Topic: Affiliates

  • HSUS Lends Us a Hand in Boston

    AVMA Booth 2015The weekend before last we had a booth at the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Convention in Boston. The AVMA is the largest association of veterinarians and takes rational, science-based approaches to animal welfare. That runs counter to a group like HSUS, which pushes a radical ideology. Unsurprisingly, HSUS has clashed with the AVMA in the past.

    A few years back, HSUS started a group called the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association (HSVMA), which absorbed an existing group called the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights. AVAR had a reputation of being a group for radical, PETA-like veterinarians and even once ran an attack ad accusing the AVMA of betraying animals.

    HSVMA had a booth at the AVMA Convention this year, and we got a booth opposite HSVMA. (The picture above was HSVMA’s view as we were setting up.) What better way to have a debate than having both sides right near each other? Unsurprisingly, HSUS/HSVMA wasn’t interested in a debate. The people running the booth promptly complained to the AVMA and tried to have us thrown out.

    So the AVMA did us a favor. Since the sourpusses at HSVMA couldn’t tolerate healthy discourse, AVMA moved our booth to a highly trafficked area in the middle of the exhibit hall. HSVMA was left in the far corner of the show by some bathrooms. A fitting position.

    HSVMA is an interesting case. The group does some good things such as rural veterinary services but is tainted by the larger HSUS political agenda, which leads to counterproductive positions. For instance, a few years back the AVMA opposed an HSUS-backed measure to ban the slaughter of horses in the US for food, arguing that the horses would simply go to Mexico where the animal welfare standards are not as stringent. HSUS attacked the AVMA—but in the end, the AVMA was correct. Truckloads of horses are going to Mexico now. Animal welfare has been reduced thanks to HSUS.

    More recently we’ve seen HSVMA send a letter signed by vets to New Jersey lawmakers calling for a ban on individual maternity pens, used to house pregnant pigs. The letter seemed strange—we know plenty of swine veterinarians who support the use of maternity pens. It turned out the HSVMA signers were almost all small-animal (cat and dog) vets. It’s unclear if they had any experience with pigs, but they were certainly tools for HSUS/HSVMA propaganda.

    The bottom line is that vets with HSVMA need to decide if they want to be associated with a radical overlord that wants to use them. The folks who run HSUS are not veterinarians. They are longtime PETA-style activists. However, they are smart enough to know they need someone with credibility carrying their agenda. No matter how many free spay-neuters HSVMA provides, its members should ask if they can’t do good work with a more reputable group.

    How did vets react to the booth? Very positively. A number of vets, especially older vets, already get the joke, but quite a few younger vets and students had no idea.

    Posted on 07/22/2015 at 10:50 am by Humane Watch Team.

    Topics: AffiliatesVeterinarians


  • Discover Dumps HSUS

    British wartime leader Winston Churchill with his famous V for victory sign. Image from the archives of Press Portrait Service (formerly Press Portait Bureau) 1946 image. Image shot 1946. Exact date unknown.HumaneWatchers have a history of activism when it comes to asking companies not to partner with the deceptive Humane Society of the United States. Readers have helped score wins by getting corporations such as YellowTail Wines and Pilot Travel Centers to stop supporting HSUS. As you may know our most recent campaign encouraged Americans to “Discover the Scam,” for their support of HSUS through an affinity credit card. Now, after two calls from Discover’s corporate offices to us and their decision to discontinue their partnership with HSUS, we are calling off our campaign.

    This development is great news. As a result of Discover cancelling the affinity card program, HSUS stands to lose over $450,000 in expected revenue—and that’s a conservative estimate. It’s likely over $2 million.

    Excellent work by everyone involved who contacted Discover or shared! This wouldn’t have happened without grassroots action—and it shows that grassroots action works.


    We are pleased that our public awareness campaign was successful in drawing attention to HSUS’ practices, and that the video we created for the campaign has now received around 185,000 views on Facebook and YouTube, and we also put up billboards in Times Square.

    Hopefully, as a result of Discover severing their ties with HSUS, more Americans will continue to “Discover” how HSUS has swindled donors into thinking that their contributions will go towards helping local animal shelters. In reality, HSUS does not operate a single animal shelter and it only spends 1% of its yearly budget supporting these facilities. Now that Discover has dumped HSUS, it is time for the rest of the country to do the same.

    For those of you who participated, make sure to politely thank Discover for their move.

    Who’s next? We’ll be announcing the next company we intend to educate about HSUS soon…



    Posted on 04/09/2015 at 10:41 am by HumaneWatch Team.

    Topics: AffiliatesAnnouncementsAudio & Video


  • The Revolving PETA Door

    HSUSequalsPetaSee if you can name which organization promotes the following radical agenda. The group pushes not for animal welfare, but for animal “liberation.” This organization also believes that animals should never be eaten, advocates against the wearing of fur, fights use of animals for medical research, and thinks that animals should not be used in an entertainment setting (e.g. a circus, zoo, or aquarium). Is it People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), or is it the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)?

    Trick question: It’s both.

    PETA is infamous for the over-the-top and offensive tactics it uses to promote its agenda, while HSUS takes a more muted tone in pushing for animal rights. However, HSUS occasionally shows its true intentions—like when Wayne Pacelle, the organization’s executive director says things like he never wants to see another dog or cat born or “I don’t love animals or think they are cute.”

    Not only do HSUS and PETA share the same mission—even if HSUS has a different, more-clothed means to the end—but in many cases they have also had the same personnel.

    So, HSUS may look moderate when compared to more blatantly radical groups like PETA, but that’s all part of the groups’ plans. As Michael Specter noted in The New Yorker, any successful protest movement needs a radical figure to draw scrutiny away from, and add legitimacy to, the movement’s supposedly less radical factions. He specifically notes PETA as that element to make HSUS look moderate.

    But paying closer attention, one doesn’t have to look hard to see that PETA seems to be little more than a training ground for HSUS. Once new recruits have finished their time in the field, they’re ready for their next role—like Matt Prescott, an HSUS campaigner who was a longtime PETA activist (he created a PETA campaign comparing farmers to Nazis); Kristie Middleton, a former PETA “lettuce lady”; or Anna West, a former special assistant to PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk who now does communications for HSUS. (West was “occasionally arrested” for her activism.)

    HSUS spends a lot of time and money on its carefully branded image, and probably doesn’t appreciate the comparisons to its more bombastic cousin PETA–but if the pleather shoe fits…

    Posted on 11/25/2014 at 10:06 am by Humane Watch Team.

    Topics: AffiliatesGeneral Staff