Letter: HSUS side of the story doesn't show big pictureLawyer and hog farmer Joe Maxwell tries to confuse readers with smoke and mirrors about his employer, the Humane Society of the United States.
By: Rick Berman, Executive Director, Center for Consumer Freedom, Washington, D.C., Worthington Daily Globe
Lawyer and hog farmer Joe Maxwell tries to confuse readers with smoke and mirrors about his employer, the Humane Society of the United States. While Maxwell states that HSUS is approved by the Better Business Bureau, readers should also be aware that HSUS pays the BBB $15,000 a year, so that should tell readers all they need to know about the credibility of that “approval.” A respected and truly independent charity watchdog, the American Institute of Philanthropy, gives HSUS a “D” grade for excessive spending on fundraising and overhead. [“Column: The other side of the story,” Feb. 5]
Moreover, trotting out some of the few examples of good work in no way excuses HSUS’s wealth of bad deeds, starting with its deceptive fundraising practices. While raising money off the impression that its work is mostly to save cats and dogs, it uses the money for other purposes, including to employ dozens of lawyers and lobbyists, to plow money into fundraising firms and to pour millions into an executive pension plan — all while not running a single pet shelter. Members of Congress have written the IRS Inspector General asking for an investigation of HSUS, and HSUS is even a defendant in a federal racketeering lawsuit for its alleged role in a fraudulent scheme to bribe a witness.
Having a token farmer on staff does not mean that HSUS is in any way pro-agriculture. HSUS and its farm campaign are run by strict vegans who have made absurd statements such as “there’s never an excuse to kill and eat an animal” and “eating meat causes animal cruelty.” HSUS’s food policy director has compared using animals for food to the Holocaust. A few years ago, a then-vice president of HSUS stated “We don’t want any of these animals to be raised and killed [for food]” and that HSUS’s goal was to “get rid of the entire [animal agriculture] industry.”
Those statements make it very clear that HSUS’s eventual goal is to eliminate all animal farming, and the organization’s strategy is to try to divide the farming community, attacking common farming methods while giving a pass (for now) to alternative systems that are more expensive and less productive. Maxwell may favor producing the kind of pork that affluent Whole Foods shoppers can afford —and may see a short-term business opportunity for himself in working for HSUS —but there needs to be diversity in farming to provide affordable options for all Americans. HSUS is looking out for its PETA-like agenda, not farmers or the 99 percent of consumers who eat animal products.