Rick Berman
Rick Berman

The federal “Egg Bill” caused a lot of hardboiled feelings between United Egg Producers and its supporters on one side and others in the livestock industries, including some egg farmer dissenters, on the other. UEP insisted it’s the only way forward. But there’s new proof that UEP only made a deal with the devil.

At last month’s Animal Rights 2013 conference in northern Virginia, HSUS vice president Paul Shapiro revealed that HSUS is investing donor money in companies producing and providing replacements for animal products. HSUS is invested in VeggieGrill, a vegan restaurant chain. HSUS is “heavily invested” in Beyond Meat, which produces fake chicken. And, according to a Shapiro’s statement at the conference, HSUS is invested in Hampton Creek Foods, which owns the “Beyond Eggs” brand.

The goal of “Beyond Eggs,” at least in the short term, is to replace the 33 percent of the egg industry that is used in sauces, mayo, baked goods and other food products. But the ultimate goal is to “take the animal out of the equation” and make the egg industry “obsolete,” according to its CEO. A current HSUS employee with its farm-animal division is a co-founder of the company.

Read that again.

So we have Wayne Pacelle and HSUS telling the egg industry and the public that they are looking out for the economic viability of egg farmers in the long term. And now, we have HSUS caught on camera admitting to secretly funding efforts to destroy the egg industry.

Let’s draw some conclusions:

1. There is no bargain that anyone in agriculture can cut with HSUS. The goal of HSUS is beyond “humane” chicken, eggs, beef, pork, dairy—which adds up to no more animal agriculture. “Beyond eggs” says it all.

2. HSUS has $37 million in hedge funds and $200 million in assets. That’s a lot of money that it could put into these firms that want to make animal agriculture obsolete.

3. Chad Gregory, head of the UEP, is the industry Neville Chamberlain. Chamberlain, over the warnings of some in Parliament, met with Hitler and claimed to have secured “peace in our time” with the Fuhrer—but instead was given a worthless ruse. Gregory finds himself in a comparable situation. Plenty of people told him not to trust HSUS, but he didn’t listen.

4. It’s time for a broader education offensive against HSUS.

The entire agriculture industry needs to adopt an alliance against HSUS. It’s not enough to wait while HSUS beats up on one sector, like eggs, while others wait until the threat reaches their front door. It’ll move on to another sector next—pork now, and probably poultry next. (A spokesman recently stated that "Chickens are probably the most abused of all animals. It's not even close.")

HSUS produces nothing agricultural. It is in the “conflict industry,” ginning up one propaganda campaign after another. These guys aren’t farmers, ranchers, or vets. They’re a bunch of complaining vegans sitting in offices in D.C. and suburban Maryland, raking in money that people think is going to help pet shelters and using it to attack farmers and ranchers.

Here are ways to fight the battle:

1.      Do more retailer outreach. You may already be doing some. Do more. HSUS is trying to build relationships; whoever its activists are talking to about sow housing, they’ll reach back out to them about antibiotics, poultry stocking density, controlled atmosphere killing, dehorning, etc.

2.      Go on the offensive against HSUS. HumaneWatch has documented how HSUS is scamming the public out of dollars. If these dollars were actually sent where people think they are going (local shelters), then HSUS’s political and propaganda capabilities will be severely diminished. If you like our ads and want to see them in your area, contact us. Otherwise, write a letter to your local paper pointing out that only 1% of the money HSUS raises goes to pet shelters.

3.      Email me at info@humanewatch.org for more specifics. There are things that grassroots activists like you can help with.

Ask yourself this question: If HSUS will collect millions and use the money to work against you, will things get better from here if you do nothing?

The answer of course, is no. This is a perfect time to repeat an old adage, namely that “you’re either part of the solution or part of the problem.” Pick one.

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. Visit HumaneWatch.org to learn more.