It seems that Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of HSUS, has been busy traveling coast to coast, spending some of HSUS' millions to field pre-submitted questions from HSUS supporters. According to his blog post on October 22, many people have been asking what they can "do to help The HSUS and animal protection". Pacelle's enthusiasm was definitely infectious at the beginning of his blog post; I have to admit that I got a little excited, myself! I thought, "50 whole options! Surely one of them must be..." and then found myself shaking my head a little sadly as I made my way through the items.
Pacelle asserts that the "movement" can only succeed if millions "take these positive actions" and adds that "we can all pitch in to raise funds to support the vital work of The HSUS and allow it to grow and be a more powerful and effective force" (i.e. please send bigger donation checks). So what are the positive actions? Pacelle presents them under different categorical headings:
In Your Community:
- Encourage your local media to run information and PSAs from HSUS and distribute HSUS leaflets at events.
- Take advantage of HSUS' various humane education programs to learn to spread the HSUS message, attend HSUS conferences and awards ceremonies, volunteer at HSUS events, take a course through HSUS' Humane Society University.
- With HSUS' Wildlife Land Trust and the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association Field Services program. It's also mentioned that you can volunteer at your local shelter, although it sticks out a little as a non-HSUS option.
- Lobby, lobby, lobby for HSUS campaigns and initiatives.
- Get kids involved in HSUS initiatives and help get HSUS into your local schools.
- Support HSUS corporate sponsors. Buy things through HSUS.
- Give HSUS more of your own money, organize HSUS fundraisers to raise additional money for HSUS, and finally, host a social event and invite an HSUS representative to come talk to your friends and family about why they should be giving money to HSUS.
- Sign up for HSUS alerts and promote them through your blog / website / social networking and support their highly-publicized and celebrity-endorsed single issue campaigns (e.g. the illogical "Boycott purchasing / eating one kind of Canadian animal until the Canadian government stops killing another kind of Canadian animal" campaign).
The remaining suggestions about what you can do on a personal level to "help The HSUS and animal protection" were just more of the same old stuff I've come to expect from this welfarist group. Pacelle basically lists off a bunch of half-hearted things that are more about making yourself feel better than they are about taking the interests of animals seriously. He does so while walking around the big ol' elephant in his living room (or swank HSUS office, whichever the case may be). That elephant is veganism.
In a list of 50, there is no mention made of simply not using or exploiting animals as a viable option to "help" them. Instead of suggesting that you purchase animal-free cosmetics, he says to ensure that the cosmetics you use haven't been "tested" on animals. Instead of suggesting that you frequent vegan restaurants, he suggests that you try to talk restaurants into carrying more "cage-free" eggs. Instead of suggesting you go vegan, he suggests you reduce your meat consumption and avoid factory-farmed products. He does mention replacing "meat and other animal-based food with vegetarian food", which is confusing. By "animal-based food", does he mean things that contain animal flesh and that these should be replaced with eggs or dairy? I mean, if by "animal-based food" he meant eggs and dairy, then he should have said that they should be replaced with VEGAN food instead of side-stepping the issue and treating 'vegan' as if it's a dirty word.
What's HSUS going to do about that elephant in your living room, Wayne? 'Cause surely, ignoring him isn't humane. Isn't it time for an HSUS "Go Vegan!" campaign?