Topic: Main

  • VIDEO: HSUS VP Endorses PETA’s Legal Efforts

    Earlier this month, we attended the Animal Rights 2017 Conference held in Alexandria, VA. This is an event for extremists; one of the main speakers was a convicted felon who urged–while receiving much applause–people to be even more radical. And though they label themselves as an “animal welfare” organization, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) was right at home sitting on panels and giving speeches alongside these often violent and more transparent “animal liberation” organizations and individuals.

    It’s at places like this that you see HSUS take off its mask and show its true colors. In a Q&A after his second panel, Paul Shapiro, vice president of policy at HSUS, was asked if the highly trained animal athletes of the Ringling Bros. circus would be continuing their careers or retiring to a sanctuary. His response was telling:

    Did you hear that at the end? Shapiro first said that he wanted the animals to go to a sanctuary, but acknowledged there was no legal reason that should be the case. Then, he singled out the general counsel for PETA, Jeff Kerr, and his efforts to acquire legal personhood for animals, as a way to force future animals to sanctuaries.

    Kerr has led PETA’s effort to get Naruto, an Indonesian monkey that went viral after it allegedly took a selfie with photographer David Slater’s camera. PETA has been asserting in federal court that Naruto should own the copyright, which by default would make it a legal person.

    This is not a minor detail. Giving legal “personhood” to animals would allow PETA, HSUS, and other zealots to sue “on behalf of” these animals in court. Imagine a day when PETA/HSUS can sue old MacDonald and use his dairy cows as “clients.” It sounds nuts–and it is–but this is a fundamental change to the legal code that the animal activists want. It would allow them to easily sue any zoo, aquarium, farmer, rancher, or perhaps even pet owner they wanted to target.

    That’s what Paul Shapiro, and HSUS, wants – animals to have “rights” like people. If he has his way, we might one day have a literal kangaroo court.

    Posted on 08/18/2017 at 12:22 pm by HumaneWatch Team.

    Topics: Audio & VideoMainVideo


  • Anti-Zoo HSUS Exec Infiltrates Zoo Community

    We wrote recently about Humane Society of the United States CEO Wayne Pacelle speaking at next month’s annual meeting of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). There are a handful of zoo and aquarium directors who have drank the PETA/HSUS Kool-Aid. But Pacelle’s invitation by executive director Dan Ashe has created significant concern among AZA members. Pacelle is on record saying he envisions a future without pets—”I don’t want to see another cat or dog born.” He and his followers are also no friends of those who keep animals in “prisons.” 

    Also troubling for the AZA is its tin ear regarding other invited speakers. We already mentioned the speaking slot (since vacated) given to HSUS staffer Jonathan Balcombe, who says, “If you apply my rule of thumb, then very few species of fishes can adequately be kept in a tank.” He claims, “Each fish is a unique individual…with a biography.” (Do they have their own resumes, too? Will A&E now profile important fish?) His mindset is one more example of the HSUS narrative that equates animals to human species.

    We also expect that another attendee will be HSUS vice president Nicole Paquette who was on a panel at last year’s annual meeting. Paquette has written against having animals in captivity and spent 10 years as a lawyer with the Animal Protection Institute. The Los Angeles Times described her as among those “who oppose keeping animals in zoos.” Paquette has written: “Imagine living in a complex family and community structure, free from human interference and exploitation. This is the life wild animals need, but that captivity denies them.

    In 2007 API merged with Born Free USA, whose policy is to eventually get rid of all zoos, to “ultimately see a day when wild animals only remain in the wild”—an echo to Paquette’s written sentiment.

    While Paquette was at API, the organization opposed aquariums having marine mammals: “Whether wild-caught or captive-born, marine mammals in captivity are sentenced to a life of confinement deprived of normal social and environmental interaction. While Aquariums often defend the confinement of marine mammals by claiming that the displays are educational, there is no evidence to suggest that captive animals stimulate conservation efforts.”

    Wayne Pacelle has surrounded himself and supported these people and others like JP Goodwin, a former spokesperson for the FBI-designated terrorist group Animal Liberation Front. Pacelle is no better and no worse than PETA and other wacky organizations who hire the nuttiest radicals in society.

    Whatever weasel words Paquette or Pacelle use with aquariums and zoo directors, the truth is they hope every one is shut down. When Pacelle appears on stage he will be his slick non-threatening self. Like any good snake oil salesman, Pacelle knows his audience. His goal will be to assure AZA members he means them no harm (while he separately promises something different to his donors and backers). But his diplomacy in the moment should not be confused with his long-term agenda. He should have no endorsement by AZA, which naturally comes from being offered a prime speaking role at the annual conference.

    Posted on 08/10/2017 at 12:18 pm by Humane Watch Team.

    Topics: MainZoos & Aquariums


  • HSUS Silent on Inhumane Acts Committed by Animal Rights Activists

    The Humane Society of the United States has a credibility problem almost as big as PETA’s. HSUS demands that people treat animals “humanely.” But when it comes to people and organizations within the animal rights movement, HSUS’s “humanity” is nowhere to be seen.

    When radical animal rights activists “liberated” 38,000 mink in Minnesota last month, thousands cried out in agony as they suffocated to death in the summer heat. HSUS remained silent.

    When radical animal rights activists orchestrated a cyberbullying campaign of a social media personality that created likable videos about hunting, HSUS remained silent.

    When that personality, Melania Capitan, committed suicide as a result of the cyberbullying, HSUS remained silent.

    HSUS demands that companies and everyday people defend their use of animals—whether on farms, in zoos and aquariums, for clothing, etc.—as “humane” and “ethical.” But if HSUS won’t condemn these recent acts, perhaps it should relinquish its badge as self-anointed morality police on what’s humane.

    Posted on 08/01/2017 at 4:23 pm by HumaneWatch Team.

    Topics: Main


  • Failed HSUS Ordinance Steals Thousands from Charity

    Yet another city has tabled an HSUS-backed ordinance to ban circuses in its city limits. The committee in Newark, OH charged with deciding the proposal’s fate decided not to send it to the full city council. A bi-partisan majority, two Democrats and two Republicans, refrained from seconding the motion to vote, effectively killing the proposed law.

    Unfortunately, the local Kiwanis club had already decided to cancel a circus later this summer that was expected to raise thousands for charity. The circus has been a constant target of HSUS and other groups. HSUS, the ASPCA, and lawyers that pursued litigation against Feld Entertainment, the owner or Ringling Bros., had to pay Feld over $25 million in damages in a RICO lawsuit after they paid the plaintiff in a case that was widely used to fundraise and lobby against circuses.

    While training animals is legal, HSUS sees a cash cow in exaggerated claims of abuse. It’s time the HSUS stopped clowning around with the livelihoods of dedicated professionals and real charities doing good work.

    Posted on 07/14/2017 at 3:05 pm by HumaneWatch Team.

    Topics: 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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


  • 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