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"The New Meat Monopoly" Numerous Speakers Thursday March 13th


KMango
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Does anyone else find this scary?

"Wayne Pacelle, President of the Humane Society of the United States, will discuss his organization's brand new alliance with family farmers, which has the potential to entirely transform the politics of animal agriculture in America."

I'll bet it does.  HSUS is only slightly less extremist than PeTA.

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Does anyone else find this scary?

"Wayne Pacelle, President of the Humane Society of the United States, will discuss his organization's brand new alliance with family farmers, which has the potential to entirely transform the politics of animal agriculture in America."

I'll be it does.  HSUS is only slightly less extremist than PeTA.

I have seen their farm animal abuse videos and don't see anything scary in them.  They use undercover video to report on abominal conditions on factory farm and on the ridiculously low leverl of enforcement and fines for violators.

Other than that, I am familiar with the issues many raise that HSUS does not run shelters etc.  They are a national lobbying group and not the locals who do.  THey focus their efforts in a different direction.  They got a low grade in Charity Watch, but are currently not listed.  

I am in total disagreement with PETA and have never thought of the two organizations on the same end of the spectrum.  So I would be interested in some information on your statement.

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That's fair.  I worked in the animal welfare industry in the early and mid '90s, and it was talked about then that HSUS was "almost as bad" as PeTA.  But memories of office conversations from nearly 20 years ago are meaningless, so I decided to do a quick web search.

This is the first one I found:

While it raises money with pictures of cats and dogs, HSUS has an anti-meat vegan agenda. Speaking to an animal rights conference in 2006, HSUS's then vice president for farm animal issues stated that HSUS's goal is to "get rid of the entire [animal agriculture] industry" and that "we don't want any of these animals to be raised and killed."   http://www.consumerfreedom.com/2012/01/9-things-you-didnt-know-about-hsus/

Here's another:

n 1980, HSUS officially began to change its focus from animal welfare to animal rights. After a vote was taken at the group's San Francisco national conference, it was formally resolved that HSUS would "pursue on all fronts "¦ the clear articulation and establishment of the rights of all animals "¦ within the full range of American life and culture."...

In Animal Rights and Human Obligations, the published proceedings of this conference, HSUS stated unequivocally that "there is no rational basis for maintaining a moral distinction between the treatment of humans and other animals." It's no surprise, then, that a 2003 HSUS fundraising mailer boasted that the group has been working toward "putting an end to killing animals for nearly half a century."  http://www.activistcash.com/organizations/136-humane-society-of-the-united-states/

And this:

Moreover, the HSUS has gone to great lengths to distinguish itself from the militancy of PeTA, but nonetheless defends the same hard-line agenda"”albeit without the violence and lawless behavior. It seeks its goals more insidiously through under-the-radar political activities, primarily because it still serves moderate and militant wings of both pro-animal movements in the U.S. through its broad agenda.  http://www.veterinarypracticenews.com/vet-practice-news-columns/reality-check/hsus-agenda-on-par-with-that-of-peta.aspx

And this:

Fox let it slip during this interview that one of CRLE's brochures"”sold by HSUS"”promoted a "kind of a covert vegetarian message." And he added that stealth "is part of the ecumenical approach that the HSUS follows." The more things change, the more they stay the same.

You would never hear HSUS admit to this today. Nope, in 2010 we have the vegan Paul Shapiro claiming HSUS "doesn't have an anti-meat agenda."

http://www.humanewatch.org/stealth_vegetarianism/

------

Try searing on "HSUS agenda".  It's annoying.  Most of the sites that come up are from people with their own agenda, which makes the truth very hard to suss out.  HSUS of course isn't going to splash the more radical aspects of their agenda on their website. You have to do a lot of sifting and reading between the lines.  Which then leads to the problem of confirmation bias: it's pretty easy to find information to support your position.  I admit that I could be affected by it, too,  but after following it with a skeptic's ear for almost 20 years, I am inclined to believe all the scuttlebutt.

I truly wish I could present direct evidence, but I'm sure if it existed it would be easy enough to find.

