Topic: Main

  • Animal Rights Activists Slam HSUS (Again)

    While there’s a lot for the average Joe to dislike about the extremist Humane Society of the United States, the group also isn’t well loved in the animal rights community, some of whose members see HSUS as a money-grubbing outfit willing to sell out on its principles. The latest internal feud comes from Vermont, where activists are accusing HSUS of supporting a bill that would make the cage requirements for breeding dogs significantly smaller. The bill passed the legislature and was sent to the governor’s desk on May 30. It’s unclear why HSUS would support a bill that weakens current standards in Vermont.

    Ironically, notes the animal-rights publication Animals 24-7, the bill came as HSUS was engaged in a one-day “Day of Giving” last month that was advertised to donors as a way to fight “puppy mills.” HSUS was using dogs as a fundraising prop while supporting a bill that other advocates in Vermont say would help abusers.

    Surely HSUS would smooth this over with its fellow animal advocates, right? Apparently not when ego is at play. Reportedly, HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle responded to criticism by emailing a donor, “We firmly believe that animal groups should attack animal abusers, and not animal advocacy groups.” In other words, Pacelle doesn’t want to ever be criticized by “the movement.” That’s going to backfire; in fact, over 2,000 people have already signed a petition to the governor about the bill.

    We’re not really sure why HSUS is supporting the bill, but we do know that it’s another situation where HSUS arrogance is creating unforced errors. Grab the popcorn.

    Posted on 06/06/2017 at 4:24 pm by HumaneWatch Team.

    Topics: Main

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  • Hampton Creek’s Staff Evaporates

    Hampton Creek, creator of vegan “mayonnaise” Just Mayo, has fallen on hard times yet again. It’s reported that the situation has grown so dire that even the executive staff is being cut. The chief financial officer (CFO) and human resources chief were both given their walking papers recently, as well as several other staffers.

    The company’s mission is to convince people that “it’s possible to have healthier, sustainable food that is affordable and delicious,” yet a recent Bloomberg report says that the company was hemorrhaging as much as $10 million a month last year while it has sought $150 million, at an outlandish $1.1 billion valuation, from foreign venture capitalists. At this point, we imagine it’d be hard for the organization to even show proof of concept to new investors as a profit-making enterprise.

    Getting rid of HR, given the reports of rampant sexual exploits and favoritism at Hampton Creek, seems to say it all. With the company’s history of incognito buybacks and other shady business practices, it seems like it will only be a matter of time before regulators come calling again.

    Why should HumaneWatch readers care? The Humane Society of the United States was an early investor (using donor funds we assume), and HSUS employee Josh Balk is a Hampton Creek cofounder. The big question is why HSUS spent its resources on condiments and not the welfare of pets in shelters across the country.

    Posted on 05/18/2017 at 10:55 am by HumaneWatch Team.

    Topics: Main

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  • Why Does HSUS Promote This Rape Apologist and Bestiality Defender?

    Over the weekend, The New York Times suffered backlash and reports of canceled subscriptions after publishing an op-ed by Bret Stephens, a conservative “never Trumper,” who questioned elements of the orthodoxy on climate change.

    What’s odd is that the rage on display this weekend was nowhere to be seen a couple of weeks ago when the same page ran an op-ed co-signed by Peter Singer, recently keynote speaker at the Humane Society of the United States’ (HSUS) “Future of Food” conference and author of the manifesto Animal Liberation, that defended bestiality and the actions of convicted rapist Anna Stubblefield.

    Stubblefield was working with a 30-year-old man with severe physical and mental disabilities in an attempt to help him communicate. She claims that he began communicating with her at a high level, that they fell in love, and then they began to consummate their relationship. His family claimed that was impossible and the state brought a case against Stubblefield that resulted in her being sentenced to 12 years in prison.

    Singer argues that if one accepts the prosecution’s premise that the victim is “profoundly cognitively impaired,” then he would be incapable of understanding the ramifications of sex. Singer goes on to make the claim that, since the victim probably didn’t fight, then it is likely that “the experience was pleasurable to him.” So, then, what harm or wrong has occurred?

    This argument echoes his case for the legality of bestiality from 2001, which can be distilled to the idea that if an animal is not physically harmed and does not resist, then the action should be legally permissible. It should be noted that these same justifications are often used by rapists and their apologists in cases where a victim is intoxicated.

    As if this wasn’t bad enough, Singer has argued that “killing a disabled infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person. Very often it is not wrong at all.”

    HSUS bills itself as a “mainstream” group that speaks for many Americans. Yet its own leadership provides a platform for Singer and lavishes him with effusive praise such as “few have done as much good as” Singer. With Singer as their guiding light, it’s just another example of how extreme the leadership of HSUS is.

