Topic: Meat

  • The HSUS Bible: Where the Manger Meets Infanticide

    The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is a propaganda machine, twisting all kinds of facts to fit its narrative that everybody needs to adopt a PETA lifestyle and go vegan. It’s no surprise to check its website on any given day and find something out of context or flat-out false. But what we saw the other day shocked even us.

    HSUS posted a defense of radical professor and animal “liberation” activist Peter Singer, who is notorious for his moral defense of killing newborns and children up to 3 years old and euthanizing the disabled. Singer once said that “if killing [a] hemophiliac infant has no adverse effect on others, it would, according to the total view, be right to kill him.” If that seems nuts, the essay on HSUS’s website, written by Charles C. Camosy, a professor of Christian Ethics at Fordham University, is even battier—it argues that Peter Singer actually generally “agrees with pro-lifers on abortion.” Minor details like homicide aside.

    This argument is so patently ridiculous that it’s hard to know where to begin. It’s like someone arguing that Pontius Pilate actually saved Jesus.

    Here’s what we think is going on: HSUS is trying to improve the brand of a notorious professor who is an intellectual saint in the animal liberation movement. (That seems eerily similar to how HSUS did P.R. rehab for Michael Vick—after getting $50,000 from Vick’s employer, no less.) HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle has said that Singer’s views on animal liberation influenced him. HSUS co-wrote an op-ed with Singer last year, and now it is using this essay to make the argument to Christians that Peter Singer is actually just a misunderstood guy with whom they have a lot in common. In reality, Peter Singer is an atheist who wants total animal liberation, and this defense of him is trying to blur the lines and slip his fringe beliefs into mainstream religious thought.

    That’d be laughable if it wasn’t so serious. HSUS launched a religion department about 5 years ago to churn out anti-farmer and animal rights propaganda with Christian, Jewish, Muslim, or other religious tints to it. The department is run by CEO Wayne Pacelle’s former live-in girlfriend. (We wonder how Wayne’s fiancée feels about him and his ex still working together.)

    The entire purpose is to repackage animal liberation—meaning the idea that using animals for just about any reason is wrong—by cloaking it in religious language. Show mercy for animals, HSUS says. Show mercy for animals by not eating cheese, is what HSUS means.

    Skeptical? Just look at what Camosy’s defense of Singer led to. “Finally,” Camosy concludes, Singer “can help us rediscover the deeply Christian idea of self-denial—especially when it comes to fasting by avoiding meat and dairy.”

    There you have it. A contorted defense of someone who justifies infanticide, made with an appeal to Christianity, leading to an opportunity to shill for veganism. There’s a lot we could write about the misanthropy of the vegan/animal liberation ideology and how it conflicts with mainstream religions, but we’ll leave that for another time.

    It’s bad enough that HSUS rips off well-meaning Americans who think that their donations are going to help care for pets. Does HSUS really have to sink so low as trying to infect religions with animal liberation ideology? That’s something PETA has tried, as we documented a few years back in a report called Holy Cows. But since HSUS is really just PETA in a suit and tie—or perhaps now a clerical robe—you shouldn’t be surprised it has adopted the same tactics.

    Posted on 02/22/2013 at 11:19 pm by The HumaneWatch.org Team.

    Topics: MeatReligion

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  • HSUS Doc Exposed as Schlock

    If you’re a longtime reader of this blog, you may recall that we’ve discussed oddball Michael Greger. He’s a doctor who works for the Humane Society of the United States, and his job has been to spew vegan propaganda while attaching an “M.D.” to it. He has released a series of video lectures called “Latest in Clinical Nutrition” that serve as a sounding board for Greger to cherry pick studies and shill for veganism. HSUS allows its logo to be on the DVDs, so it wouldn’t surprise us if the organization paid for the production entirely.

    Greger’s moved from low-budget DVDs to starting a flashy website called “Nutrition Facts.” Despite the seemingly nonpartisan branding, “Nutrition Facts” until last year was called the “Vegan Research Institute,” so that should tell you what you need to know about the agenda of the site. Whatever Greger calls his project, debunking him simply requires going through the minutiae of the studies he cites. It’s a laborious task, but thankfully someone has done it for us.