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While it raises money with pictures of cats and dogs, HSUS has an anti-meat vegan agenda. Speaking to an animal rights conference in 2006, HSUS's then vice president for farm animal issues stated that HSUS's goal is to "get rid of the entire [animal agriculture] industry" and that "we don't want any of these animals to be raised and killed."   http://www.consumerfreedom.com/2012/01/9-things-you-didnt-know-about-hsus/

From Wikipedia... The Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), formerly the Guest Choice Network, is an American non-profit entity founded by Richard Berman that lobbies on behalf of the fast foodmeatalcohol and tobacco industries. It describes itself as "dedicated to protecting consumer choices and promoting common sense."[2] Experts on non-profit law have questioned the validity of CCF's non-profit status in the Chronicle of Philanthropy and other publications,[3][4] while commentators from Rachel Maddow to Michael Pollan have treated the group as an entity that specializes in astroturfing.[5][6]

CCF has attacked organizations including the Centers for Disease Control, the Center for Science in the Public InterestMothers Against Drunk Driving,The Humane Society of the United StatesPeople for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicineand the Restaurant Opportunities Center, and maintains websites devoted to criticizing them.[2]

Here's another:

n 1980, HSUS officially began to change its focus from animal welfare to animal rights. After a vote was taken at the group's San Francisco national conference, it was formally resolved that HSUS would "pursue on all fronts "¦ the clear articulation and establishment of the rights of all animals "¦ within the full range of American life and culture."...

In Animal Rights and Human Obligations, the published proceedings of this conference, HSUS stated unequivocally that "there is no rational basis for maintaining a moral distinction between the treatment of humans and other animals." It's no surprise, then, that a 2003 HSUS fundraising mailer boasted that the group has been working toward "putting an end to killing animals for nearly half a century."  http://www.activistcash.com/organizations/136-humane-society-of-the-united-states/

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The second quote is from, in part, ActivistCash.Com.  Here is from their About Us page ontheir website

"This site, created by the Center for Consumer Freedom, is committed to providing detailed and up-to-date information about organizations and activists. We have analyzed scores of media clippings, official statements, and government documents to create this database." 

So this is a second source that is really the same source, one that is openly against any agenda of curbing factory farming.  I read the VEgetarian Times article highlighted, and nowhere does it say anything close to end the killing of animals.  In fact, it talks of balancing the rights of what are considered lower animals and humans.  After all, we are all aimals.  But the quote only speaks of not testing makeup on rabbits eyes and on keeping exotic animals like monkeys as pets.  

And this:

Moreover, the HSUS has gone to great lengths to distinguish itself from the militancy of PeTA, but nonetheless defends the same hard-line agenda"”albeit without the violence and lawless behavior. It seeks its goals more insidiously through under-the-radar political activities, primarily because it still serves moderate and militant wings of both pro-animal movements in the U.S. through its broad agenda.  http://www.veterinar...at-of-peta.aspx

Pacelle is vegan and there apparently is a vegan food policy at HSUS sponsored events.  Hardly a PETA like agenda in and of itself.

Here is an example of the HSUS website on farm animals

I feel that you have made an extraordinary claim about HSUS.  Clearly, PETA has resoret to law breaking and promistes openly a, to me, silly agenda and uses multiple falsehoods to do so.  I have looked into HSUS and I feel that their material on farm animals is right on.

Quotes from factory farming lobbyists, quotes from a website that the same organization has organized as a separate entity, quotes from 1980 and pointing out that the policy of HSUS is to serve vegan food hardly rises to extraordinary evidence.  In fact, much of it is unsupported and really strikes me as strictly opinion.  Yet HSUS has documebted many practices on factory farms that sicken me.  Please go look at their videos.

Mrs P, you know I have respect for your opinions on subjective matters, and I hope that my response here is not taken as a harsh attack on your personally.  I am not trying to make HSUS to be perfect, or without their problems.  But I feel that your claim is unsupported.  And since you made it, with due respect, the burden of proof is on you.

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Mrs P, you know I have respect for your opinions on subjective matters, and I hope that my response here is not taken as a harsh attack on your personally.  I am not trying to make HSUS to be perfect, or without their problems.  But I feel that your claim is unsupported.  And since you made it, with due respect, the burden of proof is on you.  

I for one am not taking it as a harsh attack.   :)   You are absolutely right to ask for proof, and as I wrote before, I can't really offer any.

I will point out (again) the thing about confirmation bias; that's one of the problems with ready access to information that the internet provides: you can pick and choose to suit your beliefs.  Goes both ways, too.

I thought about this a lot yesterday.  It galls me that I can't offer anything concrete.  I remember conversations with people who worked for HSUS in the '90s, and for PeTA, and people who knew the major players personally... but it's not like I have a journal to refer to: "May 6 1996 Joe said today that when he worked for HSUS blah blah blah" so I won't offer my recollections as evidence.

It's a matter of faith, then.  Have you ever believed something so entirely, felt something to be true on such a fundamental level, that no amount of discussion sways your opinion?  Has an atheist ever convinced you that God doesn't exist?  Or has a Christian ever convinced you that God does?  Or do you just know in your heart which one is true?

