Big Animal Charities Perpetuate the Problem they Seek to Resolve?

Sometimes I sense that the big animal charities such as ASPCA, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and PeTA have to perpetuate the animal welfare problems that they wish to eliminate because if they are completely successful in their goal they would have to close up shop and make everyone redundant. The chief executives of major animal charities make good money. They are business people. They are not going to let their “business” go to the wall.

hsusThe big animal welfare charities have massive budgets. HSUS has a budget of $100,000,000 apparently. PeTA has a $32,000,000 budget. We’re dealing in the millions and the chief executives have staff to look after and employ and families dependent upon that employment.

We as spectators of animal welfare charities never conceive of the idea that one day they will cease to exist because there will be no animal welfare issues to deal with. They will never even shrink in size. Problems of animal welfare are not being reduced as far as I’m aware anywhere in the world. Perhaps somebody can correct me on that but certainly over the past 20 years I doubt whether there has been any substantial changes for the better with respect to animal welfare in Western countries.

So these big animal charities are not resolving the problem. All they doing is maintaining it at the same level. Are they simply maintaining it? You could almost argue that the very existence of the big animal charities helps to maintain the animal welfare problem. Their existence validifies the existance of animal abuse and irresponsibility towards animals.

There is a comfortable balance between the big animal charities on one side and a lack of adequate animal welfare amongst a sizeable percentage of animals on the other side. It’s a bit cosy.

But back to my original point, animal welfare charities are a bit like cancer research institutions. Cancer research is a massive business worth billions of dollars every year. There is no way they can cure cancer. Too many people would be out of work.

Am I being too cynical?

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Big Animal Charities Perpetuate the Problem they Seek to Resolve? — 9 Comments

  1. Ofcourse you’re right, Michael.
    No large corporation strives to put themselves out of business.
    I believe that’s why we have no cures for any cancers after all these years.
    Cancer is far too lucrative for the medical profession and the pharmaceutical companies.

    • Pleased you agree. The relationship between animal rescue and charities seems to set in its way. There should be some progress somewhere. Some sort of change. Unwanted cats and feral cats are a business. They are resource, sad though it is to say that.

  2. There’s one little thing to Pharma people are forgetting or chose not to allow to complicate their thinking. One day many of them get the dreaded diagnosis “cancer”.
    Do they then regret their money before human life strategy?
    I don’t think animal charities will ever run out of dumped and cruelly treated animal cases. Their work is mostly to receive those cases as prevention is a very difficult matter to achieve. The causes are many varying from economic problems to mental disorders and bad upbringing. Prevention comes down to to education beginning with the parents and continuing via other means. They will never run out of patients and victims. The only way they will pack up shop is if they no longer get enough money. There are probably countries that have very few or no animal charities because nobody donates money.

  3. Do animal rights organizations ‘perpetuate’ and ‘maintain’ animal abuse? Meaning, are they doing something to insure their existence?

    While physical activity is supposedly beneficial, the suggestion that the Humane Society and PETA, et al. are somehow or other pulling strings seems tantamount to suggesting that a gardener who wishes,for reasons of health, to increase his activity drenches his weeds with fertilizer to spur their growth.

    Isn’t it more likely that animal rights organizations are trying to bail with a teaspoon?

    In a world with no shortage of people who abuse animals,why would these organizations have reason to fear their obsolescence any more than – say – morticians or sanitary engineers?

    And how is it plausible they’re achieved nothing over the years? Do their huge budgets mean their CEOs live in luxury? Has Ms. Newkirk as many pairs of shoes as Imelda Marcos?

    More to the point, is pancuronium still used in vivisections and euthanasia? Haven’t carbon-dioxide chambers been prohibited in most states? Hasn’t legislation been enacted in – where was it? France? – that ends an ‘owner’s’ right to regard his animals as chattel? Isn’t foie de gras on the way out? Aren’t contingents of activists protesting kosher butchery? The slaughter of porpoises in Japan? The massacre of sharks for their fins? Who came up with the idea of safeguarding – or trying to safeguard – herds of elephants with drones? Who would have bothered to think of the spotted owl fifty years ago, much less the endangered pink-dappled squeaker(whatever it is)?

    It’s true there are multiple animal rights organizations spearheading the effort to increase public awareness of these ongoing atrocities, but don’t all of them more or less work together? Isn’t the EPA, in this country, at least ‘talking about’ crunching down on Decon, the Coumadin(sp)-based, blood-thinning rat poison that causes not only a weeks-long agonizing death, but secondary and tertiary deaths to furred & feathered scavengers that eat the remains? Have PETA and the ASPCA, et al. done nothing to enlighten the public as to what’s going on? Yes – there are still Mt. Everests of dead-weight inertia: but can they last forever? Drops of water pulverize granite.

