Happy Birthday! (part 1)
Has it been a year already?
We hope you’ve enjoyed watching HumaneWatch grow from a small watchdog blog into a complex repository of information about America’s richest animal rights group. We’ve learned a lot along the way, and we hope you have too.
More than 1.3 million unique visitors have visited this site in one year’s time, and 224,000 of you are our friends on Facebook. But not everyone was there from the very beginning, and a lot has happened in the past year. So for the rest of the week we’ll be taking you on a whirlwind tour through HumaneWatch highlights from Year One.
Today we bring you a virtual highlight reel of HumaneWatch's first three months on the prowl.
- We launched. We excluded PETA. We laid down the law. We deputized you. We got organized. We found our niche. The media welcomed us. We published a FAQ.
- Mike Rowe was never a vegan. Paul Shapiro was never normal. Yellow Tail never knew what hit ‘em.
- The HumaneWatch Document Library got its first document. HSUS sold its first “dog food.” We called our first “shenanigans” on HSUS’s membership numbers. HSUS hemmed and hawed about Shamu.
- Wayne Pacelle dissembled about hunting and HSUS’s pet-shelter spending (which was shrinking to just one-half of one percent).
- We learned HSUS isn’t allowed to run a university, or engage in propaganda and lobbying. We tried to attend a “class” at HSUS’s “university” and were expelled.
- We showed HSUS is a vegan pressure group. We showed off our first former HSUS donor. And we showed you Michael Vick.
- We uncorked a RICO lawsuit, a New York Times ad, and HSUS’s by-laws (which call for the “immediate relief of suffering,” not pension plans).
- After “Yellow Fail,” HSUS still had other corporate supporters. But soon Pilot Travel Centers backed away too.
- Our first public polling showed most Americans think HSUS is funding their local pet shelters. (Wrong.) We learned about HSUS’s shocking New York and California fundraising arrangements, and found that the group charges $25,000 to evaluate the shelters it’s not funding.
- HSUS made nice with Congress, but its “humane legislator of the year” isn’t exactly nice to wild animals.
- HSUS wants the whole country to adopt California’s “Prop 2.” Hill’s pet food left HSUS’s supporter list and Precious Cat kitty litter followed suit. Mary Kay cosmetics assured pink-Caddy owners everywhere that it’s not a sponsor.
- HSUS escorted Michael Vick to receive a “courage” award. Its leadership hung out with PETA supporters, ”Ching Hai” devotees, and the population control movement. We played a game of “spot the puppy mill,” and we put Paul Shapiro in a truth-serum-dispensing time machine.
- We interviewed an Ohio farm leader. We talked about HSUS moving the goalposts with its déjà vu ballot initiatives and infiltrating vegan kibble. We read Romans 14:2.
- We put HumaneWatch ads in Washington, DC bus shelters, and New Yorkers dissected HSUS’s mini-infomercials. Dr. Jim gave us a shout-out, and we showed HSUS knows how to splice video footage.
- We told USA Today readers about the real HSUS—and it wasn’t an April Fool’s joke. Neither is HSUS’s $8.5 million (now $11 million) executive pension plan.
- Charity Navigator downgraded HSUS’s ratings. Foundation Watch was never a fan to begin with. We compared the farmers HSUS seems to hate with a crook HSUS once honored.
- Wayne Pacelle strictly controlled the press at his Iowa egg presser. We offered some thoughts on how to fight back, and one observer thought the footage was staged.
- A legal scandal erupted after HSUS helped raid a South Dakota dog breeder. HSUS brought out its “Prop 2” veterans in Ohio. And a PETA staffer found his way to HSUS’s international arm in India. We reached up north to interview an Inuit.
- An Outdoor Life video blogger had a little fun on YouTube. A HumaneWatcher attended an HSUS “lobby day.” A Congressman criticized HSUS in the Baltimore Sun. And we found evidence that HSUS has been an animal “rights” group for thirty years.
Come back tomorrow for a look back at May through July.