Monday, June 20, 2011

Thanks for the Reminder, Wayne!

In case you weren't 100% sure that the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) offers nothing but a disinterested shrug to the question of whether or not non-human animals are ours to use, its President and CEO has issued yet another reminder:

I have been a vegan for 26 years, but the Humane Society is broad-minded when it comes to food. About 95 percent of our members are not vegetarian.

But I believe eating is a moral act, and we can make choices to minimize the suffering of (food) animals. We can buy cage-free eggs, buy pork that doesn't come from factory farms, and avoid eating veal and foie gras.

[... W]e don't say you must be vegan and we must stop all hunting. We're working to curb the worst abuses and we're very involved in the political realm.
If Wayne Pacelle earnestly views the question of consuming animals as a moral act -- one in which he does not directly partake himself, how on earth is it that he could condone that 95% of its members are not vegetarian and refer to this sad reality as "broad-minded"?

If "eating is a moral act", instead of paying lip-service to the rights of non-human animals to not be used as things existing solely for human pleasure, why not take the opportunity to suggest
not using them in the first place? Is doing so really so unthinkable to someone who chooses to refrain from using them himself? Why, instead, does he promote their continued use? Why does he opt to champion certain types of use as being somehow more moral than others? And why insist on doing it over and over again?

The truth is that HSUS is in the business of regulating animal treatment and without the continued consumption of animals and their products -- i.e. their continued use, Wayne Pacelle would find himself without his annual $250,000 (or so) salary. Why on earth promote veganism, then, when one's living is made off the blood of others? (An argument could also be made questioning whether someone who profits so clearly by facilitating the perpetuation of others' use of animals should, in good faith, consider himself vegan, but that's something I'll leave to better philosophers and debaters to weigh.)

Non-human animals deserve more than to have so-called animal advocates lulling people into continuing to provide the demand which leads to their being bred into lives of misery ending in slaughter. Maybe Wayne Pacelle doesn't think so, but I do. Don't you?

Go vegan. Talk to others about going vegan. If they're not ready to listen, talk to others who are. If you don't, who will? Certainly not Wayne Pacelle.


Daniel Wilson said...

Nice job Mylene. The sad truth is that's it's all about money. How else will Pacelle earn his million dollar a year salary if he offends 95% of his members? Funding might dry up if he promoted a vegan lifestyle. That's not good for business! The hell with morals and kindness and non-violence. Keep the money rolling in!

Brandon Becker said...

Pacelle's salary for the last year available (2009) was not a million dollars, but instead $234,026.

It's still a massive amount but far less than a million dollars.

M said...

Indeed! The 4-5 different sources I checked out all indicated something closer to the $250,000 mark (which I'd noted in my post), so your source definitely sounds correct.

Marty said...

The issue isn't his salary but the deception. Humane and killing really can't be used in the same sentence. It is all about the money though and HSUS is a self perpetuating entity whose interest is itself and not the animals it makes believe it represents.

Marty from Marty's Flying Vegan Review

M said...

Absolutely. How much he makes isn't really the point; CEOs of other non-profits make as much or more. That he profits off his perpetuation of animal exploitation is problematic, though, and even more so is the fact that he's perpetuating exploitation in the first place and presenting himself as an advocate for animals. Pacelle or the others at (or who support) HSUS have absolutely no interest in ending the human use of non-human animals; "95%" of the HSUS members would suddenly have to find themselves contemplating life without cheeseburgers and milkshakes and anyone on staff would find himself out of a job. Why on earth would they get behind the abolition of animal exploitation?

unpopular vegan essays said...

It’s all about the 95% of HSUS donors who exploit animals with their food options every day.

Daniel Wilson said...

Thanks everybody for the clarification. Thought I'd read somewhere he made a million dollars. Maybe I read a quarter million dollars? Anyhow, a quarter million dollars would be like a million dollars to me!!!

Still, it's a farce. Making that kind of money - hell, making a living - promoting the humane killing of animals while claiming to be vegan. Vegans don't exploit animals or encourage the exploitation of animals. Pacelle may be veganish, but he's not vegan!

Marty said...

Do you think he's any better or worse than a cattle rancher ir chicken farmer getting paid to raise animals?

Marty said...

I'm reading through a copy of Mercy For Animals "Compassionate Living" magazine and Nathan Runkle, (someone can look up how much he makes), talks about the ag-gag laws.

"It's our duty to throw open the doors of factory farms and expose it's ugly reality for all to see. This unobstructed view will undoubtedly compel many more compassionate consumers to explore humane, animal-free foods they can be proud of - produced in facilities where photographers are welcomed."

Doesn't that sound like a cry for veganism?

M said...

I agree, Dan (aka Unpopular Vegan Essays author extraordinaire)!

Daniel, given how much the definition of "vegan" has been kicked around, stretched, broken into components, altered and outright completely misrepresented, the sad truth is that even if Pacelle wasn't personally avoiding the consumption of animal products, he could probably find a way to slap the label on himself regardless -- at least as far as the mainstream media and general public would be concerned. But yeah, I agree completely that in keeping with what veganism really stands for that someone who both facilitates and profits from animal use doesn't seem like much of a vegan.

Marty, I certainly don't see Pacelle as any better than anyone else who perpetuates and profits from animal exploitation. I guess that in some ways I actually do see him as worse because he presents himself as a vegan, thus trying to give himself animal advocacy credibility, and he's actually in a position where he can educate the public about not using animals and refuses to do so. HSUS is more interested in placating a) those who raise and slaughter nonhuman animals so that they have an easier time engaging in the regulationist advocacy and work in which they do, and b) their non-vegan donors who want to be made to feel better about continuing to provide demand for animal parts and products. At a visceral level, because of all of the deception involved, this makes Pacelle -- and HSUS -- seem much worse than regular joes merely raising and slaughtering animals. But then again, there's deception all around in the animal slaughter industry, no? It's what helps to keep it in place.

M said...

Marty, I'm not sure what your endorsement of Mercy for Animals has to do with a post about HSUS and Wayne Pacelle, but I can assure you that Mercy for Animals is in no way an animal rights organization which concerns itself in any significant way with promoting veganism. I mentioned them briefly in another post recently (, but the problems with their advocacy are a lot worse (and much more complicated) than that. See this for more information:

Marty said...

I was sort of throwing that out, the comparison to farmers etc, as food for thought but my feelings about Pacelle and HSUS are the same as yours.

I was asking about MFA in the hopes that they might be different. Thanks for the links. I'm going to check them out.


Marty said...

Mylene, also, just to be clear I wasn't endorsing MFA in the least. I'm trying to figure out where they stand on the AR/Humane/welfare issues. I thought the statement I copied was a clear endorsement of veganism. That's all I was saying but I'm not endorsing any organization. I'm pretty firmly aligned with the abolitionist approach.

Marty said...

Great. More disappointing welfare crap.

Are there any real abolitionist organizations out there?


M said...

Marty, gotcha! (And I'm sorry to have been the bearer of bad news.)

The Compassionate Hedonist said...

ASPCA is just as bad as any animal product producer. they make a profit off of the suffering of animals. I haven't supported them in years.