    Over here, if not elsewhere, supermarkets offer ‘free-range’ chickens and eggs (if the designation is anything more than public relations spin)and dairy substitutes. Fifty years ago, chickens were crammed like sardines into cages the size of a breadbox. The horror still continues to a large degree, but people are becoming aware of it. Just recently, California passed several new animal rights laws that crack down on several of the more egregious ‘business-as-usual’ factory farm abuses. Fifty years ago, would anyone have had the slightest interest in the work of Temple Grandin (sp)? Not long after the days of John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row [underlined], the sea life of Monterey Bay was reduced to a saltwater desert. This morning, a radio newscast described the efforts of the citizenry – through limitations on fishing and the improvement of sewage treatment plants, etc. – to restore the extraordinary marine life along that area of the coast(and Monterey Bay attracts sea life worldwide, as it is ABYSMALLY deep).

    Sea otters are still on the edge – they’re dying off from half a dozen microbial diseases in California, they’re virtually non-existent in Oregon, and still flattened by the Valdez spill up north. But they have recovered, to some degree, thanks to the efforts of animal rights activists and wildlife biologists, compared to what they were in 1920.

    Has none of this anything to do with the efforts of animal rights groups? Have they done nothing to activate the public conscience to the cruelty and loss?(As an aside, Louisiana, to name only one state, punishes with astronomical fines and imprisonment the poaching of cougars. And the poaching of bald-eagles in Washington state is the highroad to the dungeon.)

    Do thousands of holes in the fabric remain? Of course. But
    would there be fewer without these organizations?

    • You disagree with my suggestion. Fair enough. It was simply a thought, not a fact. You say there are improvements but in the overall scheme of things I don’t see notable, general improvements.

      Let’s just imagine for a moment that federal laws tightened up cat ownership to the point where over 20 years there were fewer domestic cats in ownership and those that were in ownership were cared for excellently. Only good cat caretakers cared for cats in the ideal future resulting in a massive reduction in unwanted cats and associated problems such as ad hoc cat abuse. Let’s say similar hard hitting steps were taken to reduce other animal welfare issues.

      Under that future ideal scenario do you think HSUS would close its doors and shut up shop? Do we know if the big animal charities are involved with lobbying of politicians? Why don’t the big animal charities like HSUS condemned declawing? They are perpetually silent about it.

      Why don’t the big animal charities actively promote trap neuter return so that it is practised at a much higher level?

      The National Rifle Association in America successfully prevents through lobbying any sensible fresh laws coming into force despite the horrific examples of mass killings at schools. It isn’t that difficult to prevent laws coming into force that are beneficial to society.

  4. Hastily written and poorly thought through.

    Thank you for your reply, but at what future time do you envision your ‘ideal scenario’ coming to pass? And can you deny any of the points I tried to make? Namely, that people capable of thought have developed an increased sensitivity and opposition to animal abuse? That animal rights groups and organizations are trying to ameliorate the suffering the bulk of the human race is inflicting on animals, either deliberately or unavoidably, because of habitat loss stemming from expansion?

    While I am not known for a rosy view of reality, I believe that organizations such as PoC and other animal rights groups will eventually run declawing into the ground. Would it have been better if the effort had never been made? Would it have been better if such groups and organizations had never existed or – since they exist – that they be phased out? You say the Humane Society (HSUS – whatever) has never opposed declawing.If you say so, then I believe you. I know nothing about that, nor do I know why they would be indifferent to this barbarity.

    It is furthermore true what you say: that a years-long entrenched organizations become increasingly monolithic, that – like any living organism – they will struggle to survive if they see they are losing ground. But where is the risk, at this point in human evolution, that animal rights organizations are losing an inch? And would things be better if they bit the dust? Your ‘ideal scenario’ is unlikely to materialize, as you are aware, so why base your premise on a Disneyland world? You say the NRA calls the shots. Of course. Whether you believe or reject Freud’s Beyond the Pleasure Principle [underlined], the NRA’s triumphs tend to lend substance to humanity’s death wish.

    ‘Hate no man, for all men are vicious, and all suffering is deserved,’ as the poet Robinson Jeffers wrote (and everyone knows I’m into R.J.).

    The people on this website may also have an inkling that I question the premise of TNR. Things may be different as chalk is from cheese in Turkey, but over here I’ve known caring people,including myself, who have gutted their funds caring for starving neighborhood cats. If you can feed them kibbles, fine. Or fine for the caretaker. I’ve never done that, though I know many people who have. Will the cats die from eating low-protein pellets contaminated with bugs and bacteria? In fact, many live to a ripe old age. But there are a passel of old that look like ‘corn dogs’ (you might not know what those are in England), middle-aged and elderly cats with urinary tract disease, kidney problems, constipation, morbid obesity and other afflictions, including blindness from diabetes (both in cats and dogs)- they might have been spared if they’d been fed a costlier, less convenient diet.

