Topic: Celebrities

  • Two Thumbs Down for HSUS's Hollywood Hypocrite

    The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) loves to show off the clueless celebrities that support its vegan causes. Actress Kristen Bell is no different. She first came on HSUS’s radar in 2010, talking about her rescue dogs—in which case, she probably should have associated with a group that gives more than 1% of its budget to pet shelters.

    Now, Bell, while also hawking her latest film, “Movie 43,” is strangely comparing herself to pigs and joining with HSUS to attack the use of individual maternity pens (IMPs) on pork farms to safely house pregnant pigs. Never mind that veterinarians and animal experts concerned about animal welfare say that IMPs are humane. When an uninformed celebrity speaks, HSUS hopes you’ll listen.

    Bell claims to be a vegan, so that puts her in line with HSUS’s vegan agenda. But what happens when her animal activism gets in the way of making a few bucks?

    Just ask the owners of L’Scorpion, a Los Angeles tequila bar and restaurant, who are being sued by Bell for not paying out to Bell. The suit claims that Bell and four others dropped $20,000 each in 2005 to take home 5% of the profits.

    Since Bell has been a vegetarian since she was 11 years old, there’s no way that a restaurant she invested in sells meat, right? Oh wait, this is Hollywood—the land where “Do what I say, not as I do” meets “Everybody has the right to my opinion.” A quick look at L’Scorpion’s food menu shows that more than a few dishes contain meat or fish. You can start with a ceviche (seafood) and move on to the chicken taco. Or perhaps you’d prefer the chicken fillet? We’re fans of the enchilada plate, which often contain meat.

    But we still wondered: Where’s the “other white meat”? So we gave L’Scorpion a call. We found out that pork carnitas were on the menu for quite some time. We also learned that they have some really good chicken wings that aren’t listed on the online menu.

    Bell, through her representative, now says that “[s]he hasn’t been involved in the affairs of the venture” but that she was one of the initial investors. So maybe L’Scorpion had an all veggie menu back in 2006 when it opened? It did—if you ignore the shredded chicken soup, the shrimp and halibut ceviche, carne asada nachos (that’s beef), the Hollywood Enchiladas (which you can get filled with beef or chicken), the gorditas with beef—and last but not least, the chorizo (that’s Spanish pork sausage, in case you were wondering).

    Considering that the standard practice on U.S. pork farms is to use IMPs for pregnant sows, odds are that Bell’s restaurant served pork raised in the housing she now tries to condemn (though we can’t say for sure).

    If Bell can’t recoup her meaty investment, perhaps she can rely on her earnings from “Movie 43.” But based on the reviews calling it one of the worst movies ever, we hope she isn’t holding out for profits.

    Posted on 01/31/2013 at 1:50 am by The Team.

    Topics: CelebritiesMeat


  • H$U$'s New Global Amba$$ador

    Interesting news came across our monitor the other day: HSUS announced that music artist Ke$ha—yes, she actually has a dollar sign in her name—is the group’s first “global ambassador.”

    We’ll let you decide what to make of Ke$ha’s suitability as an ambassador. Her views on humans and animals are somewhat unorthodox. Her Twitter feed probably fits the dictionary definition of “NSFW.” And with lyrics such as “brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack [Daniels],” the message of caring for yourself (much less animals) isn’t always visible.

    But that’s neither here nor there. Music is all about showmanship, and the flashiest acts often sell the best. And that seems to be just what’s going on here—on both sides.

    In its press release, HSUS invites people to check out Ke$ha’s Tickets-for-Charity entry. Essentially, Tickets-for-Charity sells tickets to concerts and other venues with a surcharge that is donated to the artist’s charity of choice. In this case, $10 from every purchase goes to HSUS’s international arm, Humane Society International.

    $o Ke$ha $ell$ ticket$, and H$U$ get$ $ome dough a$ well. Ea$y to $ee the up$ide.

