Wayne Pacelle of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has a blog. No idea who writes it, but it does offer some valuable insights into the organization's view of itself -- or at least, how it wants to be viewed by others. A prime example of this came earlier this week, with Wayne taking exception to his organization being labeled "controversial," followed by a typically nasty characterization of anybody who dare oppose HSUS:
That said, there’s nothing wrong with The HSUS being deemed controversial among individuals involved in factory farming, trophy hunting, large-scale commercial dog breeding, and many other sectors that cause harm to animals.
Oh, so these are the people who have a beef with HSUS. Not people involved in pet rescue or sheltering. Not people with working dogs or dog and cat fanciers or responsible hobby breeders. Not people involved in training animals, wildlife rehabilitation, or conservation. Not small scale or urban farmers. No, if you have a problem with HSUS you must be a factory farmer, trophy hunter, or large-scale commercial-dog breeders -- or anybody whose animal-centric career or hobby can be described in a term laden with negative connotations.
Thanks for the clarification; it's really helpful. I'm going to have to march right up to a certain dog trainer/no kill fanatic after this blog and tell her to drop that anti-HSUS 'tude immediately!
It must be real nice living in a world where you're so righteous that the only possible reasons to oppose your positions on animal care and policy stem from greed or callous immorality. How convenient for you.
But it doesn't end there. Wayne goes on to talk about the recent HSUS egg agreement, providing even more comedy gold:
And there’s no better example than the recent agreement between The HSUS and the United Egg Producers to embark on a plan that would provide more space for egg-laying hens by outlawing barren battery cages, add nesting areas and other enrichments to their housing so they can behave like birds, and establish a national labeling program so consumers can make informed choices.
These changes all sound so positive, Wayne! In fact, it almost sounds as if you're using our talking points! But you do realize that the type of new housing you are supporting is the very same kind you were calling inhumane "illusions of reform" only a month ago, right? And that your website still has this to say about enriched cages:
It is clear that such modified cages fail to properly meet the hens' physical or behavioral needs.
Despite the modifications, these cages are unable to provide an acceptable level of welfare for hens. The egg industry, food companies, and other stakeholders within the food industry should do the right thing and end the use of all cages to confine laying hens.
Uh, so is this the part where you tell us not to believe our lying eyes?
And it's not just one position statement. HSUS has long said cage-free eggs are the only way to go -- with one former VP even being caught on tape saying it's a vital stepping stone toward no eggs at all. So what changed their minds? Realizing they were going to have a harder than expected time on the ballot initiative front in Washington and Oregon (supposed soft target states)? A willingness to sell out their professed values when an opportunity for back-patting and easy fundraising presents itself (hey, the egg industry was heading in this direction anyway, why not hitch a ride)? An opportunity for more political power (how could they resist)? A desire to appear more moderate in the public eye (yeah, this is probably a good time for repositioning)? A realization that the science coming in on enriched housing facilities might confound some of HSUS's favorite claims (d'oh!)? A cynical belief that people aren't very smart and are unlikely to pay attention (we've always been at war with Eastasia)?
Yeah, I'll have to go with "all of the above" on this one. Truly in awe here. The audacity of HSUS's hypocrisy never ceases to amaze, but at least we finally know what the "H" in their name stands for.