HSUS: Where Gaining P.R. > Stopping Cruelty
We wrote recently about the surge in proposed laws this year addressing the videotaping of animal cruelty on farms. One proposal, introduced last month in New Hampshire and now also inTennessee, would simply require that anyone who films livestock cruelty report it to law enforcement within 24 hours.
That seems entirely reasonable to us, as it doesn’t ban the activists from speaking but does get the authorities involved right away so that they—who have an impartial agenda, unlike HSUS—can call the shots on how to proceed with handling the alleged abuse.
It’s a matter of stopping cruelty faster, and by opposing the New Hampshire bill, HSUS and its fellow vegans show that they care more about P.R. than in stopping abuse.
Case in point: Consider a 2008 HSUS investigation at a California slaughterhouse that showed “downer” (non-ambulatory) cows going into the food supply. Downer cows have a higher risk of having mad cow disease, which causes brain degeneration, so it could have been a food safety issue.
Did HSUS report what it saw right away? You would think it should have, not only to stop any ongoing abuse but also since it later milked the food safety angle for all of it was worth. But it didn’t. New York Times reporter Joe Nocera analyzed the timeline and motives:
[T]he Humane Society investigator began shooting film in early October. If what he saw was really a danger to the food supply, didn’t he and [HSUS CEO] Mr. Pacelle have a responsibility to bring it to the federal government immediately? Instead, the undercover investigator stayed on site for another six weeks. Even then, the federal government didn’t learn of the video until it was leaked to The [Washington] Post at the end of January — nearly two months later.
Yes, you read that right. HSUS sat on the tapes and withheld them from federal authorities. That’s important, because after the feds did get the tapes they shut down the plant, since the USDA is charged with enforcing slaughter regulations. But by then, the plant had been operating for months, and Pacelle and his kooky sidekick Michael Greger had ample opportunity to make bombastic statements to the press and Congress—and in Greger’s case that may have included perjury, as we observed at the time.
We suggest you read the whole piece to get all of the details, but Nocera concluded after hearing out both sides that “It’s Mr. Pacelle who’s playing Russian roulette with the truth.” Considering Pacelle’s a guy who puts himself before animals, that kind of behavior is not surprising in the least.