The Humane Society of the United States and other animal liberation groups try to take the moral high ground. HSUS claims to be representing “values” that are “mainstream.” One way to properly put those values in perspective is to look at serial pork-industry denigrator Matt Prescott.
Prescott is HSUS’s food policy director and reaches out regularly to corporations, asking them to make statements against individual maternity pen housing for sows. We know Prescott is a former PETA activist—and he’s hardly the only one at HSUS. We know he created a touring campaign comparing farms to Nazi concentration camps. And now, we’ve discovered even more about this fine young gent.
Prescott was an active participant in an e-mail listserv about a radical environmentalist group called Earth First!, a “warrior society” acting in defense of Mother Earth. According to the FBI, EF! members in England formed the Earth Liberation Front, now a terrorist group in the United States, and EF! crimes include arson and sabotage. ELF is a sister group to the Animal Liberation Front (ALF), also an FBI-designated domestic terrorist group.
Prescott considered himself an Earth First!er, and justified the ALF burning down a lab in the name of animal liberation. “By burning down a lab, not only does the ALF save the lives of innocent LIVING beings, but they take a huge stand against the notion of property being equal to life,” Prescott wrote. (Ironically, the holier-than-thou Prescott also campaigned for the release of Leonard Peltier, a man convicted of murdering two FBI agents.)
The pork industry, and animal agriculture generally, cannot let HSUS claim to have the moral high ground. HSUS does not own it. Farmers shouldn’t just say they hold the high ground in caring for animals—which they do—but must knock down this false profile promoted by HSUS. Every pork producer needs to point out to as many stakeholders as possible, especially restaurants and retailers, just who the people at HSUS are and what they stand for, starting with Matt Prescott.
Here are some others at HSUS who deserve exposing:
Wayne Pacelle, CEO: “I don’t love animals or think they are cute.”
Mike Markarian, HSUS chief policy officer: “A perfect example of effective rebellion is an Animal Liberation Front raid on a laboratory.”
Paul Shapiro, VP for farm animals: Served on the steering committee of an ALF-cheerleading magazine alongside a convicted arsonist and a spokesman for the ELF.
There is information on plenty of others at HumaneWatch.org, but it helps to start with the head honchos.
There’s a lot to expose about HSUS in order for people to truly understand the deceptive group and its motives. The media and food retailers need to know this information. And there’s an easy place to start in educating them: Matt Prescott.
Rick Berman is the Executive Director of the Center for Consumer Freedom, a nonprofit coalition supported by restaurants, food companies and consumers to promote personal responsibility and protect consumer choices. The thoughts expressed in this commentary are expressly those of the author. Visit HumaneWatch.org to learn more.