Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

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This investigative news report documents what we’ve always known: the Humane Society of the United States is nothing more than a fat, bloated charade of “animal lovers” who want everyone to lose our pets along any relationship with animals that we might have, whether they are companions, partners, teachers or the source of information or food. Contrary to their claims, HSUS does not support local animal shelters, does not help provide homes to homeless animals, and advocates that no human shall ever breed animals for any reason, whether it’s for medical or scientific research, for conservation purposes, for educational purposes, for food or for companionship.


Comments

  1. #1 Laura
    March 1, 2010

    This bums me out.
    So if you really want to donate to a cause that directly benefits animals, give to your local shelter.
    What about ASPCA? Are there any good guys?
    It’s not like the animals can speak out about this public deception.

  2. #2 "GrrlScientist"
    March 1, 2010

    indeed, do donate to your local shelter. since you live close to your local shelter, it is likely that you can keep a closer eye on their doings, and you probably personally know someone who works or volunteers there, too.

  3. #5 --bill
    March 1, 2010

    I really hope your post is snark.

    If not, if you can find this video on the station’s website ,
    you might want to post the link. Wikipedia’s
    HSUS
    page, in the first paragraph under `Criticism’, says that the station removed the
    story “from its website after the HSUS pointed out a number of errors.” The critic in the videotape is from the Center for Consumer Freedom, whose MediaWatch page is here .

  4. #6 Dan S.
    March 1, 2010

    Oh, this is nothing! What about the $ierra Club?! After all, they scam millions of dollars a year too, taking donors’ money and being all activisty, using it for stuff like lobbying for environmental legislation and fighting global warming!! instead of focusing mainly on cleaning up streams in my local area! (to say nothing of how they’re completely uninvolved in trail construction and day-to-day conservation work in the Sierra Nevadas!) Sure, these ideas about what they’re falsely claiming to do are partly just in my head, and it would only take a brief glance of their website to set me straight, but who has time to do the most basic due dillagence before donating to charity?* For shame, $ierra Club, for shame!

    * Actually, I have a lot of sympathy for that – heck, I’ve done it – and I wouldn’t apply it to folks who don’t have much in the way of online access (or knowledge/comfort). But, well . . .

    And to be fair, the HSUS situation is slightly muddier, because local “Sierra Clubs” are affiliated with the national group, while local humane societies aren’t, and for folks who aren’t familiar with the field or history of animal welfare, I guess it apparently is kind of confusing. (“Humane society” is (also) a general category or label for organizations that, as Wikipedia puts it, ” aims to stop human or animal suffering due to cruelty or other reasons” (‘the HSUS doesn’t help people in need! What a scam!!’), so when they picked the name back in ’51, it made a lot of sense).

    Look, I work in a small local shelter, and while the HSUS isn’t perfect, this is largely nonsense – little bits of actual truth mixed in big globs of half-truths all drowning in a big sticky mess of misdirection and manipulation.

    On the other hand (as you can guess from above)- yes, if you want to help pets and other animals in your local area, yes, yes, yes, definitely donate to your local shelter. (Please!) (Although – esp. if you’re not familiar with sheltering and animal welfare – you should find out what their basic policies, etc. are before donating.)

    And if you want to help with broader national campaigns against stuff like puppy mills, factory farming, canned hunting, etc., etc., well, maybe you want to donate to the HSUS. Depending on your beliefs and positions and view of the various CCF accusations, maybe you don’t. That’s fine. Research, and judge for yourself. Just keep in mind who’s saying what, and why, and vitally, how strong the evidence is once you look past the rhetoric. (Which goes both ways, of course).

    And of course, if one wants to point out that the HSUS is not just a big animal shelter or parent org for the local humane societies, that’s great! I know we certainly wouldn’t want folks donating to us by mistake b/c they thought we were something other than we are – and in fact, in cases when it became clear that’s what was happening, we’ve let them know, because that’s just sucky otherwise. But I’d hope folks will poke around on, for example, the HSUS’ web page first
    http://www.humanesociety.org/
    see what claims they make, information they give, and activities they highlight, and then decide whether this seems a case of horrible evil greedy deception, or an organization perhaps not doing everything it possibly could to dispel some misconceptions, but…, or more along the lines of innocent misunderstandings, or . . .

