Posted by Anne Landman on February 17, 2010

Sad puppyFront group man extraordinaire Rick Berman and his attack group, the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), have launched a new Web site, HumaneWatch.org, to harass the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the country's largest animal welfare organization. In pursuing its mission of stopping animal cruelty, HSUS has apparently run afoul of some large, wealthy business interests, and now it is getting some major pushback.

The Humane Society works to stop egregious, ongoing animal abuse, particularly in money-making enterprises like puppy mills, factory farming, dogfighting, cockfighting, and unsporting hunting practices like "canned hunts," where hunters pay to shoot at captive, domestically-raised, exotic animals. While this is a laudable goal, it pits HSUS against a significant number of wealthy, powerful businesses that engage in animal cruelty practices, like meat and egg producers, factory farmers, canned hunting businesses, contract research labs that do animal testing for big corporations and pharmaceutical companies that exploit animals to manufacture drugs like Premarin, which is used to treat the symptoms of menopause. Premarin is made from pregnant mares' urine and is marketed by Wyeth Pharmacueticals, one of the world's largest drug companies.

People Love Animals

HumaneWatch.org may have a hard time trying to build public animosity towards the Humane Society, since most of civil society cannot countenance the extreme cruelty against animals that occurs in these facilities. (There are now a number of videos showing such treatment posted at SourceWatch.org). At present, Berman's site, HumaneWatch.org, is trying to generate outrage against HSUS by ridiculing the group's recent activities, like raising funds for animal relief in Haiti and marketing its own brand of cruelty-free, all-natural dry dog food that does not support the factory farming industry. HumaneWatch is also trying to hurt and embarrass businesses that donate to HSUS, like the Yellow Tail Wine company, which recently donated $100,000 to HSUS's Animal Rescue Team. To target Yellow Tail, HumaneWatch.org posted a video of a cowboy standing in a manure-filled pen surrounded by cows, and pouring a bottle of Yellow Tail wine on the ground, while explaining that he is doing it to retaliate against the company for supporting the Humane Society. The video makes you want to donate to HSUS and go out and buy Yellow Tail wine to thank them for caring about animals.

Money bagsWho is Funding HumaneWatch.org?

Berman typically sets up his front groups as 501(c)4 organizations and then carries out his attacks through these groups to avoid disclosing his donors, so we have no way of knowing which industries or companies are funding Berman's attack on the Humane Society. We can probably get a good idea, though. Just determine which businesses profit most from animal cruelty, and you'll likely find the funders among them.

One thing we can be certain about: the Humane Society must be doing a decent job of lobbying on behalf of animal welfare, or it wouldn't have found itself in Berman's crosshairs.

Comments

How about a PR watch on the HSUS? Saying that HSUS fights "egregious ongoing abuse" is pretty much taking its propaganda hook, line and sinker. So is using the HSUS description of (and moniker) "canned hunts." HSUS would have you think all high-fence hunting is shooting former petting-zoo animals backed into a corner of a corral. It's not.

HSUS fights whatever battles it thinks it can win, including trying to ban dove hunting, which is in no way an "egregious" form of hunting - people hunt doves like they hunt other birds, and they eat doves like they eat other birds. But HSUS lies and says we use doves for target practice and don't eat them. Why? Because the non-hunting public thinks doves are sweet and pretty and don't deserve to be eaten as much as ugly old pigs.

Your attacks on the Center for Consumer Freedom are fine; the fact that you swallow HSUS propaganda whole is not.

Late to the game here but this sure sounds like it was written by a CCF-paid blogger. You'll probably see the same IP address coming from these kinds of posts...

Oh yeah, HSUS is SOOOOO evil. They try to stop sickening animal cruelty and make the world a better place: who wouldn't oppose them? Seriously, you probably are a paid blogger for CCF. Rick Berman and the rest of the Center for Consumer Freedom are SICK, greedy people that profit off of creating suffering for others.

There's nothing good to hunting, or the meat industry for that matter, because the point to hunting is to cause severe trauma and death for pleasure. The difference between a hunter and non-hunter who eats meat is that the latter wants some else to do the dirty work, hoping that it is done "humanely", which is impossible as meat is not necessary to sustain human life and health. Slaughtering nonhuman animals is immoral under all circumstances because we are purportedly the moral being and choose to disregard the well being of our victims; We can be better but choose not to be.

HSUS care nothing about animals; they care about the almighty buck. This has been the standard since Wayne Pacelle got a stranglehold on it.

