In 2004 Wayne Pacelle was named president of the world’s richest animal rights organization, the Humane Society of the United States. Pacelle, a strict vegan and a registered lobbyist, joined HSUS in 1994 after working at the anti-hunting group the Fund for Animals for six years, where he was appointed executive director at age 23. There he helped Paul Watson and his violent Sea Shepherd Conservation Society raise money for ships.
Pacelle’s stated goal is to create “a National Rifle Association of the animal rights movement.” After taking the helm at HSUS, Pacelle merged it with other animal advocacy groups including the Fund for Animals, the Ark Trust, the Doris Day Animal League, and the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights.
Pacelle was also instrumental in turning the Fund for Animals into the Humane Society Legislative Fund, now the official lobbying arm of HSUS, as part of his quest to increase the Humane Society’s political power. As HSUS staffer Paul Shapiro has noted, just 10 weeks after taking the reins at HSUS in 2004 Pacelle already had implemented a “no animal products in the office” policy.
Pacelle is also the former president of the Animal Rights Alliance; former chairman of the Animal Rights Network Inc.; and former editor of The Animals’ Agenda magazine.