    (And who’s that cheerful face we see in the ‘expose’? Is that David Martosko of the CCF/HumaneWatch? Why yes it is! Hi, David! This must be a fun break from attacking MADD and the FDA, no?

  5. #7 DrugMonkey
    March 1, 2010

    Interesting to see the major defense is an attack on CCF rather than a good response to the charges. The question is whether the charges are valid or not, regardless of who* is making them.

    After all, the question is not so much what stuff HSUS buries on its website but more what people *think* they are giving to when they receive a solicitation. And I can tell you there are boatloads of people that I talk to that do not understand *at all* that the HSUS is not putting the vast majority of charitable donations back into local shelter operations. I wonder if the relative percentages devoted to various parts of their operation are detailed anywhere on the solicitation literature?

    *because HSUS and other public face of ARA terrorism flacks sure get amped up whenever anyone questions their motivations because of their associations, I can tell you.

  6. #8 Laura D
    March 1, 2010

    It is unfortunate that many well meaning animal lovers have been fooled by the HSUS propaganda…showing pitiful dogs and cats and asking for donations. How much does the HSUS donate to the care of dogs and cats? Less than one cent per dollar donated. How can one confirm this? Simply check out the tax filings at the IRS. They have to list how their donations are spent, and it is all there.

    In terms of local shelters, HSUS helps them…how? By doing an analysis of their functions…and CHARGING them for that! So, it isn’t for free. Check with your local shelter for this information.

    How does the HSUS help animals? By promoting laws against their keeping, their breeding and their use, whether for pets or for food. Why do we have all these laws against owning more than 2 per 3 pets per household? Why do we have state and local laws mandating the spaying and neutering of all dogs and cats, with extremely high fees for any exemptions? Why do we have national laws promoted to eliminate all exotic pets as invasive species? All these laws have been crafted with the help of the HSUS, to further their agenda of NO ANIMALS. No pets, no poultry, no circuses, no rodeos, no hunting, and no medical research.

    For those with exotic birds, the HSUS SUED the USFWS to force them to change the regulations under the WBCA to treat CITES Appendix III birds just as the WBCA mandated the treatment of CITES Appendix II birds. This is one of the ways the HSUS spends donation dollars, in lawsuits against the US federal agencies to force them to move further with regulations than the Congress has mandated by the specific law passed.

    The HSUS also provides funds to legislators, sometimes straight away, sometimes through another organization, in order to promote legislators who will work for their agenda of no animal use. They also actively work against the re-election of legislators who did not support their agenda. For instance, Congressman Pombo in California lost his bid for re-election due to the billboards, news releases, and other activities of the HSUS to stop his re-election.

    The urban and sub-urban dwellers who have no connection with animal husbandry in any of its forms are quite willing to believe whatever propaganda that is put forward by the HSUS regarding animal uses. Thus, these folks vote for changes in animal care that are detrimental to the general public, such as the recent Proposition 2 in California or the Pig Amendment in Florida. As a result, there are no more pork producers in Florida and the poultry producers are preparing to shut down or leave California.

    Additionally, in Florida some individuals worked to establish a special license plate which would have made some money for assisting with spay and neuter funds for the public to use for their animals. The HSUS intervened in the legislative process, adding sections to the bill which would have established a special “animals committee” and established a special location for that committee, of course, including the HSUS as a party to it, and all to be paid for by these special fees. The original folks working on this special license were outraged by the hubris of the HSUS folks interjecting their agenda into what would have been funds strictly for spay and neuter. This is one reason many animal lovers do not sponsor legislation. Just as soon as they put forward a positive bill for animals, the HSUS gets into the picture and tries to interject their agenda, which is antithetical to the animals interests.

    One needs to note that the “true believers” in the HSUS will deny all factual data, such as that put forward in the new website: http://www.humanewatch.com even though the HSUS papers filed to the IRS have been posted on the website!
    When you do the math, very few donated dollars end up helping any animals. They sure do help the HSUS folks though, with nice retirement funds and a great assist in lobbying and campaigning for more donated dollars.