    Over at Science Based Medicine, a website run by doctors with an eye towards promoting high standards in medicine and research, editor and former Air Force colonel Dr. Harriet Hall takes a hard look at a Greger video recommended to her by a vegan activist. You can read her full analysis, but she finds a number of examples of Greger ludicrously citing research. For example, one study Greger cites as showing that "plant-based" diets protect against kidney failure actually indicates that low-fat dairy products are also protective. The devil is in the details, but Greger is in the business of making overly broad statements that fit his narrative.

    Hall summarizes Greger’s formula rather well:

    These videos tend to fall into an easily recognizable pattern. They feature a charismatic scientist with an agenda who makes sweeping statements that go beyond the evidence, makes unwarranted assumptions about the meaning of studies, and omits any reference to contradictory evidence.

    And she also calls out Greger’s laughable rhetoric:

    [Greger] compares raw meat to hand grenades, because of bacterial contamination. If you don’t handle them safely, it’s like pulling the pin. Are we selling hand grenades in grocery stores? This is a ridiculous comparison, and it ignores the fact that plant-based foods can be a source of contamination too.

    Interesting point. A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that leafy green vegetables are the number one source of food poisoning. About half of food poisonings are attributable to produce. Somehow, we can’t find this news on the “Nutrition Facts” blog. We’re shocked.

    Greger's by no means the only wolf in sheep's clothing we've seen, by the way. Just check out the so-called "Physicians Commitee" for "Responsible Medicine" for more.

    When Greger’s propaganda is filtered through calm, reasoned medical experts who are focused on impartially evaluating evidence, it falls apart. He’s a snake oil salesman for an ideology, and it seems he’ll twist research to push his agenda. In that way, he’s a perfect fit for HSUS.

    Posted on 02/15/2013 at 3:45 am by The HumaneWatch.org Team.

    Topics: DairyMeat

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  • Is HSUS Backstabbing the Buckeye Compromise?

    Ohio has been a battleground between farmers and the anti-farmer Humane Society of the United States. In 2009, farmers and ranchers backed a successful ballot initiative to create the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board (OLCSB), which would govern animal agriculture practices in the state. HSUS didn’t like that people who are outside the professional animal-rights industry could have a say on what “humane” means, so it threatened its own ballot campaign to overturn the measure. The Ohio Farm Bureau, then-Governor Ted Strickland, and HSUS then cut a deal, the “Buckeye Compromise.” Instead of abolishing the OLCSB, HSUS and the Ohio Farm Bureau agreed to give HSUS what it wanted in the standards — like a ban on individual maternity pens that reputable veterinarians find provide for the welfare of pregnant pigs – while keeping the board.

    The board kept up its end of the bargain, which you can read here.  (The only HSUS demand that it hasn’t gotten yet is a law increasing penalties for animal fighting.) But is that good enough for HSUS? Of course not. Now, HSUS has appointed a new state director for outreach and engagement in Ohio, John Dinon. He’s no animal fighting specialist brought in to help shepherd a tougher anti-cockfighting law. The Toledo Blade reports:

    John Dinon, who left the Maumee-based group in September, will be Ohio director of outreach and engagement, a new position for the groups. He will be based in Toledo and will focus on a variety of animal protection issues with an emphasis on supporting humane and sustainable animal agriculture in the state.

    “Humane and sustainable” agriculture is code for “attacking regular farmers” through a campaign resting on the false premise that mainstream farmers are treating their animals inhumanely or degrading the environment. Even though HSUS has already received timelines for the achievement of its stated “Buckeye Compromise” demands, HSUS will not leave Buckeye State farmers alone.

    It’s just another case of HSUS being a dishonest broker. Even as HSUS and the United Egg Producers advance a “deal” on enriched-cage hen housing, HSUS is pushing companies to a cage-free standard. Not that “cage-free” is good enough for a group of vegan zealots– HSUS really wants to get rid of eggs altogether. Of course, a then-HSUS VP vowed to “get rid of the entire [animal agriculture] industry,” and HSUS’s current farm animal VP has said that “eating meat causes animal cruelty,” so it was really only a matter of time before HSUS made a move.

