The newest blog manifesto by Wayne Pacelle, animal-savior-in-chief at the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), is just a reminder that HSUS has more in common with PETA than with your local animal shelter.
Gourmet magazine is reporting that people are reducing to some degree their consumption of meat products. Given the inordinately high per capita consumption of animal products in America, this is good news for animals, the environment, and public health. The HSUS is a big tent organization, and we support people who want to switch to more humanely raised animal products, reduce the amount of meat in their diets, or try a vegetarian lifestyle—but the reduction of meat consumption is one of the best things we can do for the planet given how unsustainable the current levels of factory farming are.
For a so-called “humane society,” HSUS sure seems concerned with what you eat. For example, Pacelle’s support of "people who want to switch to more humanely raised animal products” is actually closer to “forcing egg producers to close up shop unless they kowtow to the animal-rights party line.”
This is precisely what Guardian columnist Hadley Freeman was getting at in her column last week:
Because the vegetarian bandwagon has been so thoroughly jumped by celebrities, a demographic that survives by constant self-validation, we now live in a world of high-profile vegetarian evangelism. Thus, the whole shebang (a better word, I feel, than "cause") has taken on the sweaty sheen of moral superiority, bossiness and oversimplification.
Pacelle’s save-the-environment hyperbole is enough to strain credulity and patience. Beef production’s impact on global warming has been distorted beyond recognition. There are studies coming out on a weekly basis about how important a balanced diet (including meat) is for both kids and adults. And HSUS can’t seriously argue that meat and dairy are getting too expensive for America’s families when they are simultaneously pursuing measures to drive farmers’ costs up.
Pacelle’s ‘Go Veg’ blog posts make it easy to see beyond his group’s feel-good name: HSUS’s real agenda has precious little to do with helping shelter animals and a lot to do with advancing the fringe goals of animal-rights activists.