Taking the “Human” out of “Humane”

We took a look last week at some details of the 2008 tax return filed by the deceptive Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). The filing shows that HSUS paid out less than one-half of one percent of its $99 million budget to hands-on dog and cat shelters. Meanwhile, a large portion of the kitty – tens of millions of dollars – went to employee salaries and animal rights lobbying. And all this expensive chicken-hugging has a hidden price. To find it, try visiting your local unemployment office.
In 2008 HSUS spent more than $2.3 million on a political committee called “Californians for Humane Farms,” which campaigned for the “Proposition 2” ballot initiative in the Golden State. In 2007, it gave over $1.3 million. HSUS also made donations of $200,000 in 2007 and 2008 to the “Committee to Protect Dogs,” a Massachusetts organization that pushed for a statewide ban on greyhound racing with the “Question 3” ballot initiative.
Both ballot campaigns were successful. And both had human costs. In California, a UC Davis study estimated that Prop 2 would destroy the state’s egg industry by adding 20 percent to the cost of egg production and causing companies to move to other states or to Mexico. In real numbers, the study found, Prop 2 was expected to cost more than 3,000 jobs and take more than $615 million out of the state’s already precarious economy. In Massachusetts, 1,000 people were expected to lose their jobs after the racing ban took effect last week. We love dogs too, but when people lose their jobs, who’s going to buy them kibble and flea collars?
All told, HSUS’s leaders spent more than $4.1 million on two political battles, and put an estimated 4,000 workers out of business. And that doesn’t include similar political “committees” HSUS has bankrolled in Michigan, Colorado, and Arizona. Who knows how many jobs HSUS will kill this year in Ohio alone?
Sure, HSUS claims it does everything “for the animals.” But what about people? How many American workers and their families are left unemployed in the wake of animal rights campaigns? And why doesn’t HSUS put a serious amount of money into pet shelters, where animals can be helped and jobs created?
There are human costs to HSUS’s crusades. But when cows and pigs are all you care about, people can get lost in the shuffle. Today’s overfed animal activists are clearly willing to put Americans in the bread line. Just don’t expect any chicken soup when you get there.

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