    Maybe it seemed sensible in 2010 to deal with HSUS and avoid a battle. But HSUS can be beaten, as evidenced by three high-profile political flops performed by HSUS just three months ago. These guys will take a mile if you give them an inch, and sometimes the best antidote for a schoolyard bully is to just stand up to them.

    As Winston Churchill said, “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.” We will soon find out just how hungry a crocodile HSUS’s Ohio division is. In the meantime, it’s more evidence to anyone considering a “deal” with HSUS that these guys are as trustworthy as Benedict Arnold. 

    Posted on 02/06/2013 at 3:05 am by The HumaneWatch.org Team.

    Topics: EggsGov't, Lobbying, PoliticsMeat

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  • 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 HumaneWatch.org Team.

    Topics: CelebritiesMeat

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  • Lifting the Mask on HSUS's Veganism

    The Humane Society of the United States (not to be confused with your local pet shelter) doesn’t often come out and openly demand that you “go vegan” like its comrades at PETA do. Shoot, HSUS even let a boutique meat producer sign on to one of its recent op-eds. So is HSUS really on the side of the 99 percent of Americans who aren’t vegan? Is HSUS just a bunch of misunderstood animal activists instead of anti-meat zealots?

    Don’t count on it. HSUS Food Policy Director Matt Prescott was in fact the guy who devised PETA’s disgusting, dehumanizing and despicable “Holocaust on Your Plate” campaign. HSUS VP for Farm Animal Protection Paul Shapiro said in 2003 that “eating meat causes animal cruelty.” And CEO Wayne Pacelle recently wrote that vegans of a more PETA-esque persuasion should “unite [with HSUS] to finish the job” liberating farm animals. (He’s said plenty of other wacky things, too.)

    It seems that at every point HSUS is either facing off against mainstream agricultural producers or promoting meat-, egg-, and dairy-free living. We attended the “Animal Rights 2012” (AR2012) conference here in Washington, and in a presentation HSUS’s Shapiro said this:

    For basically every animal product out there, we need to show people that there is an easy, delicious, and convenient alternative. If it’s pigs they want to eat, let them eat pig products that are made from plants. If it’s chicken, let them eat plant-based chicken products. If it’s turkeys, let them eat these plant-based turkey products, including Tofurky.

    Note that he didn’t say eat “humanely raised” pigs, chickens, and turkeys. He said eat fake pigs, eat fake chickens, and eat Tofurky–the only foodstuff bearing the HSUS logo. (Oh, and Paul, if it’s “plant-based” then it’s not a “chicken product.” Just FYI.)

    So why then would the strictly vegetarian HSUS partner with small-scale or unconventional animal agriculture groups?

    Besides giving HSUS “cover”—95 percent of its members (by whatever definition is convenient for making that statistic) aren’t vegetarian—it splits the agricultural community along business-based lines. The age old maxim—“divide and rule”—accurately describes HSUS’s strategy. Because the producer groups that align with HSUS out of short-run convenience are unaware of HSUS’s long-run goals, they think HSUS really supports them. However, when the present enemy—whether caged eggs or maternity pens for pigs—is made illegal, HSUS will turn on its present “allies” next.

    Consider the case of Dunkin’ Donuts, which partnered with HSUS to increase its proportion of cage-free eggs and phase out maternity pens from its supply chain. You’d think animal protection groups would be pleased by that, but Compassion Over Killing is keeping its “DunkinCruelty.com” site active until Dunkin’ offers more vegan options. If you give them an inch, they’ll take a mile.

    And how “separate” is Compassion Over Killing (COK) from HSUS anyway? Sure, they have distinct corporate structures, but COK was co-founded by none other than Paul Shapiro, HSUS’s farm animal protection VP. HSUS Director of Corporate Policy Josh Balk is a COK alumnus. And HSUS’s former VP for farm animal welfare, Miyun Park, was another co-founder of the group. COK even launched the “Dunkin’ Cruelty” campaign at HSUS’s annual conference in 2009. 

