Understanding the Animal Rights Movement, Part 3 - Financials


animal rights   Welcome to Part 3 our series on the animal rights movement. Thus far we have discussed the movement’s history and the interplay of the organizations with one another. If you missed either of those articles they can be found HERE. The main focus of today’s article will be on the financials of the Animal Rights Industry; how much money they obtain each year and how much actually goes to animals. To start, we would like to point out that there are thousands of ‘animal rights’ organizations around America and the world. It would be virtually impossible to gather all of the information on every animal rights group out there. However, in a Protect The Harvest study, we took into consideration 83 bigger and more well-known animal rights groups and that is with what we are basing the rest of this article. A logical starting point would be the yearly income of the animal rights industry. With just the 83 organizations studied, the annual revenue is: $483,418,434 or, nearly half a billion dollars. Of this, three organizations make up almost two-thirds of the total revenue (HSUS, ASPCA, and PETA). Take a look at this pie chart showing the distribution of the AR industries revenue in 2014:   AR pie chart   The top earners of this group: HSUS - $132,773,775, ASPCA - $117,222,668, PETA - $51,993,001, SPCA of Texas - $17,048,811, SPCA International INC - $14,290,116, Farm Sanctuary - $10,223,375. All figures were found through guidestar.org. With this enormous amount of money donated from individuals around the country who have compassionate intentions, these groups could accomplish great things for actual animal welfare. Sadly, very little of it actually reaches animals. This visual representation of the unjust money distribution allows us dive into the numbers and talk specifics. The first thing that we would like to address is how much of that money actually trickles down to the animals. It is a fairly well known fact that less than 1% of HSUS funds goes to helping animals. In the ASPCA around 26% of their funds go to animals and animal health services. For PETA, around 25% of their total funds goes to investigations, rescues, and animals. These numbers are alarmingly small, and considering these are the ‘Big 3’ animal rights groups, what do these miniscule fractions mean for the bigger picture? The big three together make up around 62.5% of total AR revenue, or $301,929,444. However, when we apply the percentages that actually go to animals, we get a much smaller number. HSUS - $132,773,775 x .8% = $1,062,190.20 ASPCA - $117,222,668 x 26% = $30,477,893.68 PETA - $51,933,001 x 25% = $12,893,250.25 New Total =$44,433,334.18 44,468,333.88 / 483,418,434 = 0.0919... or around 9.2% (53.3 percentage points lower than before) What does this mean? Taking into consideration solely the top three AR groups, and distinguishing how much of their budget goes to animals, the grand total is merely 46.7% of its previous value. Simply put, the animals get screwed. The majority of money that flows to and through animal rights organizations never reaches animals. Instead, it goes to fundraising, salaries, pension funds, lobbying efforts, legal fees, and anything else that helps them build their bottom lines. Animals would be lucky if they actually received 20% of the total AR revenue. This is beyond corrupt, especially for organizations whose sole stated purpose is to help animals. These groups are just using animals to pad their own pockets. Top execs are making millions while the animals they claim to protect are being unnecessarily killed because of ‘overcrowding’ and ‘lack of funding.’ The worst part about this whole issue, which we cannot stress enough, is the fact that Americans are perpetuating the issue because of misinformation regarding the organizations. In a survey, 79% of Americans said they are familiar with HSUS, 71% of which identified them as an umbrella group for local animal shelters. This is absolutely false. Not only does the organization have no ties to local animal shelters, it gives less the 1% of its annual revenue to help animals in these shelters. Instead, the organization opts to fight legislative battle against no-kill shelter mandates and conservationally-appropriate hunting seasons. Another big problem with 7 out of 10 Americans thinking that HSUS is an umbrella group for local animal shelters is that they are siphoning money out of those local shelters. Think about it: if the public thinks that giving to HSUS will ensure local shelters around the nation stay running (which it doesn’t), they are more likely to give to that big organization than to just their singular shelter around the corner. They put their trust in that organization because they believe that its resources will allow it to better help the greater good. Less than a penny out of every dollar given actually makes it back to animals. It’s not just HSUS either, the animal rights groups are claiming to be the saving grace of animals and then are a major part of the problem. Even if they didn’t  give any of their money to local shelters, and just distinguished themselves as a separate entity and the public knew where their money was going, then more local shelters would have a greater revenue and be able to take care of more animals for longer without last-resort killings. Yet, time and time again, groups like HSUS refuse to identify as what they truly are. Instead, they proudly bolster images of starving cats and dogs, animals they never actually care for, and beg the public for money ‘to save the animals.’ “Isn’t this illegal?”, you may be wondering. Ideally, yes, and on multiple occasions there have been groups of individuals stepping forward to attempt to correct the wrongs of the AR industry. In almost every case, however, the groups use their superior financial capabilities to wiggle out of legal trouble and continue their deception. They even go so far as to directly raise money in the name of disaster relief and then pocket millions of that money, hoodwinking both the donors and those who lived through the disaster. Do you think this is right? Should animal rights organizations use and abuse animals like this with no negative consequences? Help Protect The Harvest stand up for animals and citizens. Help us reign in the manipulative practices of these organizations and start moving forward to a compassionate future while maintaining the relationship held between humans and animals.


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