Thursday, June 05, 2014

A Postcard from Screwtape*

Got an unusual postcard the other day:

"Wow!" methinks. "Only one percent of the Humane Society's budget goes to pet shelters? Where does the rest of it go? Oh, I know – into their pockets! Hah!"

Reading on, I see:

"You can be sure of THAT!" says I, and make a mental note to cross them off my charity list. Well, okay, I've never really actually given money to the Humane Society, but now I never would! That'll teach those skunks. Good thing there are folks keeping an eye on these crooks.

And then I forgot about it . . . until I got another postcard from the same people. And that's when the "You're Being Played for a Dummy!" alarm finally went off.

Wwwwaaaaaaiiiiiiiittttttttt a minute! Who's sending me these cards? Is supporting animal shelters the only way to help animals? Wouldn't that just be dogs and cats? Oh, yeah, and bunnies? What about horses? And cattle, hogs, and sheep raised for food? And before I got these postcards, did I really think the Humane Society's main mission was supporting local animal shelters?

The postcard says to go to the web site of something called HumaneWatch.

Oh, my! HumaneWatch turns out to be a front for the Center for Consumer Freedom, which is run by a person named Richard Berman. Mr. Berman acts, talks, and quacks like a libertarian. He says he is against the "nanny state".  And to demonstrate his noble displeasure, he raises millions from corporations to perform public relations hits on non-profits that are causing them trouble

According to a spokesman, John Doyle, the purpose of the CCF is to "draw attention to our enemies: just about every consumer and environmental group, chef, legislator or doctor who raises objections to things like pesticide use, genetic engineering of crops, or antibiotic use in beef and poultry."

Or, in the case of the Humane Society of the United States, organizations that are trying to improve the treatment of factory farm animals and keep sick animals from winding up in your steak or hamburger.

Some corporations, like Kraft and Pepsico, will have nothing to do with Mr. Berman. I guess they want their children to be proud of them – or at least not ashamed of them.

The same does not apply to Coca-Cola, Cargill, Monsanto, Tyson Foods, Outback Steakhouse (take a good look at that steak next time you're there), Anheuser-Busch, Phillip Morris, Davidoff (cigars), Overhill Farms, and Bruss Company (steaks and chops), all of whom have been named as donors to the Center for Consumer Freedom. Quite a rogue's gallery.

I never liked Outback, anyway.

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