Thursday, January 21, 2010

HSUS invests in fast food chains.

Money wins, right? Well, The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) have purchased shares in various cruel fast food companies in an effort to change procedures or purchasing decisions related to animal welfare.

I can't quite decide exactly how good this is. I mean, it's surely better than letting these mobs continue with their horrendous practices of purchasing factory farmed crate pigs, or chickens that are cut and boiled while conscious. Surely this is a step in the right direction?

But, how much money have they spent to get enough shares to have sufficient influence in these 38 food-related companies? Money spent on how to kill animals as opposed to not killing animals? Are they really going to fix anything here? Is McDonalds going to become cruelty free? Or just end up polishing up their tarnished name to look like a much shinier, "humane" version of cruelty?

I can almost picture it now - McDonalds ads showing happy animals running free through the fields, and declaring all their products as certified humane. Allowing those who were previously unsure about eating from McDonalds to now feel good about their decision.

Never mind that slaughterhouse practices, and this means in practice, not in theory, have not improved despite decades of animal welfare campaigning.


  1. Very interesting...thanks for letting us know about made some excellent points.

    I wish compassionate people could take over the world.

  2. I agree -- I find welfarism very frustrating! It's hard to say that positive changes are a bad thing, but I think you're right that it just makes people complacent. You might be interested in this article:

  3. PETA did this years ago, investing in the corp that owns KFC. I'm not sure if they can claim any victories there, although I remember hearing that a KFC in Canada has started selling mock chicken vegan versions (which probably cause cancer btw). Anyway, it is probably a question of perspective. These corps are making huge profits, if a welfarist org buys shares then a chunk of those profits comes back to help animals. This would be logically sound if they don't pay people large amounts and own big office blocks etc but if they move into nice new digs and give raises on the backs of these dollars then I would consider that a form of corruption (in that they promote themselves as opposed to the practices of such corps). Here in Australia, the RSPCA is in business with Australia's largest battery egg producer (Pace Farms) producing a slightly less cruel version (RSPCA Barn-Laid Eggs). But as a result RSPCA have never investigated evidences of cruelty presented by Animal Liberation (NSW and Vic). That should set the alarm bells ringing.

  4. Thanks Rose. Compassionate people are probably not nasty enough to take over the world, you know, nice people finish last and all!

    Theresa, thanks for the link, but god damn, those ignoramus comments made me want to punch the screen repeatedly.

    Grey, I didn't know that about PETA or RSPCA. The PETA/KFC thing is certainly 'food' for thought. And that egg thing is the last nail in the coffin for RSPCA for me. Their egg 'alliance' explains why they didn't respond to my letter, or give a damn about using eggs in the cupcake fundraiser I blogged about here:

    And then there is RSPCA Freedom Food. A label used to charge a whole lot more money for something just as cruel as the cheaper version. There was an expose doco on in the UK about this, which showed a lot of undercover footage on the RSPCA Freedom certified farms. They were just as bad as any horrific factory farm you have ever seen, and their defence was that they had to 'aspire' to the goals, but were not required to actually practice them. Further, the farms were checked by appointment, once every 18 months. This one visit to see if farmers are 'aspiring' to maintain reasonable standards of welfare (despite still being indoors only chickens) is enough to charge 50% more for a factory chicken.

  5. Oops. That was almost worthy of a whole blogpost itself... maybe I will.

  6. Hi Niki,

    I've found your blog interesting to read! As a fellow New Zealander, I'd like to mention the great NZ Vegan Podcast, and my own little podcast, Coexisting With Nonhuman Animals, . I found your blog while researching for my next episode about Australia Day and the ads for lamb!

    Thank you for your website! Hope to see you back in NZ someday! We need all the vegans we can get!

    Jordan Wyatt

  7. Hey Jordan, thanks for that! I will check them out for sure. I'm intrigued to check out your Australia Day episode - it's nice to know that I'm not the only one who thought the lamb thing was fucked.

  8. thanks for posting this, it's interesting to me. i am skeptical that it will do any good, but perhaps, i am just cynical and this sort of idea could help to positively change fast food chains?