Yesterday Humane Society of the United States CEO Wayne Pacelle began an 11-state PR tour to promote his new book The Bond. It’s curious that Pacelle chose to write about the “human-animal bond,” considering his own observation that he has no special bond with animals.
Pacelle told author Ted Kerasote for the 1994 book Bloodties: Nature, Culture, and the Hunt: “I don't have a hands-on fondness for animals. I did not grow up bonded to any particular nonhuman animal. I like them and I pet them and I'm kind to them, but there's no special bond between me and other animals."
Was that just a younger Pacelle whose views have since matured or evolved? It’s hard to say.
This is just the first of many unresolved questions that Pacelle, as a self-anointed supreme arbiter of what is and isn’t “humane,” should answer for the public. Luckily, the coming weeks will offer many opportunities (those book-signings) to ask him what he believes. Of course, there’s no guarantee that he’ll answer.
If you’re not sure what exactly to ask after Wayne is through reading aloud about “the humane economy,” we have a few suggestions:
- People have been raising and eating animals for thousands of years. Isn’t the nourishment that animals provide to people part of the human-animal bond? If not, why not?
- The vast majority of Americans currently reject your prescription to “replace animal products with plant-based foods.” Is it arrogant of you to tell them all that they’re wrong?
- If the bond between people and animals is easily visible through our relationship with pets, why don’t you direct HSUS to give more money to pet shelters to rehabilitate and adopt-out dogs and cats? Wouldn’t that help bolster “the bond”?
- Given the blowback you’ve received for public partnership with Michael Vick, would you think twice about rehabilitating another convicted dogfighting kingpin?
- Is there such a thing as meat that’s “humane” enough that your ethics permit you personally to eat it? If so, where can we buy some? If not, what’s the difference between your group and PETA?
Below are the cities that Pacelle will visit on his book tour. (Not surprisingly, Nebraskans don’t get an audience.) If you’re in the area, we encourage you to stop by and ask him some tough questions. (For more on specific locations, click here.)
If you do ask Pacelle a question, please tell us about it. If you want to record it on a cell-phone camera and put it on YouTube, all the more power to you. Just make sure first that it’s OK to record it, of course.
- April 06: Lake Grove, NY
- April 09: Annapolis, MD; Cincinnati, OH
- April 10: Montecito, CA
- April 11: Corte Madera, CA; Novato, CA
- April 12: Torrance, CA
- April 13: Pasadena, CA
- April 15: Menlo Park, CA
- April 16: Sonoma, CA
- April 17: New Canaan, CT
- April 18: Portland, ME
- April 19: Cambridge, MA
- April 20: Philadelphia, PA
- April 21: New York, NY
- April 25: Tempe, AZ
- April 26: Denver, CO
- April 27: Seattle, WA
- April 28: Beaverton, OR
- April 29: Portland, OR; Eugene, OR
- May 1: Los Angeles, CA
- May 3: San Diego, CA
- May 09: Coral Gables, FL