Animal Rights Group's Reward Offer Disingenuous
Fraction of What It Spent Fighting Anti-Terror Legislation
August 8, 2008 - In response to the recent animal rights-related fire bombings and acts of domestic terrorism focused on researchers at University of California-Santa Cruz, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) offered a $2,500 reward for information related to the attacks, one of which police classified as attempted murder. Since HSUS has over $200 million in assets, this peace offering appears to be but a token, belated and of questionable intent.
The offer is especially paradoxical in light of the fact that $2,500 is likely a mere fraction of the funds HSUS spent fighting passage of domestic terrorism legislation in several states and the Animal Enterprise Protection Act (AETA) in the past few years.1 The state bills and the federal AETA passed in spite of HSUS' efforts, and those who are currently threatening California scientists will be facing serious jail time once convicted. HSUS, however, continues to push for AETA's repeal.
In a statement released on August 4, Wayne Pacelle, HSUS' President and CEO said , "One cannot claim to be an animal protection advocate and threaten violence against other people, even if we disagree with what they are doing. This behavior is antithetical to the core principles of the humane movement."
"While Pacelle's statement makes sense, he does not directly condemn illegal activities which have become commonplace with those embracing the animal liberation philosophy," said Kay Johnson Smith, Executive Vice President of the Animal Agriculture Alliance. "Just over two weeks ago, Karen Davis, President of United Poultry Concerns, was an invited speaker at HSUS' annual Taking Action for Animals conference. Davis is notorious for her claim that the September 11 terrorist attacks 'reduced the amount of suffering in the world' because many of those killed in the attack likely ate chicken (for more click here). Where were Pacelle's convictions in mid-July?"
Similarly, where were Pacelle's convictions when he hired former Animal Liberation Front (ALF) spokesman JP Goodwin in 1997?2 ALF is one of the FBI's top domestic terror concerns (for more click here). That same year, Goodwin acted as ALF spokesman for a Petaluma, California slaughterhouse arson and shocked the public with his comments on another arson at a farmer's feed co-op in Utah. "We're ecstatic," he said.3 After dropping the JP from his name, the man now known as John Goodwin currently works fulltime at HSUS.
The Animal Agriculture Alliance, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, is a broad-based coalition of individual producers, producer organizations, suppliers, packer-processors, private industry and retailers. The Alliance's mission is to communicate the important role of animal agriculture to our nation's economy, productivity, vitality, security and that animal well-being is central to producing safe, high-quality, affordable food and other products essential to our daily lives.
1 Terrorism bill would stiffen penalties for animal rights threats, Carrie Spencer, Associated Press, March 29, 2005
2 Blunt CEO defends Humane Society from attack dogs, Tom Hennessy, Long Beach Press-Telegram, August 26, 2007
3 Activists take credit for Sandy fur fire, Cala Byram, The Deseret News, March 11, 1997