Rick Berman Attacks the Humane Society

Sad puppyFront group man extraordinaire Rick Berman and his attack group, the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), have launched a new Web site, HumaneWatch.org, to harass the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the country's largest animal welfare organization. In pursuing its mission of stopping animal cruelty, HSUS has apparently run afoul of some large, wealthy business interests, and now it is getting some major pushback.

The Humane Society works to stop egregious, ongoing animal abuse, particularly in money-making enterprises like puppy mills, factory farming, dogfighting, cockfighting, and unsporting hunting practices like "canned hunts," where hunters pay to shoot at captive, domestically-raised, exotic animals. While this is a laudable goal, it pits HSUS against a significant number of wealthy, powerful businesses that engage in animal cruelty practices, like meat and egg producers, factory farmers, canned hunting businesses, contract research labs that do animal testing for big corporations and pharmaceutical companies that exploit animals to manufacture drugs like Premarin, which is used to treat the symptoms of menopause. Premarin is made from pregnant mares' urine and is marketed by Wyeth Pharmacueticals, one of the world's largest drug companies.

People Love Animals

HumaneWatch.org may have a hard time trying to build public animosity towards the Humane Society, since most of civil society cannot countenance the extreme cruelty against animals that occurs in these facilities. (There are now a number of videos showing such treatment posted at SourceWatch.org). At present, Berman's site, HumaneWatch.org, is trying to generate outrage against HSUS by ridiculing the group's recent activities, like raising funds for animal relief in Haiti and marketing its own brand of cruelty-free, all-natural dry dog food that does not support the factory farming industry. HumaneWatch is also trying to hurt and embarrass businesses that donate to HSUS, like the Yellow Tail Wine company, which recently donated $100,000 to HSUS's Animal Rescue Team. To target Yellow Tail, HumaneWatch.org posted a video of a cowboy standing in a manure-filled pen surrounded by cows, and pouring a bottle of Yellow Tail wine on the ground, while explaining that he is doing it to retaliate against the company for supporting the Humane Society. The video makes you want to donate to HSUS and go out and buy Yellow Tail wine to thank them for caring about animals.

Money bagsWho is Funding HumaneWatch.org?

Berman typically sets up his front groups as 501(c)4 organizations and then carries out his attacks through these groups to avoid disclosing his donors, so we have no way of knowing which industries or companies are funding Berman's attack on the Humane Society. We can probably get a good idea, though. Just determine which businesses profit most from animal cruelty, and you'll likely find the funders among them.

One thing we can be certain about: the Humane Society must be doing a decent job of lobbying on behalf of animal welfare, or it wouldn't have found itself in Berman's crosshairs.


How about a PR watch on the HSUS? Saying that HSUS fights "egregious ongoing abuse" is pretty much taking its propaganda hook, line and sinker. So is using the HSUS description of (and moniker) "canned hunts." HSUS would have you think all high-fence hunting is shooting former petting-zoo animals backed into a corner of a corral. It's not. HSUS fights whatever battles it thinks it can win, including trying to ban dove hunting, which is in no way an "egregious" form of hunting - people hunt doves like they hunt other birds, and they eat doves like they eat other birds. But HSUS lies and says we use doves for target practice and don't eat them. Why? Because the non-hunting public thinks doves are sweet and pretty and don't deserve to be eaten as much as ugly old pigs. Your attacks on the Center for Consumer Freedom are fine; the fact that you swallow HSUS propaganda whole is not.

<rolls eyes> Late to the game here but this sure sounds like it was written by a CCF-paid blogger. You'll probably see the same IP address coming from these kinds of posts...

The very fact this "unbiased observer" uses a phrase like "high fence hunting" shows that he is much closer to the practice of canned hunts than most of us would ever want to be.

Oh yeah, HSUS is SOOOOO evil. They try to stop sickening animal cruelty and make the world a better place: who wouldn't oppose them? Seriously, you probably are a paid blogger for CCF. Rick Berman and the rest of the Center for Consumer Freedom are SICK, greedy people that profit off of creating suffering for others.

There's nothing good to hunting, or the meat industry for that matter, because the point to hunting is to cause severe trauma and death for pleasure. The difference between a hunter and non-hunter who eats meat is that the latter wants some else to do the dirty work, hoping that it is done "humanely", which is impossible as meat is not necessary to sustain human life and health. Slaughtering nonhuman animals is immoral under all circumstances because we are purportedly the moral being and choose to disregard the well being of our victims; We can be better but choose not to be.

You realize that humans have canine teeth for ripping and tearing flesh, right? How arrogant your moral superiority is. I agree that animals deserve respect and their sacrifice to the evolutionary hierarchy should be as humane as possible, but they are on this earth to eat and be eaten. Period.

HSUS care nothing about animals; they care about the almighty buck. This has been the standard since Wayne Pacelle got a stranglehold on it. HSUS consistently exploit the exploited. For groups who actually work on behalf of animals and try to benefit them in some way, the behavior of Pacelle and the HSUS is a slap in the face. The fact you defend them shows you know absolutely nothing about animal welfare work or a compensated mouthpiece for HSUS. Insofar as Rick Berman, he and Wayne Pacelle have a lot in common. They are both corporate thugs, aiding and abetting the monstrous cruelties of animal agriculture that is poisoning America from the inside out.

I would ask people making these absurd accusations to back them up with evidence. Otherwise they read like the thinly-veiled, self-interested diversionary tactics. The most threatening thing to these detractors is that HSUS is extraordinarily effective at protecting animals.

Center for Consumer Freedom is a lobby group for for the restaurant, alcohol and tobacco industries. CCF opposes efforts of scientists, doctors, health advocates, environmentalists. They even oppose "Mothers Against Drunk Driving". I don't know who in their right mind would want to align themselves with Center for Consumer Freedom. https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Center_for_Consumer_Freedom