    All these animal rights groups have the same goal even if they differ on the means to the end. As Park said at an animal rights conference while she was an HSUS VP: “We don't want any of these animals to be raised and killed.” It doesn’t matter how you raise a pig; HSUS and its allies don’t want it to become bacon. The writing is on the wall for any producer who’s willing to open his eyes.

    Posted on 10/16/2012 at 2:20 am by The HumaneWatch.org Team.

    Topics: Animal AgricultureDairyEggsMeat

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  • Cali. University to HSUS: Enough with the PETA Propaganda

    Since just 1 percent of the money the Humane Society of the U.S. raises is sent to pet shelters, people often ask us where the money does go. It goes to pay lobbyists and lawyers, to fund a wealthy pension plan, and to bankroll fundraising mills. It also goes to PETA-like anti-agriculture propaganda. One such campaign is Meatless Monday. Granted, HSUS wants meatless Monday through Sunday, but it will take anything that moves the goalposts in that direction bit by bit.

    Last week, HSUS put out a press release claiming that California State University, Chico, was joining the ranks of schools using the Meatless Monday program. But students and alumni of Chico—which has a significant agriculture program—quickly revolted at the idea of their school becoming a pawn in the HSUS’s anti-meat crusade, and the school was quick to react.

    The College of Agriculture ripped HSUS on Facebook:

    While we fully support offering students plenty of options on the menu, including vegetarian, we object to the use of a political tactic like “meatless Monday,” used by HSUS to advance its anti-agriculture agenda, which is the opposite of what we teach students every day about land stewardship, humane animal handling, and the importance of a healthy, balanced diet.

    Meanwhile, the University had this to say:

    To respond to a number of posts on our site: A news release from the Humane Society of the United States about Chico State joining the “Meatless Mondays” program was inaccurate – this was an action taken by the Associated Students’ Dining Services, not the University. The AS has asked the HSUS to take the news release down, and the AS is currently reevaluating the decision to join the program. To be clear, what AS Dining Services has been planning for the Sutter Hall dining facility is 1 of 5 food stations offering vegetarian options on Mondays. The other stations all serve meat on Monday.

    Last but not least, the dining services’ Director of Business and Finance added, “We were co-opted into this movement, and that was not our intent.”

    It seems clear to us that HSUS is so obsessed with veganism and attacking meat that it will use just about any pretext for pushing the “meat-free” narrative, even when it’s totally false. Chico’s dining services was apparently always going to still offer meat on Mondays, but simply increase the number of vegetarian options on that day. Nothing wrong with offering more options, but there is something wrong with HSUS making it into something to fit its agenda of taking away options.

    While the hacks over at “This Dish is Veg” still haven’t apparently gotten the memo, HSUS has. The press release is no longer on HSUS’s website, and its PETA-esque activists now have fake egg on their faces.

    Posted on 10/12/2012 at 1:59 am by The HumaneWatch.org Team.

    Topics: Meat

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  • HSUS Director Responsible for ‘Holocaust on Your Plate’ Campaign

    The Humane Society of the United States—no relation to your local pet shelter—would like you to think it’s moderate. It would like you to think that it’s not a slicker version of PETA. It would like you to think that it doesn’t have a vegan agenda to bankrupt farmers who raise animals for food.

    So why, then, does HSUS have a “Food Policy Director” who thinks farmers are running Nazi death camps? No joke.

    Meet Matt Prescott. Before he became HSUS’s Food Policy Director, he was manager of vegan campaigns for PETA. And one of his bright ideas while with PETA was devising the widely reviled “Holocaust on Your Plate” campaign comparing animal-farming to slaughtering Jews, which toured the country in 2003. (If you really want to see more, click here.)

    The Associated Press reported:

    Matt Prescott, youth outreach coordinator for PETA, said the Nazis looked to the livestock industry in determining ways to transport, house and execute the Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals and others. Animals are still treated that way.

    "We've kept the systems and the attitudes – just changed the victims," he said.