    But as anybody who’s familiar with HSUS’s fundraising record knows, the money HSUS raises often goes right back out the door—to pay off fundraisers, or to simply raise more money. HSUS isn’t known as a “factory fundraiser” for nothing. In fact, very little of the money HSUS raises actually goes to pet shelters. And if the ticket donations go to Humane Society International, then the money may not even help a single pet in America.

    At face value, it might make “cents” to join up with HSUS and get your picture taken with cute animals while softening the “bad-girl” image. But considering that HSUS is facing a racketeering lawsuit, multiple calls for federal investigations (including one from six sitting Congressmen), and a growing public backlash as people realize what a scam this so-called “Humane Society” is, it might not make sense to partner with a group whose public-image “stock” should be shorted.

    Do Ke$ha’s PR handlers know this? Why don’t you ask them? There are loads of other, more deserving charities that she could promote to benefit animal welfare.

    Posted on 09/09/2011 at 1:47 am by The Team.

    Topics: Celebrities


  • More Dogfighting in Philly? More Questions for HSUS

    Early last week the Pennsylvania SPCA and Philadelphia police conducted three separate raids to bust up what officials called “the largest dogfighting ring they’ve ever seen.”

    Watch a brief segment from the news coverage here, and then ask yourself a question: Has Michael Vick’s return to professional football as the Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback made dogfighting “cool” in Philly?

    The evidence suggests an unflattering picture for the Humane Society of the United States (not affiliated with “humane society” pet shelters) and its CEO Wayne Pacelle, whose effort to rehabilitate Michael Vick’s public image following his prison term has been controversial (to put it mildly).

    After Vick’s release, he partnered with HSUS for a speaking tour to criticize dogfighting, which—in Pacelle’s defense—may have seemed like a good idea at the time.

    But the consequences speak for themselves. Compared with 2008, Pennsylvania SPCA animal fighting investigations tripled in 2009, the year Vick signed with the Eagles. Most of these were dogfighting-related cases in Philadelphia.

    Trotting Michael Vick out like a trained pony is a far cry from actually doing something for the hands-on groups (like the Pennsylvania SPCA) that have to deal with the fallout from Vick’s public re-branding.

    Perhaps “Bonding” with a dogfighting kingpin wasn’t such a humane idea.

    While we’re on the subject, HSUS has only made one grant to the Pennsylvania SPCA since 2002. (Its tax returns show a single payment for just $1,000 in 2006.) This from an organization whose budget is now over $121 million. (Alert readers will also remember that the Eagles paid HSUS a whopping $50,000.)

    Statewide, HSUS has made only 15 grants to pet shelters during the past five years. On average, HSUS sends less than $7,000 per year to Pennsylvania pet shelters.

    Meanwhile, Pacelle has been in full-fledged Vick promotion mode. He said in December that the animal abuser “would do a good job as a pet owner”—a move that enraged animal lovers everywhere. And in promoting his new book The Bond, Pacelle told NPR: “There is a utility for the animal protection cause in having [Vick] out there speaking.”

    In The Bond Pacelle talks about his decision to put Vick front-and-center, right next to HSUS’s logo:

    As I sat and listened to Vick, on both occasions, I was thinking, We have to embrace this kind of change. This is what we want. We should not look for reasons to reject it. We can’t afford to

    I don’t know if Mike, now a star again in the NFL, will stay with the program forever, but he is with it now and I am happy about it … I hope he’ll stay with it for the distance.

    The decision to rehabilitate Vick’s image was based on the premise that the result would be a touchdown for Philadelphia’s dogs. For their sake, maybe it’s time Pacelle punted.

    Posted on 04/18/2011 at 6:50 pm by The Team.

    Topics: Animal FightingCelebrities


  • Dharma Passes the Hat

    On December 7 of last year, “Dharma and Greg” co-star Jenna Elfman “tweeted” a photo taken after she taped a new "give $19 a month" TV ad for the Humane Society of the United States. Elfman made a radio PSA for HSUS in 2001 and lent an image of her lips to an HSUS-branded postage stamp in 2008, but this was her first on-camera work for the animal rights organization. It reportedly began airing late last week.

