If you forgot to mute the commercials during the Oscars last night, you might have seen a strange attack ad about how you should not, under any circumstances, donate money to The Humane Society, because they only give 1% of their donation money to “local shelters.” What the hell was that all about? Isn’t The Humane Society pretty well-regarded for their work helping adorable animals in trouble? Who hates our furry friends enough to run an ad like this, and furthermore, has the money to do so during the Oscars?
Why, the corporate food industry, of course. A little bit of online research reveals “Humane Watch” to be a project of “the Center for Consumer Freedom,” which is in turn run by right wing PR flack Rick Berman, who does quite a bit of the food industry’s dirty work. Why does the food industry hate the Humane Society? Well, in addition to using (way more than 1% of) its donations to provide shelter for stray cats and dogs, the Humane Society also spends money lobbying for its secret and evil agenda of more humane treatment for animals. And when said animals are farm animals, this has the potential to cause a dent in profits. Anti-cruelty measures backed by the HS in the past include dolphin-safe tuna fishing, (slightly) better treatment of downed cattle, regulations on horse slaughter, and the number of hens you’re allowed to cram into a shit-covered cage at once. Those crazy, freedom-destroying radicals!
Past causes of Mr. Berman’s include spreading lies about the health benefits of trans fats(!), sugary soft drinks, and fast food, as well as good ol’ fashioned global warming denial. In his free time, he makes videos about how the sky is purple and touching hot stoves will not burn you. But seriously, arguing these things under the guise of “consumer freedom” is some genuine doublespeak, no? Go here to donate money to The Humane Society.