    What is really laughable is that the HSUS supporters always accuse animal owners and users of being GREEDY… guess they are pretty hung up on money issues…because this greed complaint would be more accurate if attributed to the HSUS. The facts are in the IRS tax filings.

    Thankfully, I am seeing more animal lovers waking up and stopping their support of the HSUS, an organization that is working to remove animals from humans. The HSUS agenda goes against every ideal of freedom of choice that this nation was found upon. For further information see: http://www.exposeanimalrights.com

  7. #9 Carol
    March 1, 2010

    Sarah, you might want to look for a new employer so you don’t drown with the rats on that sinking ship.

    Is it true you have to be vegan to work there? Discrimination, isn’t it????

    But, that’s where the control of Ole King Wayne kicks in. He’ll be telling everyone what to eat, how many toilet paper sheets to use and will virtually drive pets into extinction and cause great starvation with his imbicilic “ideas”.
    The Vegan Diet=

    NO MEAT = NO FERTILIZER = NO CROPS = NO FOOD.
    Wow, I guess he really wants to put an end to mankind?

    And, I am sure he has his eye on running for office himself – it will be a cold day in hell.

    Oh, and I have never seen anyone look a out of their element as Wayne holding an animal. He has the warmth of a crockodile and is a FAKE! That phony smile – I’m amazed your PR guys let those photos through.

    Oh, one more thing – Infiltrating religion???? WTF. You guys are terrorists posing as brown shirts posing as animal lovers. Hitler started animal rights in Germany – no one would defend someone accused of animal abuse, right?

    please take your organization to China or Afghanistan – anywhere else – just leave my country alone.

    I will dance in the street – and so will my animals that have escaped your claws – the day the RICO verdict and fines are delivered.

    Sarah, honey, where there is smoke there is fire. As close as you are, you should smell it by now.

  8. #10 Orac
    March 1, 2010

    I work at the HSUS, and wanted to clarify a few things. First, the WSB report uses the Center for Consumer Freedom as their source, which is nothing more than a front group for big industry. It started with a 600k grant from Philip Morris, and has attacked groups such as the CDC and Mothers Against Drunk Driving to name a few.

    Is it or is it not true that the HSUS is affiliated with PETA and other animal rights extremists?

    http://austringer.net/wp/index.php/2007/08/01/humane-societies-telling-the-real-ones-from-the-fakes/

    http://scienceblogs.com/digitalbio/2008/08/book_review_the_animal_researc.php

  9. #11 John McKay
    March 1, 2010

    Orac,
    Neither of those links is any help at all. Austringer points out that HSUS and AHS are two separate groups. Okay. The DBDW link leads to a shouting match with no results. Can anyone point to information from a neutral source that directly ties HSUS the more dangerous animal rights groups like ALF (an accusation brought up in the DBDW thread) or Negotiation is Over. By neutral, I mean someone without a financial stake in opposing HSUS: not from one of Berman’s astroturf groups, like HumaneWatch or ActivistCash, or from Fels Entertainment or any of the other clients who pay Berman. I’m serious. I see lots of smears and accusations floating around, but little real information.

  10. #12 Bob O'H
    March 1, 2010

    Can anyone point to information from a neutral source that directly ties HSUS the more dangerous animal rights groups like ALF (an accusation brought up in the DBDW thread) or Negotiation is Over.

    The HSUS’s manager of animal fighting issues is, apparently, a former member of ALF (Wikipedia states that these are the same person: I would link but I might end up in moderation).

  11. #13 Laura D
    March 1, 2010

    Regarding HSUS’s relationship to PETA and to animal rights domestic terrorists…check out the name John Goodwin. He is one of the activists who has been in trouble with the law and now he works for HSUS.

    For those who would like a lot of detailed information, you might order the inexpensive book “Animal Rights: The Inhumane Crusade” by Daniel Oliver. This book lists all the major animal rights organizations, their agenda, their fundraising, their activities, and how they are affecting our society. There are also other books out there.

    Folks are concerned about Consumer Freedom website and its owner and his agenda. There are many many individuals and organizations that are very concerned about the activities and agenda of the HSUS who have NO relationship to CF and who are not funded by any business or corporation. Many are individual pet owners who have become aware of what the HSUS is doing.