    “Anybody who eats meat,” Prescott told a Canadian reporter, “is guilty of holding the same mindset that allowed the Holocaust to happen.”

    This line of thinking makes sense only in the fevered mind of an animal-rights zealot (now an HSUS activist, remember). Animals raised for food are put in housing systems that are approved of by veterinary experts. There are humane-slaughter regulations. There are laws against animal abuse. And so on. There’s no comparison.

    But reality and facts are lost on overzealous ideologues who compare systematically murdering people to eating bacon and drumsticks.

    As you might expect, Prescott’s PETA stunt was widely condemned. “To blatantly compare the mass murder of 6 million people to the issue of animal rights is distasteful at least and at best a vicious affront to the victims of the Holocaust," said one leader in the Jewish community. “PETA's exhibit is a disgrace,” The Boston Globe editorialized. And a Boston Herald contributor opined, “Campaigns like ‘Holocaust on Your Plate’ are intentionally designed to be repugnant, and will always have some smug, self-righteous idiot like Mr. Prescott as spokesman to explain why the rest of us are the disgusting ones.”

    What’s more is that Prescott was apparently “not honest” with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, whose copyrighted photos PETA obtained and (ab)used for the campaign. The New York Daily News reported:

    [USHMM] spokeswoman Mary Morrison said the Washington museum was never told about the nature of the campaign, or even that it was related to PETA. The request, which came from an organizer's private E-mail account, described the project's goal as “comparing the atrocities of the Holocaust to other forms of oppression throughout history.”

    Another spokesman told The Boston Globe:

    “Prescott was not honest with us about how he would be using the images. He did not say that it had anything to do with animals. We would not have given permission for that.”

    And the Museum’s executive director issued a statement condemning Prescott’s offensive exhibit:

    [PETA] has chosen to ignore common decency and desecrate the memory of Holocaust victims, survivors and their families in its perverted effort to generate headlines. We are especially offended that PETA has chosen to use materials obtained deceitfully from the Museum … An organization so concerned about inflicting pain on animals should not be so oblivious to the pain it is inflicting on humans.

    Good point. But PETA and Prescott apparently didn’t have human feelings in high regard, or think much of the 95 percent of the country that eats meat, for that matter. Talk about misanthropy.

    Interestingly, a similarly appalling sentiment was apparently uttered by an HSUS-affiliated activist quite recently, too. The Animal Ag Alliance reports that at an anti-farming conference last year, Holly Cheever, a longtime animal rights activist who’s on the leadership council of HSUS’s veterinary arm, stated that “slaughterhouses are a kind of Auschwitz.”

    So the next time HSUS acts like it’s on the side of small-scale family farmers, keep in mind it thinks they’re just running mini death camps. (Right.)

    We have to imagine that this was on Prescott’s résumé when HSUS hired him after his years at PETA. Not that it would matter: HSUS vice president for farm-animal issues Paul Shapiro has said that “eating meat causes animal cruelty” and carried a sign at a PETA protest stating “The Meat Industry Equals Systematic Murder.” HSUS is just PETA in a suit and tie, and anti-meat radicalism seems like a ticket to the top.

    Matt Prescott now goes around to corporations on behalf of HSUS trying to get these companies to change their food policies. We’ll make sure they’re well aware of what he really thinks and represents, and he can see how well the meetings go.

    Hey, maybe we’ll be doing him a favor—after all, we can’t imagine he enjoys sitting down with people he thinks harbor a Holocaust-enabling mentality who do business with Nazi-like farmers.

    Posted on 09/18/2012 at 2:40 am by The HumaneWatch.org Team.

    Topics: Animal AgricultureMeat

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  • ‘Don’ Pacelle Hits the Heartland

    Despite its name, the Humane Society of the United States is not a pet shelter group, and doesn’t run any pet shelters. But it does spend an inordinate amount of time attacking farmers as part of its self-admitted anti-agriculture agenda. Recently, one of the tactics HSUS has used to try to distinguish itself from its kooky allies at PETA is working with smaller agriculture groups as part of a divide-and-conquer strategy. This gives it “cover” against charges it’s anti-agriculture, while allowing it to throw its weight around attacking other farmers in the animal agriculture industry with an unrelenting series of attacks, whether frivolous lawsuits, SEC complaints, or similar assaults. Essentially, HSUS is trying to position itself as a friend of “family farmers” and merely an opponent of “Big Ag.” (A false dichotomy since most farmers are family farmers, but that’s a topic for another day.)

