights organisation which promoted and profited from the promotion of human slavery or “humane” human slavery, then why do we think it’s morally acceptable to endorse, promote and support large animal charities which do the same to nonhuman animals?
The answer is simple. Speciesism.
The “humane use” movement is a joke. A tragic joke. That’s why it is so important that we have an alternative to this terrible confusion. And we do. We have a nonviolent, grassroots, abolitionist vegan movement which has veganism as its moral baseline.
The truth is, ONLY when there is a significant number of vegans in society will there be meaningful change for nonhuman animals. ONLY when we start being morally consistent and stop tip-toeing around the solution to ending animal exploitation — veganism — will we be taken seriously. The speciesist claim (by those who say they are vegan) that it’s morally acceptable to use animals as long as it is “humane” needs to be confronted and constructively critiqued every time it is raised if we are to shift the conversation away from treatment to use.
I came across a recent blog post, by what appears to be a HSUS supporter, criticising HSUS on their “Hoofin It” event. It reads:
“I hope that, like me, you will find that “Hoofin’ It” represents a step too far and will find yourself unwilling and indeed unable to remain silent.”.
I am surprised that it takes an event such as this for someone to say it is a “step too far”. What does it take? Does HSUS need to open their own special HSUS-designed slaughterhouse? HSUS has a long history of appalling speciesism. I am astounded those who claim to be vegan support anything HSUS does.
Please watch the following videos and witness for yourself The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in action as they clearly demonstrate their partnership with industry and enthusiastically support animal industry in selling the myth of “happy animal exploitation” / “happy” animal products to the public.
Video information: “At the 98th Annual Nebraska Farmers Union Convention December 9-10, 2011 Missouri Hog Producer & HSUS Rep Joe Maxwell explains the NeFU – HSUS agreement. NeFU President John Hansen also weighs in.”
To find out some of the extreme lengths to which HSUS sells out animals, read Bob Linden’s “Go Vegan Radio” blog post.
Here is an excerpt of an interview with Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, by Cattlenetwork.com:
Ques: Thousands of people read Cattlenetwork.com. What would you like to say to them?
Ans: There are some folks in animal agriculture who caricature HSUS, charging that we are trying to end animal agriculture. But why would we work jointly with the United Egg Producers if we were against all animal agriculture? Why would HSUS have a pig farmer serve as its VP of Outreach and Engagement who leads our Rural Affairs program? Why would we work with the Nebraska Farmers Union on marketing of humanely produced animal products? Why would I serve on the board of the Global Animal Partnership, which conducts an animal welfare rating program and certifies products from farmers who raise animals in humane and sustainable ways?
My request to your readers: Look at the facts, not the rhetoric from groups that don’t like HSUS’s reform-oriented campaigns. Farmers and other leaders in agriculture can help solve animal welfare problems, and we look forward to working with anyone who wants to be constructive and help in solving problems for animal welfare.”
Phew Wayne! I feel reassured!
And just in case anyone has any doubt where The Humane Society of the United States stands. Here’s an excerpt from an interview with Wayne Pacelle July 31, 2014 Yale Environment 360:
Ques: So you’re not trying to end animal agriculture.
Pacelle: Absolutely not. We are an organization that embraces humane and sustainable farmers. The vast percentage of our members eat meat, drink milk and consume eggs. But most of them want to see that done more humanely.
There’s only one thing more disturbing to me than those who claim to be vegan supporting and defending speciesist organisations and supporting and promoting the idea that it’s morally acceptable to use animals as long as it is “humane”. That is large animal charities claiming to “protect animals”, raking in hundreds of millions of dollars, paying themselves six figure salaries, claiming they “care” and “respect” animals while they profit from and are responsible for making the public feel comfortable about animal exploitation.
“Higher welfare” is a scam to sell animal products as we see in these tremendously appalling displays by The Humane Society of the United States. We need to understand that “humane” animal use does not exist and even if it did it would still be unjust. One only has to watch some videos from those on the front lines like Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary to discover the truth behind “free range” eggs, “organic” dairy products and so forth. Look at what we have been lead to believe is “humane“? Promoting welfare is worse than useless. We will never abolish animal exploitation by promoting regulation of animal exploitation and we cannot donate our way out of this mess.
The truth is ONLY when there are a significant number of vegans in society will there be any meaningful and lasting change for animals. Vegan education is a marathon, not a sprint. We have to do the hard yards and educate others, but first we MUST address our own speciesism.