    Posted on 05/02/2017 at 3:54 pm by HumaneWatch Team.

    Topics: Main

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  • HSUS Manufactures Outrage in NYC

    Making a mountain out of a molehill is nothing new for groups such as the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), which are constantly looking for new outrages to use as fundraising tools or get their faces in the media. Look no further than Tuesday, when HSUS issued a statement after a passerby snapped photos of a horse that appeared to be in distress. HSUS wants to ban carriage horses in New York City and elsewhere, so this provided a golden opportunity.

    NYCLASS, a local anti-carriage organization that is reportedly a subject of an FBI probe of Big Apple Mayor Bill de Blasio, acquired the pictures and set out on a media smear campaign that distorted the facts for their own political gain. NYCLASS alleged that the horse, named Max, collapsed and could not get up for an extended amount of time.

    But according to the horse’s owner, Max got right up when he was unhitched from the carriage. A statement released by New York City’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene notes, “The horse returned immediately to its stable and was examined by a private veterinarian who determined Max to be healthy.” A spokesperson for the carriage industry released a statement saying “[Max] tripped and fell, and he was examined by three mounted officers at the park and was cleared to return to the stable pending a vet exam.”

    That’s the rest of the story—and it matters.

    Carriage rides are a staple of Central Park and both tourists and locals enjoy them tremendously. The owners have every incentive to treat their animals well. Nevertheless, it seems the cynical campaigners at HSUS love nothing more than to make hay out of every situation they can.

    Posted on 03/03/2017 at 11:50 am by HumaneWatch Team.

    Topics: HorsesMain

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  • Breaking: HSUS Lays Off 55 Amidst Budget Crisis

    In what could be termed “Bloody Friday,” we learned late last week that HSUS has laid off 55 employees in the middle of a major fundraising shortfall. Our understanding is that the figure is at least $20 million.

    It sounds to us like a lot of charitable donors are wising up and figuring out that the HSUS ads they see aren’t aligned with how HSUS spends their money (only about 1% is given to pet shelters to help them care for animals). Or that the mail they get with branded socks or gardening gloves translates to a lot of money wasted.

    Here’s what has to be a real slap in the face to HSUS staff: Not only were six-figure-salary executives retained (and there are dozens of those around) while a lot of little fish got flushed, but HSUS has parked about $150 million into offshore funds. Apparently Wayne Pacelle, Mike Markarian, and other HSUS bigwigs weren’t willing to dip into those accounts supplied by donor contributions to keep those 55 staffers employed.

    And all this isn’t even the most shocking news to emerge from HSUS on Friday. We’ll give you the rest of the story this week.

    Posted on 10/24/2016 at 9:54 am by Humane Watch Team.

    Topics: Executive StaffFundraising & MoneyGeneral StaffMain

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  • Congressman with HSUS Ties Resigns After Lobbying Scandal

     

    Not long ago, we covered the House Committee on Ethics report on Representative Edward Whitfield, which found Whitfield provided his wife, a registered HSUS lobbyist, with “special privileges.” Politico called the report on Whitfield’s conduct “scathing.” And yesterday, Rep. Whitfield became former Rep. Whitfield.

    For readers who think Congress should represent citizens, and not interest groups like HSUS, the resignation comes as a refreshing case of accountability. Congress may have an approval rating in the dumps, but sometimes the ethics committee gets it right.

    From its failure to pass major initiatives, to its CEO providing false testimony, to our regular exposure of HSUS’s shadiness to Hill staffers and representatives, HSUS has a checkered history on the Hill. The Whitfield affair may be the freshest mark, but we’ll bet it won’t be the last.

    Posted on 09/07/2016 at 5:29 pm by HumaneWatch Team.

    Topics: Gov't, Lobbying, PoliticsMain

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  • HSUS Staffers Hobnob with Criminals and Terrorists

    The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) likes to describe itself as “seeking a humane world for people and animals alike.” Okay, sounds great. But this claim loses all credibility when you look at the company HSUS keeps.

    Paul Shapiro, Kenny Torrella, Ken Botts, and Kristie Middleton – all staffers at HSUS, including a vice president – were featured as speakers at this year’s Animal Rights National Conference in Los Angeles. The annual conference congregates the nation’s most radical and aggressive activists in the animal liberation movement, and what they had to say was truly alarming.

