Human Exceptionalism

Humane Watch Launches to “Keep Eye” on Humane Society of the United States

HSUS–Humane Society of the United States–is an interesting organization, what I call a “stealth” animal rights group.  Unlike PETA, it doesn’t pitch the animal rights dogma of human/animal moral equality, nor does it explicitly call for an end to all animal domestication.  Its leaders talk instead about animal “protection,” not animal “rights.”

Nonetheless, it is an animal rights group–as distinct from animal welfare, which accepts the humane use of animals by people.  Here is how I put it in A Rat is a Pig is a Dog is a Boy (citations omitted):

Still, there is abundant cause to believe that, as least in the hearts of its leaders, animal rights rather than protection or welfare, is the real name of the game.  HSUS president, the always professional Wayne Pacelle, has stated—quite aptly—that HSUS is “the NRA [National Rifle Association] of the animal rights movement,” meaning that its public advocacy on behalf of animals is on a par with the NRA’s support of gun rights. Sounding very much like the abolitionist Gary Francione, Pacelle, who like Francione is a vegan, once told a publication called Animal People, “We have no ethical obligation to preserve different breeds of livestock produced through selective breeding…One generation and out.  We have no problem with the extinction of domestic animals.  They are creations of human selective breeding.”  J.P. Goodwin, once the executive director of the Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade and a self-described (as reported by the Dallas Morning News) former member of the terrorist Animal Liberation Front (ALF), is now HSUS’s grass roots coordinator. He has stated, “My goal is to abolish all animal agriculture.”Adding fire to this plume of smoke, in the published proceeds of a 1980 conference in which HSUS apparently determined to pursue a more radical course than theretofore, HSUS stated, “There is no rational basis for maintaining the moral distinction between the treatment of humans and other animals.”

In other words, HSUS is not to be confused with local humane societies or SPCAs, that generally follow animal welfare models.

So far, HSUS has had a pretty free ride.  But now, Humane Watch has launched, aimed at reporting about the activities of HSUS, from a pro animal industry perspective.  If you are interested in a take on this powerful organization from the critical side, check it out.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

The Great Misdirection

The House Democrats are frustrated, very frustrated. They’ve gotten themselves entangled in procedural disputes with the Trump administration that no one particularly cares about and that might be litigated for a very long time. A Washington Post report over the weekend spelled out how stymied Democrats ... Read More

Australia’s Voters Reject Leftist Ideas

Hell hath no fury greater than left-wingers who lose an election in a surprise upset. Think Brexit in 2016. Think Trump’s victory the same year. Now add Australia. Conservative prime minister Scott Morrison shocked pollsters and pundits alike with his victory on Saturday, and the reaction has been brutal ... Read More
NR Webathon

We’ve Had Bill Barr’s Back

One of the more dismaying features of the national political debate lately is how casually and cynically Attorney General Bill Barr has been smeared. He is routinely compared to Roy Cohn on a cable-TV program that prides itself on assembling the most thoughtful and plugged-in political analysts and ... Read More

Cold Brew’s Insidious Hegemony

Soon, many parts of the United States will be unbearably hot. Texans and Arizonans will be able to bake cookies on their car dashboards; the garbage on the streets of New York will be especially pungent; Washington will not only figuratively be a swamp. And all across America, coffee consumers will turn their ... Read More
Film & TV

Game of Thrones: A Father’s Legacy Endures

Warning! If you don't want to read any spoilers from last night's series finale of Game of Thrones, stop reading. Right now. There is a lot to unpack about the Thrones finale, and I fully understand many of the criticisms I read on Twitter and elsewhere. Yes, the show was compressed. Yes, there were moments ... Read More
National Security & Defense

The Warmonger Canard

Whatever the opposite of a rush to war is — a crawl to peace, maybe — America is in the middle of one. Since May 5, when John Bolton announced the accelerated deployment of the Abraham Lincoln carrier group to the Persian Gulf in response to intelligence of a possible Iranian attack, the press has been aflame ... Read More