It’s been more than two years since disgraced former Humane Society United States CEO Wayne “The Predator” Pacelle resigned after multiple women came forward with credible accusations of sexual harassment against him. The ousting came only as several members of the board resigned and several donors threatened to pull their financial support. Pacelle dismissed the accusations as some sort of conspiracy–“a coordinated attempt to attack me and the organization.”
This could’ve been the end of Pacelle. But like a vulture to a carcass, Pacelle can’t keep away from lobbying, publicity, and money.
Despite supposedly agreeing to a non-compete agreement with HSUS, Pacelle has gone on to start two new animal rights organizations. (Meanwhile, HSUS won’t let his accusers out of non-disclosure agreements.) The first organization, Karner Blue Center for a Humane Economy, focuses on using investment funds to push companies to adopt vegan policies.
Pacelle’s main organization, Animal Wellness Action, has focused mainly on the issues of horse racing, wolf management, and animal fighting (the latter being somewhat ironic given his history rehabbing Michael Vick’s image).
Pacelle is now trying to position himself as an advocate for consumer choice. In a recent press release, he writes, “Consumer choice. What is more apple pie than that? We don’t even think about it. Whether clothes, cars, or cosmetics, we pick the brand and shop for the deal.”
He’s right. Consumer choice is as American as apple pie. But Pacelle is firmly on the side against choice–for clothes and other products.
Under Pacelle, HSUS lobbied for years to ban natural fur–a movement that finally gained some steam when L.A. and San Francisco, and later California, passed fur bans. Pacelle, a vegan, is also against wearing wool and leather but is smart enough to let PETA pick multifront wars for him. Why can’t people wear what they want?
Pacelle also lobbied for laws banning the sale of regular eggs in the state of California, allowing only more expensive cage-free eggs to be sold in the state. This attack on consumer choice caused a dramatic increase in prices–something that hits lower-income families the hardest. A subsequent HSUS ballot measure in 2018 also bans the sale of conventionally produced pork by 2022.
“Consumer choice” is just Wayne Pacelle’s latest bout of dishonesty. At the end of the day, people like him think that the rest of us should be banned from the choice to purchase animal products.