    Last night the video production company that shot this fundraising ad posted a press release about it, but the release was removed early this morning. (Here’s Google’s cache, and our screen-grab for posterity.) In addition to the Jenna Elfman ad, the release also linked to videos of two more spots that may or may not be running nationally: one narrated by Wayne Pacelle, and another showcasing three children. (Note: We can’t control how long these movie files will be available for viewing.)

    The Jenna Elfman fundraising ad is the most interesting of three to us. Not because it’s fronted by an actress, but because we counted 44 live animals in this ad, and all but two are dogs and cats:

    More after the jump.

    We’ve written before about how HSUS seems to go out of its way to promote the idea that it’s primarily a dog-and-cat-shelter organization, even though it doesn’t run a pet shelter anywhere (and is stingy with its shelter giving).

    To be fair, Elfman’s voice-over claims HSUS “helps all animal wherever they’re in need.” But the only non-canines-and-felines we see are a horse and a white baby seal. The ad narrated by Pacelle has 29 animals, all dogs and cats except for the same seal and horse. The “kids” ad shows 55 dogs and cats, one seal, and 5 horses.

    The pictures communicate what the words won’t.

    That seal, by the way, is a young pup known as a “whitecoat.” It has been illegal to hunt or kill whitecoat seals throughout North America since 1987. So it’s hard to imagine a donation to HSUS can help these marine mammals any further.

    And the horses? Just two months ago, HSUS continued using a horse named “Second Chance” in its December 2010 “Animal Survivors” fundraising campaign after the animal had already died. This doesn’t inspire confidence.

    Have you noticed that we haven’t mentioned cows, pigs, or chickens yet? That’s because there aren’t any in these commercials. Not a single one. Yet an astonishing amount of HSUS’s money—your money, if you donate—actually goes to campaigns targeting farmers who raise animals for food.

    We told you this week about the $1.6 million HSUS poured into Ohio last year to fight egg farmers. And that was just to get a ballot initiative through the signature-gathering stage. Plus HSUS spent $4.12 million on its 2008 California “Prop 2” farm battle.

    Is HSUS purposely hiding the ball and diverting millions to a purpose that its ads don’t address? The case is getting stronger by the month. If HSUS intends to keep funding seven-figure attacks on farmers in order to drive up the cost of non-vegan foods, it should just come out and say so.

    Here's a transcript of the Jenna Elfman ad:

    JENNA ELFMAN: Hi, I'm Jenna Elfman and this is Daisy. We all know there's no better feeling than being loved. But not everyone is lucky enough to be loved.

    The fact is, each year, over 3 million innocent animals, like Daisy, are destroyed in shelters across America because they cannot find a loving home to adopt them. That's over 8 thousand animals lost every day—350 lives every hour.

    But it's not just shelter dogs and cats who need your help. The Humane Society of the United States helps all animals wherever they're in need. That's why I'm asking you to become a monthly supporting member of the Humane Society of the United States.

    Join the Humane Society for just $19 a month and help end animal suffering and safe lives. For almost 60 years the Humane Society of the United States has been investigating cruelty, campaigning for stronger laws and promoting adoption and better treatment of animals everywhere.

    As an active member of the Humane Society, you'll be part of the nation's largest and most effective animal protection organization. But your membership is critical because many more animals urgently need help. You can help save an animal's life.

    Call and join the Humane Society today.

    ANNOUNCER: Join now. As a monthly member with your first $19 monthly payment, you'll get your membership ID, this official Humane Society fleece members jacket, and this eco-friendly tote bag, plus a free subscription to All Animals magazine.

    JENNA ELFMAN: Most of all, your membership dues will be working throughout the year to give animals chance at a better life.

    ANNOUNCER: Join the Humane Society of the United States now. As a monthly member with your first $19 payment you'll get your membership ID, official fleece members jacket, this eco-friendly tote bag, plus a free subscription to All Animals magazine.

    Image: licensed under Creative Commons (Wikipedia)

    Posted on 02/19/2011 at 2:14 am by The Team.

