HSUS: FOR THE LOVE OF THE MONEY
What would you do with $125+ million per year?
Think of the possibilities. You could make major change in the world. Help the homeless and starving. Battle major world disease. Improve the world’s habitats. You could even make the world a better place for animals.
Or you could use that money to advance your own interests. If you’re the leading animal rights “charity” in the United States, you choose the latter. Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has grown from a small humane movement of the 1950s to a wealthy organization with a revenue of $129 million and net assets of $215 million, as reported at the end of 2014. In that time, the group has seen its influence grow to the point where it can sway legislation across the country.
Unfortunately, the legislation it fights for is not for animal welfare. The animal rights banner for which it flies dictates that it pursue an agenda targeting farmers, ranchers, sportsmen, animal owners, zoos, circuses, and many other segments of our society. This quest to rid the world of animal use attacks the people who make our country great.
Consider the battles HSUS has waged. Its CEO Wayne Pacelle (pictured above) leads his fellow wealthy activists into state capitols across the nation seeking major changes that defy logic. They pursue regulatory overreach against our food producers. Then, when we seek to defend our farmers and ranchers against these attacks with constitutional protections, they fight that as well. Hunters and anglers are not exempt from this agenda either; whether it be bear hunting in Florida, wolf hunting in the Great Lakes states, or lead fishing weights and lead ammunition, HSUS attempts to restrict our nation’s sportsmen while simultaneously making us less safe from wildlife overpopulation and disease.
By staying in the spotlight, HSUS has become the prominent animal charity in the minds of potential donors. It creates chaos, but portrays its members as peaceful saints. Its commercials mislead donors into thinking that its primary goal is supporting animal shelters across the country. The vast majority of Americans (71%) believe HSUS is simply a collection of local humane societies; that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Wayne Pacelle himself has famously declared, “We never said we funded animal shelters … That’s not in our history or in our statement.” The implication in its commercials is very strong, however. Less than 1% of HSUS’s massive funds go to shelters. That $19.99 a month that donors believe is helping find new homes for puppies and kittens is actually going towards building new homes for HSUS executives.
You might be wondering, well if the folks at HSUS aren’t spending money on shelters, surely they must be doing something productive with all that money, right?
Let’s start with two of its biggest expenses: $42 million and $44.3 million. That’s how much HSUS spends on fundraising (spending money to make money) and “Salaries and Benefits,” respectively. That’s not even counting the $2.5 Million in pension contributions. These Washington, D.C.-based individuals would be better compared to corporate fat cats than the humanitarians they depict themselves as being.
The organization has also sent over $50 million to accounts and hedge funds in the Caribbean Islands this decade. These corporate tax shelters would not be necessary for a virtuous charity; but we know that HSUS is something else entirely.
When they’re not stuffing their own pockets, they’re stuffing the pockets of their handpicked legislators, whose campaigns they support through their Humane Society Legislative Fund. With these politicians one phone call away, HSUS can scheme its way into any legislature it wants.
Let’s not forget some of the now-very public transgressions HSUS has committed over the past few years. There was the public support for convicted dogfighting kingpin Michael Vick, for which the group was compensated very favorably for its rehabilitation of his image. There were the much-maligned decisions to raise funds in disaster-stricken areas of the country such as Louisiana, Oklahoma, and New Jersey, where they have been investigated over their methods of promising to use the funds to help displaced animals and then withholding it for other uses.
There was even the mafia-esque tactics of allegedly paying a witness to provide favorable testimony against a circus over its treatment of elephants. They were counter-sued after this was discovered, and agreed to pay a multi-million dollar settlement to make its problems go away.
We can’t think of another “charity” in the country that is involved in so many dubious activities. Perhaps that is why Charity Navigator famously revoked HSUS’s charity rating in 2014 and issued a “donor advisory”. Those are the risks that an organization like HSUS takes in order to continue growing its empire. They collect donor money and label themselves as champions of the little guy. We call this the Reverse-Robin Hood Effect: they take from the public and give to themselves.
As of now, there’s nothing that says they can’t do this. It’s not illegal to claim to use donor funding for one purpose and then use it for something else. That being said, there’s a certain amount of respect you owe to these people to follow through with your promises. It’s a question of ethics.
The dollar signs in Wayne Pacelle and his cohorts’ eyes prevent them from seeing how damaging their agenda is to American society, and how little it actually does to help animals.
Their insatiable appetite for money allows them to grow their agenda as it sweeps across the nation. Now, the Humane Society of the United States is touting its ideas for a “Humane Economy”, which argues that a universal vegan lifestyle would equate to a more robust economy. That is simply a fallacy. The society-altering changes HSUS is advocating would destroy food production. There are real consequences to the animal rights group’s fantasies.
HSUS’s great wealth allows its followers to truly believe that their way is the right way. This megalomaniacal business approach has damaging effects. Businesses are bending to the animal rights industry’s will. Because of this, prices on many goods have soared, leaving consumers with the burden of paying more for their essential food items. Feeding one’s family should not be this difficult, but it can become that way in the “Humane Economy”.
Once again, we remind ourselves that consumers are not at the heart of HSUS’s agenda. Neither are the animals, who see little in the way of true improvements to their well-being. No, this movement has only one purpose, and that is neither human nor animal – it’s green paper.
The next time you hear Wayne Pacelle or one of his lackeys discuss their organization’s benevolence, keep that in mind.
An individual is only as good as his or her word. When your words are as empty as the ones coming from those involved with the most powerful animal rights organization in the country, you amount to much less than what your net worth suggests.