There are things I believe that no amount of scientific evidence will change, not that I want to get into that here.  But for a quick example, I believe that despite what corporations would have us believe, almost all pesticides and herbicides are unsafe at almost any level of use.  (Note that I wrote "corporations", not "scientists".)  How many times in the past century has a compound been deemed safe, only to have scientists present evidence decades later that, well, it really isn't?  (Chlordane, glyphosate, DDT...)

(BTW, in case you think I'm some kind of nutjob on this subject, I have an undergraduate degree in chemistry.  I came by my distrust of chemicals through education and experience.)

My experiences in the animal welfare industry somehow got me this belief that HSUS is the less radical partner of PeTA.  I can't offer direct evidence, but I am skeptical by nature, and the only thing that could change this belief would be a direct statement from Pacelle in answer to a direct question.  I have never seen such, but I have seen lots of weasley language used to deflect such questions.  That only reinforces my skepticism.

I am not an investigative reporter.  There is a lot of bs on the internet - stuff I didn't quote because I didn't trust the sources, and because those sources couldn't provide evidence to back up the claims.  But damn, there is a lot of stuff out there, yes coming from factory farmers, and sportsmen, and dog breeders, but also from veterinarians and animal welfare folks... from many different interests.  Is there a vast anti-HSUS conspiracy? What has HSUS done to make so many people doubtful and distrustful?  The sheer volume of distrust makes me wonder what's really going on.

Dean, we've talked a lot before, and you know I have great respect for your depth of knowledge in this industry.  If you have a chance to talk with Pacelle, try asking a direct question.  Not "what is your agenda?" or "what does HSUS stand for?" because those are too broad, but something more like " is HSUS' goal to end all consumption of animal products in the US?" and see if you get a direct (that is, yes or no) answer.  Bet you won't.  Bet he'd blow smoke instead.  Heck ask him outright if he's vegan.  Not that there's anything wrong with that.  But I bet he won't give a simple "yes" or "no" answer.

eta: did a little more research - apparently he would tell you that he's a vegan.

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... I believe that despite what corporations would have us believe, almost all pesticides and herbicides are unsafe at almost any level of use.  (Note that I wrote "corporations", not "scientists".)  How many times in the past century has a compound been deemed safe, only to have scientists present evidence decades later that, well, it really isn't?  (Chlordane, glyphosate, DDT...)

(BTW, in case you think I'm some kind of nutjob on this subject, I have an undergraduate degree in chemistry.  I came by my distrust of chemicals through education and experience.)

...

But damn, there is a lot of stuff out there, yes coming from factory farmers, and sportsmen, and dog breeders, but also from veterinarians and animal welfare folks... from many different interests.  Is there a vast anti-HSUS conspiracy? What has HSUS done to make so many people doubtful and distrustful?  The sheer volume of distrust makes me wonder what's really going on.

Yes, there is a "conspiracy" if you want to call it that, a conspiracy or group effort to sway public opinion against HSUS.  The field marshal for this conspiracy is, as mentioned above, Rick Berman - famous/infamous astroturfer for corporate interests.  He gets paid very well to do aggressive PR, hatchet-man "attack your enemies" kind of stuff that the corporations and industries don't want associated with their brand names.  So they get him to do it.

The very same Rick Berman who has been active in the PR effort to tell consumers that pesticides are safe (which you, knowing a good bit about the subject, tend to disbelieve).

You note the difficulty of changing people's beliefs - but this is one way that it sometimes happens - once you realize that people have been lying to you about proposition X, you might be skeptical about proposition Y once you realize that the same people are behind it.

(By the way, Rick Berman is also the father of David Berman, of the brilliant odd rock band Silver Jews, who loathes what his father does for a living.)

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This is an interesting article.  I'm not saying it proves anything, I'm saying it's interesting.  It at least has some direct quotes.  Some of the links take you to humanewatch; if you dig on that site you find links to the primary source.  But can you trust information that's passed through so many filters?  -rhetorical question.

I try to keep an open mind, so now I really don't know what to believe.  I still distrust HSUS and its motives.

What's exceptionally difficult about this issue is that if HSUS has a radical agenda [define radical], it will be almost impossible to prove, because they won't want to be upfront about it.

I just decided to put my money where my mouth is.  I signed up to attend this event.  It's a start.

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Absolutely fascinating event, and thanks to KMango for posting about it.  Quite entertaining, especially since the opposition had a few plants in the audience.  Pacelle is an excellent speaker, charismatic, smart enough to balance emotional appeals with facts and figures, but he did not convince me that HSUS doesn't have a hidden agenda.  You can watch the who thing here.

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