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HSUS Spoofed, Abuse Video Revealed

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  • The Center For Consumer Freedom (CCF) spoofs popular Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) commercials asking for $19/month to not save pets, but instead, to save lawyers. Meanwhile, HSUS has unveiled yet another video of animal abuse.
     
  • Read more about extreme groups like PETA and HSUS here.

The Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) is PETA in business suits, and their main mission isn’t saving dogs and cats -- it’s abolishing animal agriculture and eliminating meat, dairy and eggs from the dinner table. They accomplish this through litigation, legislation, lobbying, ballot initiatives, bullying and pulling on the heartstrings of consumers with emotional campaigns.

One of the most popular campaigns is a commercial asking for just $19/month to save dogs and cats. With images of neglected dogs and cats, the video implies that the donations will be used to help fund animal shelters and assist with adoptions; however, according to the animal rights group’s own tax documents, it shared just 1% of its $126-million budget with pet sheltering organizations nationwide in 2010. In the same year, HSUS employed around 50 lawyers, spent an astounding $47 million in fundraising-related costs, and parked $32 million in hedge funds.

HumaneWatch.org, a project of the Center for Consumer Freedom, recently put together a video spoof of the HSUS fundraising television commercials.

The video already has more than 207,000 views. Check it out here.

On a decidedly more serious and horrifying note, HSUS recently revealed hidden video footage taken at Wyoming Premium Farms, a hog facility in Wheatland, WY.

You can read the news coverage and check out the video here.

While the images in the video are absolutely horrifying, and I absolutely do not support the bad apples in food production, I believe animal rights activists who go undercover to capture these videos are also in the wrong. If they truly care about animals, why not report the abuse right away instead of keeping the camera rolling? Too often, we hear that the activists actually play a part in the animal abuse, in order to push forward their own hidden agendas. It’s maddening to see such animal abuse; however, I encourage viewers to take HSUS-produced videos with a grain of salt. The organization makes a lot of money using clips like this that it keeps in its arsenal and, given the source, I have to question the validity of this video and others like it.

It’s important to note that 97% of farms are family-owned and operated, and it’s these families who care for the animals and the land to produce safe, wholesome products to feed the world.

What are your thoughts on the HumaneWatch spoof and the HSUS video?

Discuss this Blog Entry 9

delos.thompson (not verified)
on May 10, 2012

They play on sympathy. The problem with these folks is that they will help an animal.before they help a person in need. We all all will be judged one day for our deeds done in this ole world. One needs to keep God's priorities in His alignment.

Scott Armstrong (not verified)
on May 10, 2012

According to the USDA, ninety-one percent of farms in the US are considered "small family farms" (with sales of less than $250,000 per year), and those farms produce twenty-seven percent of U.S. agricultural output. The vast majority of animal products come from factory farms, not family farms.

You say "If they truly care about animals, why not report the abuse right away instead of keeping the camera rolling?" -- For the same reason that undercover cops don't expose an illegal operation the minute they see something wrong. They have to provide enough evidence of illegal behavior to show that it is the prevailing modus operandi, not just a "bad apple" on a bad day.

"Too often, we hear that the activists actually play a part in the animal abuse, in order to push forward their own hidden agendas." -- That's because the guilty parties lie, just as they did (and do) in any industry. Caught abusing animals, it is easier to say "It wasn't us...really! It must be a set-up." Google farm animal abuse -- you'll see that it's not a challenge getting footage of abusive practices; the "set-up" claim is nothing but malicious falsehoods, and that's why it's so often couched as you did here: "Too often we hear..." - to protect those making the false claims from charges of libel.

"It’s maddening to see such animal abuse; however, I encourage viewers to take HSUS-produced videos with a grain of salt." -- How hypocritical: "No we won't stand for animal abuse, but don't take the videos seriously, and don't patronize those who work to stop animal abuse."

Anonymous (not verified)
on May 10, 2012

In the investigations that follow the release of videos such as this, have any activists ever actually been charged with mischief for setting-up or encouraging the animal abuse? Anyway, why even chase that Red Herring?!

We do know that those same investigations have resulted in the conviction of some farm owners or their employees, and so this tells us that, unfortunately, these things really do happen sometimes.

Even if this happens on just a very small proportion of farms, it does way more damage than the vast majority, who do a good job, can possibly repair. I do not think that questioning the validity of the video will win us any points with consumers either.

on May 10, 2012

I would love to see that on TV someday.

Anonymous (not verified)
on May 10, 2012

would love to see this on tv and wake up the u.s. to their actions.

Anonymous (not verified)
on May 10, 2012

The animal liberationists don't have a good track record for telling the truth about their videos. They use a lot of innuendo in telling us what the animals are saying......
I've been working on my dog lately and he has yet to say any of the alphabet yet.

The Bermanator (not verified)
on May 11, 2012

Center for Consumer Freedom, Human Watch, & others tied to DC Lobbyist Rick Berman

Masquerading as a legitimate non-profit organization, the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) is a front group for corporations trying to thwart unions and animal welfare, environmental, and other public interest reforms.

Far from being a consumer protection organization, CCF takes in corporate cash and, in exchange, provides anonymity to well-financed businesses, allowing them to fund attacks against legitimate advocacy groups while taking tax breaks through their “donations” to phony non-profits.

CCF was started with a payment from tobacco companies to attack anti-smoking organizations. With support from the food and alcohol industries and Big Ag, CCF and its affiliates have mounted campaigns against unions, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Humane Society of the United States, and other respected and credible organizations.

For the sake of protecting corporations’ bottom lines, CCF has fought against legislation that would reduce the use of plastic shopping bags, and fought New York City’s efforts to combat childhood obesity, saying that Mayor Bloomberg might as well “cut to the chase and outlaw fun while he’s at it.”