    The HSUS activities during Katrina awakened many dog and pet owners when they saw HSUS staffers going for photo ops while others did the dirty work of collecting and cleaning up the animals. Then the Louisiana state attorney went after HSUS because of all their fundraising for Katrina animals and because HSUS had not donated one thin dime to any animal activities in that state. Then HSUS spent a small portion of their collected millions and built ONE animal shelter in Louisiana!!!

    Veterinarian volunteers, pet owners, animal rescuers and dog breeders traveled to New Orleans to help take care of the animals. Their reports on the activities of HSUS are shocking as most report the real work was done by many individuals volunteering, not by the HSUS staffers.

  12. #14 sara
    March 2, 2010

    @Laura No. 1: ASPCA does have a richer history, but they are now largely a lobby group, and representative democracy just chips away at real democracy. I am with Grrl on sponsoring your local SPCA or shelter/clinic rather.

    @DrugMonkey No. 7: I actually support the intentions of CCF, but they really are not a credible source. David Martosko has no business serving as a director of any kind of “research.” He has a bit of history of making shit up, and this only damages the cause.

  13. #15 Dan S.
    March 2, 2010

    After all, the question is not so much what stuff HSUS buries on its website

    That’s true, because I’m not talking about what stuff HSUS buries on its website, but the stuff it puts on the front page, and one to two clicks in under clear, obvious headings.

    And I can tell you there are boatloads of people that I talk to that do not understand *at all* that the HSUS is not putting the vast majority of charitable donations back into local shelter operations. i

    That’s genuinely unfortunate. As I mentioned above, I think part of the problem is that lots of people – not unreasonably, to be fair – take “humane society” to be a simple name, a trademark, almost, not realizing it’s actually a category. . The ASPCA and local SPCAs are in a somewhat similar situation – they’re all independent of each other. The ASPCA does have more in common with the SPCAs compared to the HS situation , but it does to a lot of lobbying and education big campaigns – because that’s its job.

    I do have to wonder – what connection do the boatloads of people you mention generally have to the HSUS? Are they generally supporters/donors? Have they ever stopped by the website? Perused its literature? Etc. etc.

  14. #16 Bob O'H
    March 2, 2010

    If the HSUS is aware of the confusion, why doesn’t it change its name to something clearer?

  15. #17 John Grandy
    March 2, 2010

    The Humane Society of the US is a deviant, unethical and unregulated society of social misfits and misinformed idiots.

    They care about putting money in their pocket and building financial empires for themselves. If you care to see what kind of humble abode one of their Sr. VP resides in while staying in Washington DC, take a look at 4702 Warren St NW. Bear in mind that this is the good DOCTOR’s second home and not a primary residence. You know, just a place to rest your head when in town.

  16. #18 Therese
    March 3, 2010

    So Sarah (HSUS employee) wants us to read the fox’s blog about hen house matters. Really? Would that be the same Wayne Pacelle that publicly praised the saving of the Michael Vick dogs while lobbying to have them all killed without the nicety of a behavioral evaluations. We all know how wrong Wayne was there, don’t we.

    HSUS is intentionally misleading the public by making dramatic domestic animal seizures and then blowing town once the cameras are turned off, leaving locals to clean up the mess, rehabilitate and feed the animals and foot the bill. The HSUS has come out against “the most egregious” forms of hunting – which in HSUS speak is ALL hunting. They are working to end “the inhumane treatment of farm animals” by creating legislation to make the standards to own those animals impractical/expensive/not economically viable. The HSUS is “shutting down puppy mills” by demonizing the practice of breeding dogs by anyone for any reason and stopping animal fighting by making owning certain breeds of dogs illegal and excusing the practice of killing within hours of seizure. Thousands of dogs with loving homes and without an aggressive bone in their bodies, who have never hurt a fly, are killed every year thanks to HSUS-supported breed specific legislation.

    But as Sarah suggested, anyone with a question of what HSUS does can look at their website. It’s fox guarding the hen house.com (insert eye roll icon here).

