Snark's View: Wayne Dances with the Facts

Editor's note: Snark, the HumaneWatch cat, awoke from one of his many naps and saw something HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle posted on his blog a few days ago. He carefully typed out a reply on the special paw-accessible keyboard we set up for him at HumaneWatch Central. It would be fine if you like it, but frankly Snark doesn’t really care.

The guys over at HumaneWatch bought a nice polyester scratching post for me last week, so I’ve been busy toning my paws lately. Damn, that’s tiring. And I go into food coma from all the treats around here.

Anyhoo, in between long bouts of staring out the window I finally set aside some time to catch up on my reading. Some of the dreck out there on the Internet is just so pathetic. Have you read Gwyneth Paltrow’s e-newsletter? What a giant hairball that woman is.

And you can have Wayne Pacelle’s latest spin-control exercise too. The essay where he pits everyone else’s “false claims” against his own “facts”? The whole thing belongs in my litter box.

Wayne took a lot of heat in Missouri over the whole “Proposition B” shtick. Not for nothing, Wayne, but where the hell are you guys on funding shelters? I’ve got second and third cousins out there who live off the residuals from their “Hang In There” posters. It’s like they have to move in with a hoarder to get your attention.

So Prop B just barely passed—and it looks like Missouri lawmakers might neuter the damned thing anyway. (I probably shouldn’t joke about that…) So it’s no surprise that the fragile Pacelle flower is defensively lashing out.

But you’d think the guy would actually check with his lawyers and accountants before he starts putting his name on arguments that stink like last week’s tuna. Yes, Wayne-O, we know lots of people say HSUS spends less than one percent of its funds on actual pet care. Want to know why? Because it’s true.

Still, he spouts off some blah-blah-blah about spending “more than $20 million a year on our programs that support local animal shelters and provide direct care for domestic animals and wildlife.”

That’s like me saying I spend all of my time sleeping, eating, purring, and curing cancer. Technically true, right? So what if I only dabble in oncology between 4:15 and 4:20 on Sundays? (It’s a feline leukemia thing. My Uncle Morty’s got it.)

Less than one percent of HSUS’s money goes out to hands-on pet shelters. Yes, yes, I know Wayne and his staff of flying monkeys* say that’s not true. But I’ve seen their tax returns and I’m not buyin’ what Wayne (or his ghostwriter) is selling. Yeah, I said it: Ghostwriter. If this guy were a cat he’d hire someone else to bury his poop. Just sayin’.

Then he gripes about how so many ranchers and farmers believe HSUS “isn’t interested in improving farm animal welfare, but only in ending animal agriculture.”

Well, duh.

Yes, I understand that Wayne has the occasional tea with a handful of “animal producers”—mostly people who haven’t read their Churchill. And I get that he works hand-in-hand with something called the Global Animal Partnership (GAP—not the cool blue-jeans people). But guess what? GAP used to be called the Animal Compassion Foundation. It was founded by Whole Foods CEO John Mackey, a vegan just like Wayne-O. And it’s run by a former HSUS vice-president, another vegan. Get my drift?

Besides, the Iranians are all chummy with Venezuela this month too. How long do you think that’ll last? Ever heard of back-stabbing? (Or backclawing? Let’s not be speciesist.)

Wayne has given the meat-eating, milk-drinking world (that’s most people, and all cats) plenty of reasons to believe that “improving farm animal welfare” is code for “ending animal agriculture.”

And some of those “reforms” HSUS pushes don’t necessarily lead to better animal welfare anyway. If I were a hen that sat around and laid eggs all day, and someone told me I could have a bigger cage if I was willing to triple my risk of dying before my time was supposed to be up, there’s no way I take that bet. Do you?

And why doesn’t HSUS endorse any “humane” meat anyway? Put your pretty logo on some kind of meat—any kind, even the chicken in my Meow Mix—and I’ll believe you don’t want to run every animal farmer out of business.

This one is my favorite: Wayne is all catnippy, jumping around and bitching about California egg farmers who say he “has destroyed” their industry. OK, Wayne—you’ve got us there. Cracked our little past-tense secret code. Smart boy. See, it’s only been 2 years since HSUS pushed Proposition 2 through the 2008 election. So maybe HSUS “is well on its way toward destroying” egg production out there. Is that better?

You gotta love how Wayne dances around with carefully crafted answers and thinks we’ll all suddenly believe him. Suuure: HSUS isn’t out to end animal agriculture. And it doesn’t neglect pet shelters in need of support? Yep. And I’m secretly a Chihuahua.

I once had an Aunt—Princess Blossom Pepper Doodle Litter-Clump von Yummy Pants—and she could spot a phony like Pacelle from a mile away. She used to say “When there’s hair on the couch, no amount of masking tape is gonna pick it all up.” Then again, she also used to say “Napping in a sunbeam is for wusses.” I never liked her.

While I’m writing, here’s one more thought for Chairman Wayne Tofu Spray Tan von Veganstein: Can you please, pleeeeze abandon your quest to veganize us house pets? Felis catus didn’t emerge from 35 million years of evolution with these long pointy fangs just so I could chew on soft vegetables like some old man. Pet me, hold me, do that thing where you stroke my back and my butt goes up in the air. Drop me and watch me land on my feet. Whatever. Just don’t blow smoke at me. I’m not amused.

* Note: HSUS does not actually believe in training monkeys to fly.