We recently obtained a fundraising letter from the Humane Society of the United States that really piqued our interest—and not just to mock the low-grade socks that were included. In the letter, the Humane Society of the United States claimed that donations help the organization “investigate and expose brutal industries” including “internet hunting.”
Huh? Come again? We have some familiarity with hunting terminology, but this one mystified us. Since HSUS is asking for money to help “investigate” internet hunting (while only spending 1% of its budget on funding local shelters), we thought we would do some investigating of our own to learn more about this industry. Here’s what we learned about Internet hunting:
1) In 2005, a lone Texas rancher made news because he wanted to start a webcam hunting website. The website was shut down almost immediately after its launch.
2) In 2007, an article entitled “Internet Hunting Mostly A Myth” stated, “Remember all that outrage a couple years ago over ‘Internet hunting’? … It turns out there weren’t really Web ‘sites,’ the Wall Street Journal reports. More like one site, which was shut down almost soon as it opened. And, despite the fact that 33 states have outlawed the Internet hunting since 2005 and a bill to ban it nationally has been introduced into Congress, ‘nobody actually hunts over the Internet.’”
3) There’s not a single website that we can find offering internet hunting. To our knowledge, there are no plans to set up a commercial Internet hunting business in the future.
4) HSUS seems to concur with the previous statement, as its website offers a fact sheet on internet hunting. In response to the question “Is it [internet hunting] still happening?” HSUS admits “not at the moment.”
So let’s get this straight. HSUS sent out a fundraising letter claiming it will “investigate and expose” industries like Internet hunting, but HSUS acknowledges that Internet hunting is not happening.
Perhaps HSUS’s next fundraising letter will say that donations will stop unicorn hunting or prevent a jolly old man from enslaving flying reindeer (along with more cheap socks). Or perhaps—one day—HSUS will focus its attention on local animal shelters. We can hope.