Bravo to the farm-belt radio program “AgriTalk” for giving its listeners a full hour to respond to yesterday’s interview with "Humane Wayne" Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). (We told you about that interview yesterday.) Our Research Director was on the air as Agritalk’s guest for the last 15 minutes of the open-line broadcast today. Here’s a little of what we had to say about HSUS, Pacelle, and their motives:

“Make no mistake—this guy [Pacelle] is basically running an organization that is every bit as radical as PETA. I like to say that the Humane Society of the U.S. is PETA with a nicer wristwatch and fewer naked interns … He’s doing it with a lot of name respectability, so he gets a softer-glove treatment than the PETA nuts do. But they want the same exact thing.
“Ultimately I don’t believe Wayne Pacelle when he says he doesn’t want to phase out livestock agriculture. He does. The people who work for him do. One of his senior managers is on record saying that ‘my goal is the abolition of animal agriculture.’”

We pointed out that HSUS’s website is full of advocacy for vegan-only diets, and yesterday’s HSUS “Independence Day” web feature is a great example. Eight recipes. No animal protein. (Smoky chipotle tofu patties and cucumber salad strike us as side dishes, not Fourth of July picnic staples.)
Here’s more from our radio rebuttal:

“This guy is an outsider. He’s not a stakeholder in animal agriculture. He comes in and says he wants to improve animal agriculture, but he doesn’t participate in it. He’s a vegan. He wouldn’t eat veal if you told him the animal was given a waterbed to sleep on, and three rubdowns a day, and its own iPod and Wii game. It doesn’t matter how well you treat the animals. Ultimately, the mere fact that you’re raising them for food constitutes cruelty in Wayne Pacelle’s book. In fact, I think asking the Humane Society of the U.S. and Wayne Pacelle how best to improve animal agriculture would be a lot like asking Rush Limbaugh for advice about how to improve the Democratic Party. We all understand that Limbaugh doesn’t want to improve the DNC. He wants to destroy it. And that’s what we have here with Pacelle.”

After discussing HSUS’s motives for wanting an anti-meat ballot initiative in Ohio next year, we took a moment to remind listeners about the phoniness of HSUS’s public image:

“What they really want to do is just enlarge their purse and make more money … Ultimately, that’s what they’re about. Remember: They’re not these well-meaning activists. They’re a business. We talk about animal-rights activism, [but] we ought to talk about the animal rights industry. This is a conflict industry, and HSUS has got $200 million in the bank. They want to grow to the point where they become unimpeachable, like the American Red Cross or a group like that. And at that point, they’ll be completely beyond the reach of ordinary people to fix.
“They [HSUS’s leaders] are rather opaque with their finances. And a very small percentage, about three and two-thirds percent, of their money actually goes to hands-on pet shelters. They don’t operate a single one of them, and that’s something most people don’t understand … Frankly, what America needs is a real national humane society, a group that would raise money and solely distribute it back to local shelters. What we have right now is a phony national humane society. It’s time that somebody got on the ball.”