Rick Berman Attacks the Humane Society

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.


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.

I'm not going to argue here, because you obviously have very strong points of view that are not going to be changed. But you also need to get your facts straight and do a little more research. You're worried about our livestock and their contributions to global warming? What, how their manure is used to fertilize crops so that synthetic fertilizer doesn't need to be made? And don't think for a minute that farming doesn't take an emotional impact on the people raising their animals. You commented, "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." - why don't YOU wrap your brain around the fact that FARMERS ACTUALLY CARE FOR THEIR ANIMALS??? What makes you think these animals are so tortured? We know they feel pain, which is why farmers spend their lives giving these animals the utmost care and respect. Why would we harm something that is our livelihood? Farmers rely on animals for their profit, so providing them with clean and dry facilities, adequate food, water, shelter, etc. is a no brainer. Visit a farm of any kind and you'll find this - I've seen farmers who cry every time an animal gets on the trailer or is lost. Don't assume that farmers don't care because that is just plain low rent. 98% of the farms in this country are family owned, and I suggest you get to one and see what goes on before you make these ridiculous assumptions. Humanewatch.org provides farmers an opportunity to keep an eye on organizations like H$U$ so that they can't take away our right to farm. Why should H$U$ get to decide how we raise our livestock when they have no background in it? Farmers don't march into the oval office and tell the president how to run the country, do they? Have some faith in your farmers and food production in this country and thank them for the safe products they provide you at an affordable cost. Its fine if you decide not to eat meat, but get educated and quit ridiculing those that do.

FINALLY!!!!! someone with some brains is commenting....i have been waiting for someone to post some comments that are backed up by references and sites for checking out the comments ourselves. KUDOS TO YOU ALGIERS!!!!!!!!

How many farms have you been on? The "total devastation" of the family farm has NOT happened. I have been on a lot of farms--large and small--all family farms (like 98 percent of U.S. farms), and none of which abuse their animals. None cut corners in caring for their animals so they can make money off abuse. I know what HumaneWatch says is true because I have seen it many, many times, in many, many places. I do not work for HumaneWatch or anybody who funds HumaneWatch. I am simply an informed consumer with two degrees in agriculture. When I don't know the facts, I do my research and find the truth before I spout off about an issue. Those of you who have never experienced livestock production personally need to stop watching doctored films and quit sending confederates to encourage abuse and then film it, doing nothing to stop it. There is something seriously wrong with people who are willing to do that for money.

Anyone who does not believe what humanewatch says needs to read the tax and donation reports for hsus. I have and when I see their commercials showing poor little puppies and kittens I can't understand why they aren't sued for false advertising. Donate to your local shelter, that money WILL help an animal. The only thing hsus wants is an end to animal agriculture and pet ownership.

Nancy..If WP said those quotes that you've listed, well I think we would all like to see them in a real publication. Can't imagine why we wouldn't take your word for it...Send ONE of them from the publication or news organization from which it came. Oh yes let me qualify that...From a reputable publication or news source. Sounds to me like you are an employee of Rick Berman and his CCF going online and looking for ways to infiltrate? Everybody know he hires people to troll the internet posting strange reactive comments like yours on sites he knows are against his clients beliefs. "he doesn't like his girlfriends cat?" and "canned hunts don't exist?" where did these come from? People like you get a bug up their *&% on one thing, in your case "dove hunting" and then decide to go off on the whole organization. If your such an internet lover and love posting comments, do some research for yourself online and goggle Center for Consumer Freedom. nancy i've got 2 words for you!!! GOOGLE IT!!!!

Just as you do not know me I do not know you. I have hunted all my adult life and never have known anyone who hunted and left the game lay. In most states it is illegal to do as you claim, the people who engage in such activity are neither hunters or trappers, they are criminals. In that I don’t know you I can probably say with some certainty that you have never hunted or trapped. To me it seems odd that so many non hunters or trappers have expert knowledge on how others feel and act when they hunt. My way of fighting the great polluted food mills, as you call them, is to provide as much as I can from nature. Your right to not hunt is as important as mine to hunt. You have every right to choose you own path, not mine. As for the cruel food industry. Since so many people can not and do not provide for themselves, you tell me who should die so animals will not suffer.