The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is the richest animal rights organization, I think, in the world, with assets of more than $200 million. Unlike the SPCAs around the country and other humane societies that have no connection to HSUS, it is not an animal welfare organization that merely seeks to improve the treatment of animals. It is animal rights all the way.
But it is also very cleverly hides its true goals. HSUS’s leader, Wayne Pacelle, is very professional. He wears suits, he speaks softly, and unlike PETA’s alpha wolf Ingrid Newkirk, he doesn’t openly spout the animal rights dogma. But he is a true believer, and HSUS–which owns no [update: pet] shelters–is in a cold war of attrition against all animal industries, albeit one that employs legitimate tools of democracy, such as the lawsuit and public democratic initiative, to make life difficult for animal industries. (This isn’t to say HSUS is always wrong. Sometimes, it is right, such as when it exposed the abuse of “down” cattle by a stockyard, although even then, it may have allowed its animal rights agenda to interfere with its duty to protect public safety. Businesses that don’t meet the highest standards of legal treatment for their animals, not only act in a morally odious manner, but play into the hands of implacable enemies who seek their destruction.)
HSUS representatives don’t spout advocacy terms such as, “A rat, is a pig, is a dog, is a boy”–the title of my about to be released book, which I took from a famous Newkirk quote–striving to appear as benign as the local SPCA. But its raison d’etre is ultimately animal rights. And here’s some evidence. HSUS is producing dog food with no meat products, allowing owners to turn carnivores into vegans. From the story:
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has entered the pet food market with the launch of its Humane Choice dog food. The non-profit organization is marketing the product as a cruelty-free, all-natural dog food that does not contain animal-based proteins or support the factory farming industry. “Americans are concerned about the food we eat, and it just makes sense that we’d be concerned about the food we provide to our pets,” said Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the HSUS. “Humane Choice is a nutritious, environmentally friendly and ethically responsible food for our best friends. Every bag of Humane Choice helps us celebrate the pets we love, and provides us with additional resources to help animals through our programs.”
Here’s the thing: Dogs are natural carnivores and, were they capable of choice, would never choose a meat free diet. Unlike cats however, they can survive on specially blended vegetarian fare–cats go blind–but it isn’t natural to them. And it strikes me: HSUS providing a product to help make dogs vegans has nothing to do with the welfare of canines, which thrive on dog food containing meat. Rather, the product reveals Pacelle and company’s true inner Newkirk. Ironically, since animal rights ideology holds that there should be no domesticated animals, if HSUS, PETA, and their fellow travelers ultimately prevailed in remaking society, there would be no dogs left to be made into vegans.