by Steve Hindi, founder, Showing Animals Respect & Kindness
“Another long lull in Kentucky law enforcement against cockfighting followed, until the SHARK campaign debuted in 2020,” ended the January 26, 2022 ANIMALS 24-7 article entitled Two cockfights stopped; Steve Hindi credits local opposition.
That sentence referenced the scarcity of cockfighting busts in Kentucky between a 2010 exposé by the Humane Society of the United States, and the first exposé of cockfighting in Kentucky by Showing Animals Respect & Kindness in mid-2020.
The Humane Society of the U.S. obtained undercover video documenting the presence of two uniformed law enforcement officers during cockfights at the Laurel Creek Game Club in Manchester, Kentucky in January and February 2010.
HSUS dropped the campaign & momentum
Ten years and four months later, Showing Animals Respect & Kindness investigators videotaped exactly the same thing going on at exactly the same place. Only the names of the compromised police officers appeared to have changed.
The lull in Kentucky law enforcement against cockfighting occurred because the Humane Society of the U.S. [HSUS] abandoned their much publicized 2010 anti-cockfighting effort, except for the extremely rare cases wherein HSUS takes advantage of a photo-op after a cockfight bust by law enforcement.
Since there have not been many cockfighting busts in Kentucky lately, nor in any other states where most of the cockfighters are white good-old-boys, there have not been many photo-ops either.
There should not be any lulls in law enforcement against cockfights
What good does it do to start a fight that you don’t finish? In the case of a group like the Humane Society of the U.S., it raises money, and that raises the group’s profile, but it does nothing to actually make permanent change.
It’s like walking up to a champion boxer, cuffing him, and then running. Yes, it’s a flash in the pan, but it doesn’t make the troublemaker the new champion. That only happens with a real match. A quick sucker punch is easy. A full-fledged match shows who is real, and who isn’t.
There shouldn’t be any lulls in law enforcement against cockfights, or other illegal animal abuses, but that’s what happens when a group comes in and starts a campaign, only to falsely declare victory and run off when there is nothing of substance accomplished.
Toy drones & fake cookies
In some cases the fraud is even more flagrant. Seven years ago, scammer and self-proclaimed “journalist” Will Potter raised tens of thousands of dollars on a declaration that he would buy drones and expose factory farming. Potter apparently bought some toy drones with a tiny fraction of the money, but any productive work is nonexistent. It should be noted that no one but SHARK and ANIMALS 24-7 held him responsible.
PETA co-founder Alex Pacheco, with his fictional sterilization cookie, is another example of animal rights bullshit artistry, and I could list dozens more examples.
(See “600 Million” reasons to toss Alex Pacheco’s alleged spay/neuter cookies, Pseudo-science & the Alex Pacheco “Spay & Neuter” Cookie, Alex Pacheco of “600 Million” says he was gunner on a boat with no guns, Steve Hindi & SHARK up the ante & call Alex Pacheco’s bluff, Alex Pacheco serves stale “Spay & Neuter Cookies” again for Christmas, Spay/neuter popcorn? It’s as real as Alex Pacheco’s s/n cookies!) and FDA verdict on Mifrepristone upstages more nonsense from Alex Pacheco.)
Suckered by ploys
So long as donors falls for ploys from these fraudsters, and don’t track actual progress or demand real results, they’ll be suckered by ploys, and the animals will pay the ultimate price.
When I pledged to fight pigeon shoots back in 1989, and subsequently started SHARK, we stuck to the pledge. Showing Animals Respect & Kindness most recently documented a pigeon shoot just a few weeks ago, and will document and expose plenty more going forward, until they are gone.
Though many pigeon shoots have been shut down, there are still a small number of shoots left, including in Pennsylvania, where the Humane Society of the U.S. pushed Libre’s Law to passage in 2017, exempting pigeon shooters from prosecution for cruelty to animals.
We are still after pigeon shoots, wherever they still occur. The Humane Society of the U.S. and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which also claimed to be committed to the pigeons, and promised they wouldn’t abandon them, did exactly that: abandoned them.
Who else rewards those whose rivets don’t hold?
Showing Animals Respect & Kindness started after rodeos in 1993. Again, we’ve forced more changes in rodeo than all other animal protection groups put together, but there is still rodeo, and those rodeos are filled with abuse, and we are still after them. Other organizations, including and especially the Humane Society of the U.S., worked on rodeos before us, only to drop them for other donation-raising ploys.
When I was a hunter, a pursuit I abandoned 32 years ago, any stooge who claimed he was going to take down a big quarry and then prematurely abandoned the effort was considered a laughingstock.
I was involved in manufacturing rivets for aircraft, car makers, and the construction industry for more than four decades. Braggarts, bullshit artists, and scammers were treated with appropriate scorn, ridicule, and contempt––and anyone whose products did not hold together soon went broke.
In the animal protection racket, scammers are often treated to millions and millions of dollars. In the animal protection racket, the bigger the lies––the greater the rewards.
“Outliers” & proud of it
In this regard, ANIMALS 24-7 is an invaluable resource for people determined to make real change for animals.
Full disclosure: I consider Merritt and Beth to be more like family than friends, but that is only because they strive to tell the truth. It is for that very same reason that the big groups try to minimize ANIMALS 24-7 and the Cliftons, and make them appear to be, in former HSUS president Wayne Pacelle’s words, “outliers.”
Merritt and Beth may be outliers, but that is only because so few of today’s so-called “leaders” of this industry are people of truth or integrity.
“Cockfighters are what they are”
If the Humane Society of the U.S. had not all but abandoned fighting cockfighting a decade ago, I doubt there would be much cockfighting in the U.S today. The same could be said of a lot of other abuses, including pigeon shoots, rodeos, and much else.
We should not really blame the cockfighters for continuing to fight gamecocks today. Cockfighters are what they are: cowardly animal abusing criminals, who will go on doing what they do until and unless humane and decent people stop them.
The police who turn a blind eye, and especially those who take payoffs from the cockfight mafia certainly bear a considerable degree of responsibility, as they have violated the public trust.
Animal Wellness Action
But no one bears as much responsibility as the Humane Society of the U.S. and the other big groups who have raised money off of campaigns to stop cockfighting, only to abandon the effort when the time came for the real work, expense, risk, and commitment.
This includes Wayne Pacelle. No longer part of HSUS, he nonetheless is making lots of noise through his new organization, Animal Wellness Action, about trying to shut down cockfighting by people of color in faraway places, such as Guam and Puerto Rico, while refusing to take on the white nationalist cockfighters who commit their abuse just a few hours away from Washington D.C.
Humane and decent people should find this absolutely repulsive.
Stay safe and warm in your condos and plush offices, Wayne, Kitty, et al. It’s probably best that you leave the real work to serious, competent people.