Woods and Waters An outdoor blog by John McCoy

humane.jpegThis morning, while sitting around doing absolutely nothing else (Hey, I’m on vacation!), I saw a television commercial for the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

The commercial concentrated on HSUS’ animal-rescue efforts. Problem is, animal rescue constitutes only a small portion of what the organization actually does. Most of its money gets spent on political activism — protesting animal-research facilities, filing lawsuits to stop hunting on public lands, and advocating for animal-rights legislation.

What particularly galls me is how HSUS, an animal rights organization, has so smoothly co-opted the term “Humane Society” for itself. All too often, in media reports that concern animal issues, HSUS gets identified as “The Humane Society.” That title rightly belongs to the American Humane Association, a 130-year-old Denver-based group that genuinely advocates for animal welfare and not animal rights.

Anyone interested in seeing how the two organizations differ — especially when it comes to hunting, pet ownership, animal-based research and so on — can check out HSUS’ policies here and AHA’s here. The dissimilarities might surprise you.