    Here’s a sampling of crowd-pleasers from this year’s speakers, per the Animal Ag Alliance, which went behind enemy lines to see what these people were saying. Some highlights:

    “All of these events [agricultural fairs, eating contests, political rallies] need to be interrupted and shut down.” – Zach Groff of Direct Action Everywhere

    DxE prides itself on harassing shoppers and diners around the country, and is now expanding its disruptive activities to public gatherings wherever possible. Just last week, the Secret Service had to drag away a DxE activist who attempted to charge the stage at a rally for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

    “When it is time to launch the campaign, find a vulnerable target, prepare everything for at least a few weeks and then assemble an overwhelming force to utilize from day one. The crueler it is, the quicker the fight is over. ”– David Coman-Hidy of The Humane League

    Coman-Hidy was joined by Humane League founder Nick Cooney, who has embellished his career with a conviction for making terroristic threats. The Humane League also racked up a long list of restraining orders.

    “There’s a lot of us, we’re angry, and we’re gonna win.” – Kevin Kjonaas, founder of Stop Huntington Animal Cruelty (SHAC), considered a terrorist group by the FBI.

    Kjonaas and fellow SHAC speaker Lauren Gazzola are both convicted criminals who have urged their extremist peers not to be deterred by their rap sheets. Before entering federal prison to serve her sentence, Gazzola told her fellow extremists to “make our conviction a victory for the animals.”

    “We terrify them – let’s remind them why.” – activist Ryan Shapiro, referring to the meat industry.

    Shapiro was arrested for burglary (and pled guilty to trespassing), and is the brother of HSUS VP Paul Shapiro.

    Other speakers included Jonathan Paul, a convicted arsonist and animal-liberation terrorist; Peter Young, a former Animal Liberation Front activist who served time in prison; and Jerry Vlasak, whose controversial remarks have included openly advocating for the murder of doctors.

    Credit must be given to the Animal Agriculture Alliance, who sent representatives to AR2016 to get an inside look at animal rights radicalism. A weekend of fitting in with this crowd surely qualifies for hazard pay.

    On television and in other fundraising campaigns, the HSUS advertises itself as a protector of life and a promoter of peace among humans and animals. So for all of the moralizing from HSUS, why does it choose to associate with violent convicts?

    Whatever the preferred methods of “seeking a humane world” are, it should be glaringly obvious that rubbing elbows with ex-cons is not one of them.

    Posted on 08/19/2016 at 3:44 pm by HumaneWatch Team.

    Topics: Board of DirectorsMain

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  • HSUS-Backed Vegan Startup Caught Committing Fraud?

    Hampton Creek Foods (HCF), a company co-founded by HSUS food policy director Josh Balk and his pal Josh Tetrick, is aimed at eliminating the egg industry. But it appears the company’s sales data is just as fake as its vegan mayo.

    Like many socially driven companies, HCF brands itself as a healthier, greener, more ethical alternative to conventional food products. But if HSUS shows us anything, it’s that brands can be carefully crafted to hide a group’s bad side.

    Yesterday, Bloomberg published a damning exposé on how Hampton Creek hired people to buy up its fake mayo because, apparently, normal shoppers wouldn’t:

    “[T]he startup undertook a large-scale operation to buy back its own mayo, which made the product appear more popular than it really was. At least eight months before the funding round closed, Hampton Creek executives quietly launched a campaign to purchase mass quantities of Just Mayo from stores, according to five former workers and more than 250 receipts, expense reports, cash advances and e-mails reviewed by Bloomberg. In addition to buying up hundreds of jars of the product across the U.S., contractors were told to call store managers pretending they were customers and ask about Just Mayo. Strong demand for a product typically prompts retailers to order more and stock it in additional stores.”

    It goes without saying, such actions seem strange for a company based on a so-called ethical philosophy.

    This situation also reeks of investor fraud. Bloomberg continues:

    “Two former senior staff who worked closely with Tetrick in 2014 and 2015 say the Hampton Creek CEO initiated the buyouts partly to make sales look better to potential investors. One says Tetrick didn’t disclose the practice to would-be backers during fundraising pitches in 2014. Fundraising pitch decks reviewed by Bloomberg do not reference the buyouts. ‘We always comply with our disclosure obligations to prospective investors,’ Tetrick says in an e-mail.”

    Should we believe Tetrick? Why should anyone?

    We reported on some serious disenchantment over at Hampton Creek last year coming from employees who were blowing the whistle on allegedly dishonest operations. One review on Glassdoor, an employer review site, reads:

    “You will learn how to trick people and manipulate good-intentioned (sic) individuals. For example, you might create tons of fake reviews on a site like Glassdoor… or lie that you are a customer requesting products to be on the shelf.”

    Another alleges employees are told to have a snake-oil mentality about the product:

    “You are told what to say to customers who ask what’s so special about this, and dupe them into beliving it’s a healthier product… when in truth it’s just condiment with no animal products in it that tastes like mayonnaise.”