    The TNR program is fine where there is some semblance of group effort on the part of people with a grain of humanity in their hearts. Not sure, since I don’t read PoC that often, but think Dee and DW are caregivers of stray and feral colonies of cats. But where I have lived – at present and in past – TNR cats have been casually released by well-intentioned people and left to fend for themselves. That is, until chumps of my stripe impoverish themselves to feed the cats and give them veterinary care. Peanuts to many, but macadamias to me: I dropped my health insurance so I could feed and care for other people’s cats, and I know cat-caretakers who have done more than I have, and with smaller resources. TNR is perfectly fine if the cats are given some level of care after they’re turned loose. But it’s a monumental injustice to people who care about animals to turn hordes of cats loose on them and expect them to carry the burden of feeding and doctoring the pitiful animals with their rotted teeth, their fleas and ear mites and FeLV, etc., ad infin. A cat costs about $70.00 a month to properly feed and – when it gets old – that sum doesn’t come close to including a fraction of their vet bills. For TNR proponents to feel they’re doing a good thing to neuter the cats then turn them over to others to feed and care for…well…I could go on, but will drop the subject. (None of which, by the way, means I endorse and admire PETA’s mass euthanasia.)

    Can any notable progress be made in easing the problem of animal(and human) suffering?

    Several months ago, The Seattle Times Sunday Supplement published a feature article on a humanitarian – now an elderly man – who worked himself to the bone some three decades ago to ease the misery of Africans dying of starvation. At the opposite end of the spectrum, a woman governor of Washington state in the 1970s wrote another pages-long article in the same Sunday supplement questioning the point of trying to do any such thing: her rationale being that starving children, if they survived, would grow up with lasting physical and cognitive handicaps because of what they suffered in infancy and childhood: specifically, that compassion was a sentiment with no logical justification. Nothing new there. Spinoza said the same several centuries ago.

    Is there any point to any of this? I see a modest degree of progress where you see none, and I may even less optimistic than you. Two years ago I told you I wanted to reply to a pro-hunting post someone wrote on PoC. At that time, you urged me to ‘kick ass.’ As is normal for someone with my quirky mentality, the hunting theme expanded into other, nonetheless related themes, and my reply burgeoned into 19,000 words, with 160 footnotes, plus or minus, all of which lie in a shambles in a box because your website favors three-minute posts – if I’ve understood the drift of your comments – with lots of smiley-faced emoticons and LOLs. Fine. If anyone wants to tackle some lengthy and challenging reading matter filled with forests of words that hinder clear communication, they might like to read or reread Norman Mailer’s essay, ‘The White Negro’ — it’s on the net. Be that as it may, I’ve set forth in that screed my own footnoted views on the progress made in animal and human rights legislation: and see the progress as a fragile reality.

    In the long view, do I see any progress? Very likely not. (Though they say the Thames, which was once a sewer, runs crytal clear. Hyperbole, perhaps.) But as the philosophers keep telling us, ‘The hallmark of a superb intelligence is the willingness to “push on,” knowing, though we do from the start, that the deck is stacked.’

    Inchoate ramblings. Have to get out and pull weeds today.

    ps. Again, there is no question these organizations will try to prolong their survival. In like manner, the fossil fuel interests are digging in their heels to the end; Europe and the China are a generation ahead of the U.S. in their use of renewal energy. Over here, the lobbyists are 100% pro-oil/coal/gas. But if you believe Jeremy Rivkin, the buggy-whip mentality is passing away and new forms of employment will fill the gap at some point. Everyone wants to survive after all: the oil and nuclear interests, the loggers, the animal rights folks. And the last are likely to last the longest. With which you can hardly disagree.

    • I see a modest degree of progress where you see none,

      I am not sure that is quite true. I said I had not seen progress over the past 20 years or so. Progress has been made over the past 100 years. I just feel that the large charitable organisations become too large and entrenched. They become an entity in themselves rather than solely in existence to fix problems and eradicate problems.

      I don’t see general progress in respect of the behavior of people either over the past 10 years and it is getting worse. If people are not improving in their behavior there is little chance that the welfare of the lowly domestic cat will improve. Declawing might stop in 20 years because it is so outrageously out of step with the objectives and oath of the veterinary profession.

      Thanks for your long comment – more an essay in itself!

    • Wow, Sylvia.
      What a comment.
      I may have to reply paragraph by paragraph.

      But, for now, I can concur that the HSUS, ASPCA, and PETA are not voicing opposition to declawing. And, they won’t until they feel that the majority of people are. Afterall, they can’t rake in the money ruffling feathers.

      As far as TNR goes, it may be that some merely do TNR and not caretake. I can attest that that is not the case in my circle. And, careless caretakers aren’t tolerated. I love what I do and feel that I do it well. Most caretakers make tremendous sacrifices in order to meet the need of cats.

      I’m happy that you aren’t completely in agreement with the views of PETA. Because, as far as I am concerned, PETA can go to hell!

  5. Dee – thanks for your comments. It would be a far different world if there were more people like you and Martha Cain. I wasn’t dead sure you were caring for ferals, but thought you likely were. People with your compassion are EARTH ANGELS (to quote Ruthie).

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