We’ve been saying it for years, and this weekend Americans across the country saw it in big, front page-sized letters: Wayne Pacelle’s Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is an animal rights group. Not your local humane society. Hates zoos. Spends more trying to influence elections than Citigroup, Microsoft, or ExxonMobil. And it wants to push its radical agenda on you.
 
Remember all the fuss over “wing-flapping room” this election? That was only the beginning. Sacramento Bee reporter Aurelio Rojas explains:

Now that the nation’s largest animal rights group has effectively banned the caging of egg-laying hens in California, it is turning its focus to Washington.
A week after voters here overwhelmingly approved Proposition 2, [HSUS chief Wayne] Pacelle called on the Humane Society’s 10 million-plus members "to build on the momentum of that landmark outcome."
In e-mails, the group’s executive director urged "friends" to send a message to President-elect Barack Obama urging him to "consider animal protection a priority when appointing his secretary of agriculture."…
No longer does it just look out for dogs and cats; it’s a political power whose clout Pacelle believes one day will rival the National Rifle Association.
"We have the potential to be one of the most powerful forces in politics," Pacelle says.

But the scary thing is that Pacelle’s group already is one of the most powerful forces in politics. Aside from his recent call for “friends” to pressure the President-elect, Pacelle’s group spent over $5.2 million just on the 2008 election cycle. That’s more than the Teamsters Union, the American Bankers Association, or just about any other company, union, or political action committee (PAC) we could think of.
 
Now that HSUS is spreading its wings, Americans can expect a lot more Tofurky talk on the horizon. And maybe even a few protests against AIDS and cancer research.
 
Sound familiar? It should. Boil down the rhetoric to its ideology, and HSUS and PETA are one and the same. Except that at HSUS, the wristwatches are solid gold. (And the interns keep their clothes on.)