In an attempt to thwart even the most modest reforms, CCF hirelings sling mud on behalf of big businesses that profit from the mistreatment of people and animals.

Richard Berman, Corporate Henchman
CCF is one of several shadowy non-profit organizations founded by or associated with millionaire lobbyist, lawyer and spin doctor, Richard Berman. According to CCF’s 2008 tax filing, 92 percent of all revenue taken in by CCF went straight into the pockets of Berman and his for-profit PR firm, which appears to be nothing less than a personal enrichment scheme.

Berman’s corporate shell game with sham non-profits, his underhanded tactics against charities and public interest organizations, and his refusal to disclose the identity of his corporate paymasters, have been exposed in investigations by major news media, including CBS’ 60 Minutes, which headlined its investigation on Berman as “Meet Dr. Evil.”

Melanie Sloan of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics described Berman’s mode of operation as “Orwellian speak down, turning black into white.”

Attacking Environmental, Health and Animal Advocates and Unions
Berman’s history shows that he will attack any group for the right price. The New York Times reports that Berman built a career working on labor issues and campaigned against minimum-wage increase.

Under the misleadingly named group Center for Union Facts, Berman led a vicious campaign against labor unions with TV commercials and full-page ads in large papers such as USA Today.
“We haven’t seen anything like this, anything that’s as high profile, as seemingly well-funded, as systematic, in a long time,” said Paul Clark, a professor of labor studies and industrial relations at Penn State University, of the attack on union leaders.

A spokeswoman for the American Federation of Labor - Congress of Industrial Organizations called Berman’s campaign, “outrageous and unfounded.”

Berman moved on to attack health organizations that worked to address obesity; organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving that worked to prevent drunken driving fatalities; and animal protection organizations that work for humane treatment of farm animals.

Feeding misleading information to the media and public figures who repeat it is what Berman does best, but people can protect themselves from playing into the hands of this corporate conman by recognizing his phony nonprofit organizations that are quoted in advertisements and articles.

Misleading Groups Affiliated with Rick Berman
• Center for Consumer Freedom
• Center for Union Facts
• American Beverage Institute
• Humane Society for Shelter Pets
• HumaneWatch

What others are saying:

• "My father is a despicable man. My father is a sort of human molester. An exploiter. A scoundrel. … He props up fast food/soda/factory farming/childhood obesity and diabetes/drunk driving/secondhand smoke. He attacks animal lovers, ecologists, civil action attorneys, scientists, dieticians, doctors, and teachers. His clients include everyone from the makers of Agent Orange to the Tanning Salon Owners of America. …" – David Berman, son of CCF founder Rick Berman.
• “[Berman] obviously has made a very monetarily successful career out of bashing, smearing and attacking environmentalists. … He’s perfected the art of the personal attack and the personal smear.” – John Stauber, head of Center for Media and Democracy
• “I call him Dr. Evil because the policies he’s shilling for are evil. They make the rich richer and the poor poorer.” – Richard Bensiger, former director of organizing for the American Federation of Labor - Congress of Industrial Organizations
• “Maybe the group should change its Web site from ConsumerFreedom.com to FatforProfit.com.” – Editorial, USA Today, May 4, 2005.
• “[Berman and CCF] make a lot of noise, but nobody in academia takes their arguments seriously.” – Dr. David Ludwig, director of the obesity program at the Boston Children’s Hospital.
• “The companies that are working with [CCF] want their critics debunked and trashed…They can secretly participate in that by funding Berman.” – Michael Jacobson, Ph. D., executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
• “Tax experts have raised questions… about the Center for Consumer Freedom’s status as a charity.”—Chronicle of Philanthropy, March 11, 2010
• “Berman is the best, and apparently most hated, example of a third party hired by companies to be their public face as they take on unpopular battles.” – USA Today reporter H. Darr Beiser

Sources:
I. USA Today, July 31, 2006. H. Darr Beiser “Got a nasty fight? Here’s your man.”
II. Pittsburg Post-Gazette, June 8, 2006. Anya Sostek “TV ad targeting unions raises profile of campaign against labor leaders”
III. Pittsburg Post-Gazette, June 8, 2006. Anya Sostek “TV ad targeting unions raises profile of campaign against labor leaders”
IV. USA Today, July 31, 2006. H. Darr Beiser “Got a nasty fight? Here’s your man.”
V. USA Today, July 31, 2006. H. Darr Beiser “Got a nasty fight? Here’s your man.”
VI. New York Times, June 12, 2005. Melanie Warner “Striking Back at the Food Police.”
VII. USA Today, July 31, 2006. H. Darr Beiser “Got a nasty fight? Here’s your man.”

Rex Peterson (not verified)
on May 11, 2012

Watched the video with the sound off and saw the photos.
Tossing pigs and bouncing on a down animal is just stupid.
For all people raising livestock, I am concerned with the rest of the vidoe and all the photos.. They are typical, natural bad things that happen: prolapses, premies, still births, bites, realizers, dead animals. With enough patience, they could put together similar images on any family farm.

Lindycat (not verified)
on May 11, 2012

The video was made undercover and has been edited. It could make a situation look much worse than it actually is. For instance, pigs have a natural piercing scream used under the slightest provocation. I threw a loop over a pigs neck once and it screamed bloody murder though it was suffering no harm. Also, sows often eat their young, and sometimes have more piglets than teats. This results in some gruesome events that are not inhumane, but are completely natural, though hard for the uninitiated to watch. It is dangerous to move a sow away from her piglets necessitating the more aggressive stance. If this is done to protect vulnerable piglets, then I assume folks would have no problem with it. Having said all this, if actual abuse can be proven...then these folks should be charged.

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