  17. #19 Dannielle
    March 3, 2010

    don’t believe it?

    pick up a phone and call every animal shelter within a 100 mile radius of your home. ask them how much money they got in the last year, last two years,last ten years, from HSUS.
    now try 200 miles. three hundred. five.

    do your own research and discover the truth. I did.

    but they will keep pushing those ads on tv and sending out mailers about shelter pets, won’t they?

    tens of millions a year spent pushing to end animal agriculture- thats the real agenda.

    donate LOCALLY- money, supplies, and most especially your time- a shelter pet will appreciate it

  18. #20 Liz
    March 3, 2010

    No, you don’t have to be a vegan to work for The HSUS. I wasn’t when I began working there. I am now after learning more about the many “surplus” chicks and calves produced in the process of egg and milk production. I didn’t want to support these animals being suffocated in trash bags or sometimes ground up alive, in the chicks’ case, or being confined in small crates for veal and sometimes suffering greatly during slaughter, in the calves’ case. I try to live my life in a way that causes the least suffering for other people and animals. But my diet is ultimately my choice, as it is for everyone.

  19. #21 dryad
    March 3, 2010

    Grassroots-level support of HSUS appears to be waning. For instance, Pilot Travel Centers have ceased collecting donations for HSUS:

    http://www.pilottravelcenters.com/About_Us/Story.aspx?id=252

    Ohio, too.

  20. #22 don
    March 13, 2010

    ‘NEVER’ donate humane society at all, its just like you are supporting them to demolish,eggs, pork,chicken, beef,dairy products,then would be more expensive to order from china,who knows what kind of meat you are getting.

  21. #23 Tim
    May 7, 2010

    “It started with a 600k grant from Philip Morris, and has attacked groups such as the CDC and Mothers Against Drunk Driving to name a few.”

    So what? Even the founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving left the organization! The group is now full of extremists who want all cars installed with breathalizers and other nonsense. Imagine being late for work because you used mouth wash in the morning and can’t start your car.

    I don’t like MADD either. Guess that makes me a big evil meanie too. :’(

  22. #24 Jane
    May 12, 2010

    You are all completely daft. You’ve all got your heads up your arses with your biases and emotions – I think you, grrl, should be kicked off scienceblogs because science is supposed to be about questioning assumptions and getting to the truth of things – not about pushing your political/emotional agenda – clearly, you feel threatened enough by some in the “ARA terrorists” squad about your animal experimentation that, just like agriculture, you close ranks rather than, as scientists should, question your grounds. But having perused enough blogs on scienceblogs, the closed-minded gleeful snootiness – including making fun of the Christian fish symbol by turning it into a Darwin symbol evolving feet, reductionism/straw man at its best – I know you won’t be asked to question yourself/selves and your assumptions.

    In fact, pretty much everyone reading this page should sit the f*ck down with a nice heavy fiction book about the complexity of human nature, instead of demanding “Pure Unadulterated Binary and Factual Simplicity, Because That’s What I Want And I Have a Right Dammit!” from everyone else. Start with Crime and Punishment. Then proceed through the Western Canon. It might do you some good, or at least shut you up long enough to think before you jump on the keyboard.

  23. #25 "GrrlScientist"
    May 13, 2010

    jane: first, scienceblogs is not an organization filled with mindless idiots and droids, so i would not be kicked off scienceblogs for expressing an opinion. second, you clearly know nothing whatsoever about science. science is about making observations, formulating testable hypotheses to learn more about those observations, and then using the resulting data to further refine those hypotheses for more testing.

    that said, a scientist, like an idiot (such as you seem to be), is absolutely entitled to express their political opinions. the fact that scientists know more than simple-minded dolts such as yourself, should be taken into account by our elected officials when making decisions about public policy. the fact that loudmouthed know-nothings, such as yourself, are trying to hold hostage those people who are trying to make something of themselves and to help this world, is an abomination.

    the fact that your rant is a weak-minded and incomprehensible mess demonstrates nothing more than your ongoing case of explosive mental diarrhea; unrestrained, unprocessed and filled with whatever detritus has been shoved down your throat by those in power who are force-feeding you their latest party line.

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