    The latest deal that HSUS has cut is with a group called the Organization for Competitive Markets, a small cadre of beef interests that opposes the checkoff program that pays for general advertising to promote beef-eating. (Think: “Beef. It’s what’s for dinner.”) HSUS’s legal team provided free research to OCM to support OCM’s lawsuit seeking to throw a wrench in the program. But is the enemy of OCM’s enemy its friend? One agriculture columnist checked out this latest link-up and came home skeptical of HSUS’s motives:

    I sat through [HSUS CEO Wayne] Pacelle’s speech to OCM in Kansas City and I waited to hear him talk about markets and what the HSUS could do for family farmers. Pacelle talked…and talked. But he never got to the part about how the HSUS was going to help support family agriculture.

    HSUS talks a big game about “humane” animal agriculture and “family farmers,” but is short on “walk” for a very good reason. If HSUS defined some food products from animals as “humane enough,” it couldn’t move the goalposts as easily in the future. It’s a lot harder to move a fixed goal than a wishy-washy one further towards veganism, and HSUS knows this. After all, despite claiming to be looking out for the egg industry, HSUS won’t serve a single egg at its annual conference, even a free-range, organic one.

    Catering to a tiny fringe tells you who’s really running the show, and it’s not Mr. Moderate. After all, why does HSUS care about general marketing finances? Since when is that in a “humane society’s” purview? It isn’t, nor are donors to HSUS who see the weepy commercials with dogs and cats knowledgeable that their donations are funding lawyers to engage in these shenanigans.

    This is simply a political revenge move. One beef group opposing HSUS’s “egg bill” in Congress gets checkoff money. HSUS is just looking for a way to get even since, so far, that bill has basically gone nowhere. That’s not speculation—Wayne Pacelle actually said so himself.

    Should it really shock us that HSUS is facing a lawsuit under a law designed to fight the mob?

    So, if Pacelle wasn’t talking about how HSUS specifically intended to help small-scale agriculture, what was he talking about? The columnist reports:

    Instead, Pacelle preached to a room full of people who grew animals for a living — who have lived with animals from the day they were born — about the “bond between us and animals” and how we have become “alienated from animals.”

    That’s funny, especially given Pacelle’s own statements about the bond between animals and him—or lack thereof. He once told an interviewer “I don't have a hands-on fondness for animals” and “there's no special bond between me and other animals.” Given that HSUS has 50 in-house attorneys, we’d suspect there’s evidence he has more hands-on fondness for lawyers (to say nothing of the pension plan).

    The columnist concludes:

    And what has HSUS done, publicly, to bring over their largely urban constituency to support independent farmers and ranchers? Well, HSUS did pay for a few sweet rolls and some coffee at the OCM convention, a donation celebrated in a sign set next to the silverware. But what else?

    Somehow, we bet the coffee wasn’t provided with cream. Remember, the only food item bearing HSUS’s logo is Tofurky, and HSUS promotes a “Guide to Vegetarian Eating.” Its food policy director is a former PETA activist who called a decrease in meat consumption “good news.” If animal agriculture groups want to work with HSUS, all they will change is their place in line for HSUS attacks.

    Is their livelihood really worth some rolls and a cup o’ joe?

    Posted on 08/30/2012 at 2:11 am by The HumaneWatch.org Team.

    Topics: Animal AgricultureMeat

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  • Humane Society Joins Hands with Infanticide-Promoting Professor

    The vegan Humane Society of the United States is on the move in New Jersey, pushing a bill in the legislature that would ban the use of individual maternity pens to house pregnant pigs. We recently interviewed a veterinarian and an animal scientist who support the use of pens, as do hundreds of other experts. However, HSUS’s Paul Shapiro has an op-ed in the Star-Ledger with a rather curious co-author: controversial Princeton professor and Animal Liberation author Peter Singer.