HSUS consistently exploit the exploited. For groups who actually work on behalf of animals and try to benefit them in some way, the behavior of Pacelle and the HSUS is a slap in the face.

The fact you defend them shows you know absolutely nothing about animal welfare work or a compensated mouthpiece for HSUS.

Insofar as Rick Berman, he and Wayne Pacelle have a lot in common. They are both corporate thugs, aiding and abetting the monstrous cruelties of animal agriculture that is poisoning America from the inside out.

I would ask people making these absurd accusations to back them up with evidence.

Otherwise they read like the thinly-veiled, self-interested diversionary tactics.

The most threatening thing to these detractors is that HSUS is extraordinarily effective at protecting animals.

Center for Consumer Freedom is a lobby group for for the restaurant, alcohol and tobacco industries. CCF opposes efforts of scientists, doctors, health advocates, environmentalists. They even oppose "Mothers Against Drunk Driving". I don't know who in their right mind would want to align themselves with Center for Consumer Freedom.

http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Center_for_Consumer_Freedom

I often wonder when I hear people speak out against HSUS why they so vehemently oppose it. I mean, people say they're extremist and fringe and all of this. But if that were the case, how could they have so many supporters? Do you really think that we are all brainless and unable to think for ourselves? I suspect that it's more a case of not wanting to face reality. The HSUS through education and outreach shows us how cruel of a species we really are, and we just don't want to own up to that.

You might not find canned hunts, which is a term used by many groups around the world, not solely HSUS, to be moral, but most people find them to be the realm of lazy "sportsmen". Please don't pretend that canned hunts don't simply toss animals in an enclosure where they are, pardon the pun, sitting ducks. Let's also not ignore the fact that rich men from the US travel to Africa for canned hunts of big game. There is no sport in hunting anyway, because you are smarter and better equipped than any animal out there. Congratulations.

As for the dove hunting, or pigeon hunting, they are often used for fun or target practice to deal with "nuisance" populations. You might eat your doves, but most people don't. From a purely logistical standpoint, it's a lot of work to get a little bit of meat. It's not propaganda if it's true.

As to the point of this article, I find it truly hysterical that the same people, with few exception, who bash the HSUS get their facts straight from the mouth of the CCF, which is funded by the very industries that stand to lose profit if the HSUS is successful in assisting voters, with many other agencies, in demanding more humane standards. So the CCF is anything but, because they don't want consumers to know the truth.

Jeanette,

1. Yes we eat dove. It is very good BBQ'd. We then dry and use the wings to train our hunting dogs. Most people who hunt doves EAT them afterwards. Pigeons are another story and yes they are usually pegged off for nuisance issues as well as HEALTH issues and no they are not eaten. You will find however that it is the government that is killing these birds and not individuals.

2. HSUS tried unsuccessfully to ban dove hunting in several states including Michigan. Wayne Pacelle is anti meat anti hunting anti companion animal all the way around. He has said the following:
a. He has NO hands on fondness for animals.
b. If he has his way there will be no companion animals.
c. He does not like his girlfriends cat.
d. He lied to Congress and was caught.
.... I could go on but this is enough for now.

3. Canned hunts do not exist except in the Animal Rights world of fantasy. No one hunts an animal in an enclosure. This is pure propaganda and shows your ignorance of hunting heritage.

4. My facts come straight from the mouth and actions of HSUS, Whiney Wayne and his ilk. Please feel free to read some of his material that is not propaganda on the HSUS website. Maybe read the story about Wayne and the Black Beauty Ranch. That one is a true eye opener ... written by one of your Animal Rights ilk.

5. HSUS has John Goodwin. Remember him he is a terrorist and a former member of Animal Liberation League. You know the group that went around bombing buildings, burning homes, and releasing mink -(who ultimately died from inability to survive in the wild).... There are two or three other terrorists in that group of individuals as well.

People who support HSUS support the total annihilation of Companion Animals. The total devastation of the family farm and our meat supply. And they don't even suport a single shelter in the entire country. All their money is spent on lobbying for their Animal Rights agenda.

Support your local NO KILL rescues and shelters....

Nancy

I so glad you "like your dove BBQ'd!

That's about the only fact you've gotten right so far. Nancy, I know you like Dove, but you really must stop getting "facts" from meat and tobacco industry front groups... The mink you are referring to (released by the "terrorists you are referring to), ultimately survived. It is a fact that mink (even one's raised in captivity on filthy fur farms) are very adaptable and do survive in the wild.

I am guessing that it wouldn't have bothered you if the same animals had "ultimately died" buy being suffocated, strangled or electrocuted up the annus (a common method of execution on fur farms)?

