HSUS under fire

The intensive animal industry is indebted to the Center for Consumer Freedom for mounting a professional and hard hitting campaign.

If I were Wayne Pacelle (which I am glad I am not), I would be concerned about the adage that “those who live by the media are destroyed by the media.” The latest blow to the organization is the downgrade (aptly characterized since HSUS is more business than a non-profit) by Charity Navigator based on evidence that the organization is not adequately fulfilling its stated purpose.

In addition the American Institute of Philanthropy assigned an overall “C-minus” grade to HSUS. Given the revelations concerning the finances of HSUS this represents blatant grade inflation since the organization has overtones of a massive fraud by holding itself out to be the champion of care and concern for animals when the facts denote otherwise.

The intensive animal industry is indebted to the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) for a campaign of information in the media lifting the veil over HSUS activities, their finances and their ultimate purpose of imposing a vegan lifestyle on our nation.

The director of research of the Center for Consumer Freedom, David Martosko, stated “HSUS has raised ten of millions of dollars a year (over $80 million in 2009) from Americans who believe their money is assigned to local pet shelters. Instead their contributions fund a bloated staff of well-paid lawyers and lobbyist, PETA-style propaganda campaigns and a hefty executive pension plan.”

This commentator suggested a more vigorous campaign opposing the HSUS-inspired California Proposition 2 initiative when it was first mooted in 2007. Reflecting their gentlemanly principles, the UEP and its media advisor, Golan Harris, elected to mount a responsive campaign defending the egg industry and passively reacting to misstatements and distortions in an extremely uninspiring campaign.

The actual source of funding and support for the Center for Consumer Freedom is not public knowledge at this time. It is presumed that major agribusiness concerns, QSRs and FMI members are involved. These entities recognize that the policy of placating HSUS is inappropriate and ultimately bad for business.

The CCF has mounted a professional and hard hitting campaign. Their focus on the finances of the HSUS is obviously on target. They are clearly following the dictum of Deep Throat by “following the money.” The intensive animal industry may well neutralize the current leadership of HSUS but as with the Medusa, removal of one head results in the proliferation of others.

The industry should preemptively select and support rational and reasonable national organizations committed to animal well being. Currently the American Humane Association is the most likely candidate. To simply destroy the HSUS would create a vacuum filled by possibly more radical organizations. Supporting the American Humane Association would create a more acceptable proponent for science-based standards acceptable to the majority of consumers.