    Singer takes a coldly utilitarian view to the world, arguing that it’s morally OK to kill people after they’re born. In his analysis, this leads to such ends as “if killing [a] hemophiliac infant has no adverse effect on others, it would, according to the total view, be right to kill him.”

    (Gee, what a partner. All those HSUS claims about representing American “values” sure don’t seem so credible now, do they?)

    Let’s get to the meat of the matter about maternity pens. Singer and HSUS pretend to argue on animal welfare grounds. Animal “rights,” which is what Shapiro and Singer are truly about, is a philosophy and not a hard science. So it’s a nice ploy on their part.

    Animal welfare can be measured. Here’s one measure: Stress hormones. And interestingly, several recent studies find that pigs in group housing situations—as HSUS calls for—have higher blood levels of a stress marker.

    Why could this be? It’s likely because pregnant pigs in groups can fight each other to establish dominance or fight over food.

    That’s not to say group housing is bad. It’s also a valid way of housing pigs if managed properly. But it’s something else to take away what many consider a current best practice. According to a review of the evidence a few years back, maternity pens and well-managed group housing “produced similar states of welfare for pregnant gilts or sows in terms of physiology, behavior, performance, and health.”

    On one side, you have farmers and veterinarians—experts who know a thing or two about caring for animals. On the other side, you have an ideological vegan activist and an ivory tower-dwelling “intellectual” who argues that it’s perfectly fine to kill kids after they’re born.

    “The notion that human life is sacred just because it is human life is medieval,” Singer says in Writings on an Ethical Life.

    But putting pigs in maternity pens, despite the benefits to their welfare, is abhorrent. Right.

    Singer and HSUS are moving towards a more “humane” society, indeed. But frankly, they don’t seem the most qualified to comment on agricultural public policy.

    Posted on 08/23/2012 at 7:22 pm by The HumaneWatch.org Team.

    Topics: Animal AgricultureMeat

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  • Does HSUS Want 1,500,000 Cows to Die?

    The media has been feasting on a hot story the past week: News of so-called “pink slime” infiltrating school food across America. As you might expect, HSUS couldn’t help but chime in, as it does any time there’s the potential to garner negative attention on animal products used as food in furtherance of its vegan agenda. (Strangely, HSUS seems eerily quiet every time there’s an E. Coli outbreak in vegetables.) 

    Over at the Huffington Post, HSUS chief food propagandist Michael Greger piled on. “Which is more important,” he gasps, “corporate profits or the safety and health of our loved ones?”

    So what’s the truth behind the rhetoric? The food in question is more accurately known as lean finely textured beef or boneless lean beef trimmings. It’s used in hamburgers and ground beef. Basically, it’s beef from leftover parts of the cow. When the meat processors make various cuts of steak, for example, little bits of beef are left over amidst the trimmings and on the bones. And one company found a way to consolidate these bits and process them to remove fat and kill pathogens.

    It’s strange, then, that HSUS should attack it. Despite Greger’s false dichotomy, this beef is safe—the company making this product was featured as a model of food safety just a few years ago, even winning praise from a foodborne-illness victims’ advocacy group. Once it’s all cooked, is there really much nutritional difference? Not that we can tell.

    And it’s essentially following the old principle of “use the entire animal.” The use of these bits of the animal that might otherwise be discarded provides 7 million pounds of food annually to the school lunch program. Given that the average cow provides about 550 pounds of beef, we’d need to slaughter 12,000 more cows in order to make up the loss in just the schools. Overall, we’d actually need to slaughter an additional 1.5 million cows a year to replace all of the beef product.

    Since the news broke, some schools have begun dropping this beef from their menus and the company making it has suspended operations at several plants. This beef may be on its way out.

    So congratulations, HSUS and Michael Greger. Millions more cows will be slaughtered because of the handiwork of folks like you.

    Graphic: Good.is

    Posted on 03/28/2012 at 2:26 am by The HumaneWatch.org Team.

    Topics: Meat

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