    Topics: Animal AgricultureAudio & VideoCelebritiesFundraising & MoneyFur & FashionHorsesHunting & FishingPetsWildlife


  • Quote of the Year

    Last week, Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) CEO Wayne Pacelle said that dog-fighting kingpin Michael Vick “would do a good job as a pet owner.” We’ve done our level best since then to make sure as many people as possible know about Pacelle's horrible lapse of judgment, and about his ensuing attempt to weasel his way back toward respectability.

    But Vick isn’t doing himself any favors by perpetuating the fantasy that the football world will look kindly on him if he wants to put more helpless pets in harm’s way.

    Today Fox Sports columnist Alex Marvez lists what he thinks would be the ideal Christmas gift for each National Football League team. Here’s what he says the Philadelphia Eagles need most:

    An electric shock collar for Michael Vick that goes off any time the quarterback speaks about wanting to own another dog in the future. This would serve as a painful reminder of how Vick should have felt when torturing animals for his own sadistic pleasure.

    How about two matching collars? One for Michael Vick, and the other for his cheerleader in the executive office of what used to be America’s most respected mainstream animal charity. The next time Humane Wayne spouts off about giving a violent felon with a history of organizing and funding dogfights another pet to abuse … ZAP.

    Come to think of it, if HSUS’s Board of Directors wants to raise a little extra holiday cash, offering a “Wayne Pacelle chew toy” in the Humane Domain store might be a smart way to go. We’ll take a hundred.

    Posted on 12/23/2010 at 3:25 am by The Team.

    Topics: Animal FightingCelebritiesPets


  • Talkback: The Michael Vick Ad

    If you’re not a New Yorker or a frequent visitor to this blog, you may be unaware that we ran a full-page ad in yesterday’s New York Times, blowing the lid off of a scandal involving convicted dog-fighting kingpin Michael Vick, a $50,000 check from the Philadelphia Eagles, and Humane Society of the United States CEO Wayne Pacelle.

    In short, if you’re wondering why Pacelle would suddenly become an apologist for Vick’s future pet-ownership plans, follow the money.

    HSUS’s willingness to trade its principles for money is disturbing news, and hundreds of you were outraged enough to e-mail us your thoughts. Many of your e-mails contained language (directed at Pacelle and Vick) that’s not exactly “family-friendly,” but here’s a sampling of some of your more polite reactions:


    Michael Vick has no business owning a pet no matter how much money he or associates donate to the Humane Society. He is responsible for the very painful death of at least 8 dogs purely for entertainment and gambling purposes. I am appalled that Wayne Pacelle as CEO of the Humane Society would sell our values for a donation. Has he forgotten what pain Michael Vick has perpetrated on these animals?


    My husband and I used to give to PETA, but then we found out how many animals they were killing at their so-called “shelter” in Virginia. Then we switched to HSUS, but I’ve been repeatedly disappointed with that group too. This news about endorsing Michael Vick is the last straw. From now on, I think we’re going to get to know a few local humane societies and support them. I hope I can count on them to be better human beings than Mr. Pacelle.


    I rarely look at the sports section but just saw this ad – took my breath away. I guess it’s true that $$$ talks for some. I’m furious!


    I just phoned HSUS to cancel my monthly credit card pledge. Thanks for giving the number in your ad. Wayne Pacelle now has a smarmy-sounding message when you call in, complaining about how he’s being attacked. What an arrogant you-know-what. If HSUS is ever going to survive this, Pacelle should look for a new job. I know he’ll never see another penny from me.


    My father graduated from OSU Vet School as number one in his class in a class of 44. He is turning over in his grave to see how anyone would treat an animal as Vick did. He raised all types of animals and had entered dogs into the top national competitions. He believed in bettering the breeds of all animals – not persecuting them. My daughter is also a Veterinarian and a large part of her patients are dogs. She is extremely disturbed about Vick's treatment of animals. I do not believe Vick deserves to be near any type of animal in the near future and I am extremely disappointed in the Humane Society.


