WAYNE PACELLE AND HSUS "DOUBLING DOWN" IN OKLAHOMA
As some of you may know, Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) CEO Wayne Pacelle pens frequent blog posts for the HSUS website. These musings tend to cover a wide range of topics and issues that the organization is following, much like we do. That is where the similarity abruptly ends, however.
He takes his time to reinforce strongly held opinions about the animal rights goals that he has for the entire country. Hence the title of this blog posts, “A Humane Nation”. If you’ve ever doubted that these activists have a plan to eliminate animal use throughout the country, look no further than this title, which attempts to soften the image of a nationwide takeover by subtly implying that it is the ideal outcome for all, both human and animal.
In one of his blog posts from just over month ago in which he refers to events in multiple states as “Shenanigans”, Mr. Pacelle approaches the subject of Oklahoma and the recent effort of lawmakers to bring forth a Right to Farm amendment to a public vote.
The following are a few relevant excerpts from this post, saving you from the unpleasant task of viewing his other nonsensical thoughts. From April 29th, 2015:
“And in a truly awful display of politics at its worst, the Oklahoma House cleared a so-called “right to farm” constitutional amendment for the November 2016 ballot, positioning The HSUS and its allies against the Oklahoma Farm Bureau and other defenders of factory farming, the puppy mill industry, and the cockfighting industry.”
“The Oklahoma Farm Bureau teamed up with two of the most outspoken and unabashed apologists for animal cruelty – D.C. lobbyist and public-relations operative Rick Berman and Indiana businessman Forrest Lucas – in their campaign to pass this measure and to demonize the good work of The HSUS.”
“The Oklahoma Farm Bureau coordinated this year’s campaign with the state attorney general, Scott Pruitt, who made false allegations about The HSUS during the legislative fight. Pruitt alleged that The HSUS raised money for relief efforts after the devastating Moore tornadoes hit. When we provided documentation disproving his allegations, he pivoted and said we don’t give enough money to animal shelters.”
“If any of these folks think they are silencing The HSUS, they’re wrong. We’ll be doubling down in Oklahoma and we’ll be announcing future plans in the state soon. And we’ll be continuing the fight to drive animal welfare reforms for farm animals, elephants, greyhounds, and other animals every day of the year in every state.”Let’s take this paragraph-by-paragraph, shall we?
In the first, he addresses the creation of the bill, labeling it as some kind of battle between them and us – the opposition being defined as defenders of factory farming, puppy mills, and cockfighting. The terms “factory farms” and “puppy mills” were created to put a derogatory label on large-scale operations, because it’s so much easier to imply that all farmers and dog breeders are evil. According to Wayne Pacelle, supporting measures that were created DUE TO HSUS’s influential attacks on the ag industry in these states is the equivalent of supporting harmful living conditions for animals. That’s their primary argument in a nutshell; animal use is abuse, no exceptions.
HSUS loves to make the point that agriculture is all about big business and nothing more. That’s why in the second excerpt Pacelle refers to Oklahoma Farm Bureau working with Rick Berman and Forrest Lucas, two men who, yes, run organizations. He neglects to mention Berman’s watchdog campaign, HumaneWatch, which raises awareness of HSUS’s wrongdoings. He also fails to mention Mr. Lucas’s organization, Protect The Harvest. As the animal rights movement evolved into wealthy, successful attack group that threatened to end meat consumption and consumer access to affordable food (among many other things), we were created to address this issue and defend Americans who had few ways to defend themselves before.
He refuses to address us by name because it is easier for him to make his claims when he is addressing “business” and not the nonprofits that were created specifically to counteract his group’s agenda.
In the third excerpt, he mentions Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s involvement in the bill. They’ve painted Pruitt as having an agenda against them, and so they’ve linked any role he plays in support of agriculture as being an assault on them. Pacelle claims that Pruitt “made false allegations during the legislative fight”. This not only implies that he had no grounds for his investigation into HSUS fundraising practices (which he most certainly did), but also alleges that this investigation was in some way related to the fight to get HJR 1012 passed and into a public vote.
That absurd attempt at a connection ignores the events which led to Scott Pruitt’s investigation. We’ve written about those events in detail. Suffice it to say, he was more than warranted in his quest for the truth. Pacelle also fails to mention that they were court-ordered to provide documents after initially refusing to comply with Pruitt’s investigation by suing to block it.
The excerpt also addresses that Pruitt asked them to give more money to shelters, but this is not news. It is common knowledge that HSUS gives less than 1% of its funds to local animal shelters, despite advertising that suggests otherwise. Scott Pruitt is simply one of thousands that has raised the same point.
Wayne Pacelle, in the final excerpt, alludes to HSUS’s strategy in regards to the Right to Farm amendment in Oklahoma. He says they will be “doubling down” in their efforts to fight this passage. Never one to care for overwhelming public opinion on the subject of agriculture, he hopes that they will be able to convert a portion of the majority that supports this amendment. That means that we can count on them to funnel extra resources into combating it (through funds raised under donor assumption that they would go towards directly helping animals).
HSUS realizes that they are slowly beginning to lose more and more public battles, and their image as humane warriors is eroding as people begin to see them for the scandals that define their agenda. As a result, they will throw more money into legislative battles, where they still have a sliver of influence.
HSUS and its Humane Society Legislative Fund PAC spent over $5 million in the last election period, looking to get handpicked candidates elected and re-elected, in addition to fighting Missouri’s Right to Farm Amendment, bear hunting in Maine, and wolf hunting in Michigan. In case you were wondering, Super PACs spent over $340 million in 2014, and HSUS’s total PAC expenditures amounted to 1.5% of that.
These are not some simple animal advocates looking to make a difference. Animal rights activism has grown to become an industry in itself. It IS big business. They’ve developed a strategy after years of failing to sway enough of the general public that they now resort to throwing cash at any issue, something a revenue stream of $125+ million and net assets totaling well over $200 million guarantees.
While their negative campaigns against agriculture have been damaging to the industry’s reputation, they haven’t greatly affected many legislative battles because most rural Americans have the common sense to realize phony arguments when they see them. They, like us, know that treating animals with respect and care is necessary for both the animals’ well-being and for a better product to nourish humans. HSUS will attempt to argue that these animals have the same rights as we do, and in pursuit of this goal they’ve sacrificed true care for these animals in some instances.
Wayne Pacelle and his cohorts are more than welcome to “double down” on their campaign in Oklahoma, but they will be doing so with a very poor hand as a majority of Oklahomans are not on their side.
Do you support Oklahoma’s Right to Farm protections against harmful out-of-state special interest attacks?