    And one from just two days ago reads:

    “[The CEO] spends the investor’s money on animal rights and political venues versus focusing on the company mission. CEO gives investment money to non-profits to further his cause for saving animals… There are many examples of the CEO manipulating the truth to gain traction with customers, investors, and employees.”

    Like Hampton Creek, HSUS also misleads its donors/investors. Surveys of supporters show a majority think their money is going to local animal shelters when only 1% actually goes to help local shelter animals.

    It shouldn’t be surprising that HSUS has invested donor money in the Hampton Creek scam. More money from well-meaning animal lovers gone to the dogs. Just not literally… unfortunately.

    Posted on 08/05/2016 at 3:39 pm by HumaneWatch Team.

    Topics: General StaffMain

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  • HSUS CEO’s Dark, Anti-People Streak

    Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, wants you to believe he’s on your side—a pet lover and a guy who just wants to improve lives for animals. It’s important that you think that, because it makes it easier for him to extract money from you—money that he can then send to offshore funds in the Caribbean instead of using it to help animals.

    Occasionally, his mask slips. In a Forbes piece this week, Pacelle said what he really thinks about the rest of us: “Humans are miserly, uncreative and inhumane to other animals.”

    Re-read that one.

    Certainly, some people are bad. Take Michael Vick in 2007, back when he was busted on criminal charges related to dogfighting. He fits the bill of “inhumane.” Interestingly, Pacelle happily partnered with Vick after Vick’s release from prison—and Vick’s employer made a $50,000 grant to HSUS. Pacelle went on to say that Vick “would do a good job as a pet owner.”

    Think about yourself, in contrast. You may own pets, or raise livestock on a farm, or volunteer at a shelter. You’re probably a decent, humane person. But Wayne Pacelle assumes you’re bad. For no real reason. And you’re not even the one who’s chummy with Vick the convict.

    It’s not the first time Pacelle’s indicated he’s not much a fan of humankind. In an interview with Ted Kerasote, Pacelle remarked, “I don’t believe in the green revolution as a means of feeding the world, and I certainly don’t plan to have children. I take it as a very serious personal responsibility not to put another consumer on this planet.” People? Kids? Bad.

    In the same interview, Pacelle also revealed, “I don’t have a hands-on fondness for animals.” And in response to whether he envisioned a future without pets, Pacelle said, “If I had my personal view perhaps that might take hold. In fact, I don’t want to see another cat or dog born.”

    Sounds like he doesn’t really like much of anything.

    Surely, things should be brighter for Gloomy Wayne. He got a roughly $25,000 raise in compensation in 2015, bringing his package up to $450,000. Maybe he can buy himself a new outlook on life.

    Posted on 07/29/2016 at 1:32 pm by HumaneWatch Team.

    Topics: Executive StaffMain

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  • Top HSUS Ally Slapped With Congressional Ethics Violation

    On Friday, the House Committee on Ethics concluded a 13-month investigation with an official “reproval” of Representative Edward Whitfield for giving his wife, a registered HSUS lobbyist, special access to Congress. Read the 8-page report here.

    An investigative organization in the Congressman’s home state of Kentucky reports that Connie Harriman-Whitfield had been senior policy adviser for the Humane Society Legislative Fund, HSUS’s official lobbying arm, and met with her husband’s staffers over a span of four years.

    During this time investigators discovered Whitfield had blatantly “dispensed special privileges” to his wife, giving her a “unique level of access to, and influence on, Representative Whitfield’s staff.” This access resulted in Ms. Harriman “arranging meetings,” “directly advocating” for legislation supported by HSUS and getting his staff to “alter the language” of legislation. Rep. Whitfield claims this wasn’t wrong, and “that his wife’s efforts would have constituted lobbying only if she intended to influence him or his staff.”

    The House Committee on Ethics, however, thought otherwise. The committee found Rep. Whitfield had violated not one, but several rules governing the conduct of members of Congress. Specifically:

    • House Rule XXC, clause 7, “which requires that members ‘prohibit all staff employed by that member… from making any lobbying contact… with that individuals spouse, if that spouse is a lobbyist.’”
    • Clauses 1 and 2 of House Rule XXIII, “which provide that a Member ‘shall behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect credibly on the House’ and ‘shall adhere to the spirit and the letter of the Rules of the House.’”

    HSUS’s house of cards might finally be showing signs of falling down.

     

    Posted on 07/19/2016 at 10:30 am by HumaneWatch Team.

    Topics: Gov't, Lobbying, PoliticsMain

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