"Most fur-bearing animals are raised in fur ranches with as many as 100,000 wild animals in a single facility. They are kept in cramped, dingy, waste soaked cages where many suffer or perish from dehydration, starvation, disease or self-mutilation. These animals do not receive even minimal protections, as the handling and killing of cage raised, fur bearing animals is not regulated by any U.S. laws. Many ranch raised animals are anally or vaginally electrocuted. A metal conductor is lodged in the animal's throat and an electric prod is shoved inside the rectum, transmitting a 240 volt shock. The conscious animal convulses for two or more minutes before succuming to a massive heart attack. To minimize expenses, animals have their necks broken; are injected with strychnine or asphyxiated with carbon monoxide from engine exhaust." http://www.furkills.org/furfarming.shtml

Releasing these poor animals was also instrumental in helping to shut down that filthy industry.

I am guessing that it doesn't bother you that mink, fox, companion animals and sometimes children, are killed/ injured in steel leg hold traps. I am guessing that it does not phase you that 25 % of them escape by chewing their own legs off... I am guess that you or your "ilk" wouldn't dream of complaining about animals, wild life and pets taking three days to die in steel traps?

"Millions of coyote, raccoon, bobcats and other species are caught in the wild using spring traps with metal teeth that shatter their bones. Animals can linger in excruciating pain for days on the trap line without water or food until the trapper returns to crush, shoot, suffocate or drown them. Two to 10 times as many non target animals (dogs, cats, deer, birds, livestock) are caught in the traps. About one quarter of trapped animals escape by chewing their own limbs off." http://www.furkills.org/trapping.shtml

Who do you think your kidding? Canned hunting is a "myth"? I happen to live in a county that actually has a fox pen, they have been trying to close it down for years. Support your local no kill? And what about the other animals? Support spay/neuter and end breeding for profit.

According to Nancy "People who support HSUS support the total annihilation of Companion Animals."

What? People who support HSUS support the annihilation of puppy mills, dog fighting, chained dogs, etc. How does this translate? Are you telling me that none of the 10 million members of HSUS have pets or work with animals? I have two dogs and three cats and volunteer in a shelter walking dogs. Occasionally, shelters get former hunting dogs dumped there by their compassionate owners because they didn't like to hunt or were "defective" in some way. Last year we got 60 puppy mill breeding dogs who had been abused for years.

Black Beauty Ranch is evil now too?

"The Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch is a world-renowned animal sanctuary in Murchison, Texas. Its nearly 1,300 acres are home to more than 1,200 domestic and exotic animals, many of whom have been rescued from near-death situations such as slaughterhouses, biomedical research laboratories, and trophy hunting ranches. Others are discards from circuses or roadside zoos, or were former victims of the exotic pet trade. Still others have come from public lands where they were threatened with extermination by the federal government.

Bison and cattle, horses and burros, antelope and apes, camels and llamas, all have permanent, safe homes at the ranch, which was founded in 1979 by Cleveland Amory, author and animal advocate." http://www.blackbeautyranch.org/

Yea, I can see what you mean Nancy. This is all very disturbing.

According to Nancy: "The total devastation of the family farm and our meat supply. And they don't even suport a single shelter in the entire country. All their money is spent on lobbying for their Animal Rights agenda."

What planet do you reside on? The "total devastation" of the family farm, has already happened, thanks to groups like CCF who get their operating funds from Tyson Foods, Cargill and Pilgrims Pride... You think these filthy operations are "family farms"? They abuse animals, the environment and beat their own workers when they try to strike.

http://www.ufcw.org/press_room/index.cfm?pressReleaseID=183

Cargill is being sued for an e-coli outbreak which severely injured several people and permanently crippled a 22 year old woman.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/2009-12-04-cargill-suit_N.htm?csp=outbrain&obref=obnetwork

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/04/health/04meat.html?_r=2&em

Besides, meat is not good for you and it's bad for the planet, but then I am guessing that you don't believe in the "myth" of environmentalism and global warming either. Even if you can't wrap you brain around the fact that "our meat supply", was once living breathing beings, capable of feeling pain who have been abused, degraded and tortured from birth, at least drop the "family farm" propaganda. CCF and USDA subsidies that have destroyed farm communities by supporting greedy corporate farming.

You and your "ilk" are the "terrorists", because you terrorize. Wayne Pacelle has done as much for animals as any one person has ever done, regardless of whether he "likes his girl friend's cat". Please.

I could go on, but that's enough for now.

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