This Magazine Needs to Get its Act in SHAPE

ShapeMagazineWhether you’re looking for “instant bad mood buster” or “mind-blowing sex” tips, the latest issue of SHAPE Magazine has it covered. Maybe its next issue should have 23 tips on dealing with frustration and angst, since that’s what many people would feel upon reading an article near the end of the magazine titled “Shape your life.” In the piece, a SHAPE advisory board member recommends readers give to the deceptively named Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

HSUS is not an animal welfare group, but an animal rights/liberation group. The group raises money deceptively, using pictures of dogs and cats to raise $100 million a year while giving only 1% of its budget to pet shelters. HSUS doesn’t run a single pet shelter.

However, most Americans and even HSUS donors are unclear about how their money is being used. According to polling, 71 percent of Americans think HSUS is an umbrella group for pet shelters, while 68 percent think that HSUS gives most of its money to hands-on, local shelters. In fact, 87% of HSUS donors report that they were not aware of how little money HSUS gives to pet shelters. When informed of this fact, 83% agreed somewhat or very much that HSUS “misleads people into thinking that it supports local humane societies and pet shelters.”

Instead, HSUS uses significant amounts of money to attack farmers. HSUS has admitted that its goal is the abolition of animal agriculture, which means no more cheese, meat, eggs, milk, butter, or yogurt, making the inclusion of HSUS a bit ironic. SHAPE’s latest issue includes recipes for barbecue chicken and pizza—both things that would be priced out of reach, or completely abolished, if the vegan radicals at HSUS had their way.

Aside from this deception, HSUS has received poor charity ratings from the watchdog CharityWatch for its spending on overhead, which has ranged as high as half of HSUS’s budget in recent years. HSUS is also a defendant, with two of its employees, in a federal racketeering lawsuit in which another animal rights group recently agreed to pay $9.3 million to settle.

HSUS has too much baggage. SHAPE should know better. Contact the magazine and let them politely know that local pet shelters, not HSUS, are far more deserving of support.