    I read in today's New York Times how the Philadelphia Eagles bought off HSUS by making a $50,000 contribution so that Michael Vick (the consummate piece of garbage) can own dogs again. My wife and I have contributed a considerable amount of money to HSUS over the years, but that is at an end. We will also inform every animal advocate we know to never contribute another dime.


    Thanks for saving me from making a huge mistake. I wrote HSUS a check just yesterday for a big donation (big for my budget, anyway). Last night I tore it up. My charitable donation is going to the American Red Cross instead.


    Keep those comments coming, either via e-mail, on our Facebook wall, or (better yet) on HSUS's Facebook wall. Let 'em hear from you.

    Posted on 12/21/2010 at 1:34 am by The Team.

    Topics: Animal FightingCelebritiesFundraising & MoneyPetsTalkback


  • The Weekly Watch #41: The Michael Vick Edition

    If you were reading HumaneWatch last week, you learned …

    Stay tuned this week for more truth-telling, research-sharing, and analysis of America's richest animal rights group! (If you need your up-to-the-minute HumaneWatch fix, there's always Facebook.)

    Posted on 12/21/2010 at 12:29 am by The Team.

    Topics: CelebritiesNews Summaries


  • Press Release: NYT Ad Slams HSUS Prez for Saying Michael Vick Should Be Permitted to Have More Dogs


    New York Times Ad Slams HSUS President for Saying Michael Vick Should Be Permitted to Have More Dogs

    Full-Page Ad from Urges Humane Society of the U.S. Donors to Call 866-720-2676, Cancel Financial Pledges

    Washington, DC –  A full-page ad from, a watchdog project of the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), appears in today's Sunday New York Times, criticizing the recent claim of Wayne Pacelle, the President of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), that convicted dog abuser Michael Vick “would do a good job as a pet owner.” The ad condemns HSUS for supporting the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback’s ownership of dogs, and urges all recurring HSUS donors to cancel their memberships and stop giving to the organization. The ad will run this Sunday as the Eagles suit up against the Giants in the Meadowlands. points to the Eagles’ $50,000 donation to HSUS in 2010 as one possible motivation for Pacelle’s indefensible suggestion that Vick should be allowed to own more dogs. Despite the words “humane society” in its name, HSUS is not affiliated with local humane societies anywhere in America. It spends tens of millions every year supporting a staff of more than 700, lobbyists in all 50 states, and an $11 million executive pension plan. Yet during the past two years, HSUS shared less than 1 percent of its money with hands-on pet shelters.

    “It’s absolutely shocking that the leader of America’s biggest animal rights group would side with a convicted dog fighting felon instead of with helpless pets,” said David Martosko, CCF’s Director of Research and the editor of

    Within 24 hours of Michael Vick’s arrest for running a Virginia dog fighting ring, HSUS began raising money online to “care for the dogs seized” at Vick’s home. Wayne Pacelle later admitted to The New York Times that HSUS was not caring for the dogs. Pacelle also recommended that officials “put down” (kill) the animals. Despite HSUS’s wishes, most of those dogs have since been successfully rehabilitated.


    For more information or to arrange an interview with David Martosko, please visit or call Allison Miller at 202.463.7112

    The Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit watchdog organization that informs the public about the activities of tax-exempt activist groups. It is supported by American consumers, business organizations, and foundations.


    Posted on 12/19/2010 at 10:02 am by The Team.

    Topics: Animal FightingCelebritiesFundraising & MoneyPetsPress Releases


  • Humane Bites #202 (“Vick-gate” edition”): Everyone’s Barking Mad at Wayne Pacelle

    Daily clippings culled from all over the electronic news world. (E-mail submissions for tomorrow.)

    Posted on 12/18/2010 at 5:20 am by The Team.

    Topics: Animal FightingCelebritiesNews SummariesPets


  • Humane Bites #200: Wayne Pacelle Thinks Michael Vick Should Own More Dogs!

    Daily clippings culled from all over the electronic news world. (E-mail submissions for tomorrow.)

    Posted on 12/16/2010 at 5:20 am by The Team.

    Topics: CelebritiesNews Summaries