“Zombie groups” raise funds & do little else
[Video version is accessible at https://youtu.be/NleYZ6GAC8Y.]
Hi folks. I’m Steve Hindi for SHowing Animals Respect & Kindness.
My friends Beth and Merritt Clifton of ANIMALS 24-7 on May 9, 2021 posted an article, Animal labs get free pass on inspections; AV groups mostly don’t notice, that, if anyone were paying attention, should have caused serious, serious outrage.
Explained ANIMALS 24-7, “Three business days plus a weekend of apparent near-complete non-response from the animal advocacy community have elapsed since the Harvard Law School Animal Law & Policy Clinic on May 5, 2021 revealed that the Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service in 2019 secretly quit doing complete annual inspections of animal research facilities.”
HSUS president wrote a blog post
Humane Society of the U.S. president Kitty Block and Humane Society Legislative Fund president Sara Amundson did finally get around to jointly writing a blog post, two days later, which asked members of their organizations to “urge the USDA to do full inspections.”
Otherwise, the only hint of outrage appears to have been from a minor anti-vivisection society that thought it should have been recognized for having supposedly sent an email of protest to the USDA, with no public announcement, before the Harvard Law School Animal Law & Policy Clinic disclosed the non-inspections.
The electronic transmission record showed that the email was sent three days later, three hours after Science magazine online editor David Grimm amplified the Harvard Law School Animal Law & Policy Clinic findings to an international audience of scientists and lay people.
“Indicative of what is happening elsewhere in animal protection”
The mega-million dollar groups having visibly done little or nothing about the flagrant USDA dereliction of duty to enforce the federal Animal Welfare Act, included, besides the Humane Society of the U.S., the American Anti-Vivisection Society, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, In Defense of Animals, the National Anti-Vivisection Society, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals [PETA], and others.
Even now, it is not clear that any of them are doing much of anything, for instance by organizing demonstrations or filing lawsuits. The Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service appears to be getting away unscathed for not doing their job for at least two years.
Unfortunately, the inattention to what is going on in the realm of vivisection is indicative of what is happening elsewhere in animal protection. Animal protection groups today––especially the big ones––do very, very little for animals.
The efforts of these groups are directed more at fundraising than action to help animals. It’s really just another form of exploitation.
Only remnant of life is fundraising
There are exceptions, such as Last Chance for Animals, the Humane Farming Association, Fish Feel and some others. I’ve seen these people in the field, and they take action.
They are not hoarding hundreds of millions of dollars while relentlessly begging for more. But generally, self-enrichment is the name of the game in animal protection today, not animal protection. That is an appalling reality.
The other day I was talking to someone in the movement whom I’ve known for years. He has worked in a number of animal organizations.
He referenced these as “zombie” groups, mainly dead. The only remnant of life remaining is aimed at fundraising. There is little if any real effort at making a better world for animals.
Today, big groups especially cater to the whims and egos of their big donors, and how to tug at the heartstrings of new suckers.
So long as the money keeps rolling in, that is good enough for those groups. Gone are ethics, morals or conscience. Gone is the real work of saving animals.
“Animal protection has become a cult”
Zombie groups. My friend hit it right on the head. That is the bulk of animal protection today, and it really sucks.
It’s not really a movement any more. Today’s animal protection is far more an industry. And that whole “nonprofit” thing? Forget about it. Some of them may sell more logo-covered branded merchandise than Banana Republic.
In many ways, animal protection has become a cult, similar to today’s Republican party.
Statements and positions are no longer judged by truth or accuracy, but rather, how well does it comport with the party line, and whatever you do, don’t criticize the “dear leaders.”
There was a time when SHARK and I would go to animal conferences to try to infuse some energy and action into the movement. We would show people our hi-pods, and our drones and high-powered cameras, and other technology accomplishing great strides for animals. We wanted to get people involved, be it with us, with other groups, or on their own.
“Curiosity, active training, active thought”
But this approach entails curiosity, active training, active thought, and perhaps of most concern, work—hard work in weather extremes and dangerous and unfriendly environments.
Finding productivity in animal protection these days is like trying to find a T-bone steak in a vegan restaurant. Empty platitudes are far more popular, and they require a lot less effort.
Movement leaders didn’t like the things I said at their little soirees. They didn’t like it when I pointed out that weak leaders result in weak followers. That’s an indisputable fact that applies anywhere, be it an army, a corporation, a family, and most certainly, a movement.
Weak leaders in the animal protection movement have led to groups doing almost nothing of substance, and followers who think that this is acceptable, while millions and billions of animals die.
I’ve often said that animals deserve a far, far better movement. You can imagine how well that goes over with those weak leaders. But it’s true.
I’d love to sit at a discussion table to expound on the subject, but that will never happen, simply because my claim would be so easy to prove.
As a result of speaking the truth about the pitiful state of animal protection, and openly saying what many others think privately, SHARK is largely ostracized from the animal protection movement.
Beth and Merritt Clifton are also considered outliers, because they were speaking truth to power even before there was a SHARK.
Given the way things are, I’m proud to stand with the Cliftons.
If you care about animals, and especially if you donate to animal protection groups, please research carefully before you send your hard-earned money.
In SHARK’s case, we actually encourage our donors to join us on the front line if they can, so they can see our efforts first hand.
For those that can’t join us on the front lines, our over 1,400 videos on YouTube show our hard field work, and the resulting successes for our animal friends.
I’m Steve Hindi for SHowing Animals Respect and Kindness.