by MPD
Categories: Animals.


You gotta love a little strategic planning!

Word on the street is that The Humane Society of the United States recently purchased considerable stock in Jack in the Box and Steak ‘n Shake restaurants. Was the animal organization craving a burger? NO, NO, NO!

The purchase was part of a plan to convince both chains to improve animal welfare, including moving the companies away from egg suppliers that confine hens in cages and pork suppliers that breed pigs in crates. They also plan to encourage both restaurants to influence their poultry suppliers to switch from their current slaughter system to controlled-atmosphere killing.

HSUS Corporate Outreach Director Matthew Prescott says:

“As a shareholder, the HSUS hopes to work with the [companies] on making meaningful animal welfare reforms to benefit animals and shareholders alike.”

Sounds like a plan to us! What do you think of the animal organization purchasing Jack in the Box and Steak ‘n Shake stock? Chime in and share your thoughts!

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  • Frida

    I am all for changing a system or organization from the inside out. I think the best way to effect change is by learning everything you can about the system you are trying to change, infiltrating it, and infecting it with new ideas… Innovating it from within.

    Way to go, Humane Society!

    Viva la vida!

  • DonegalVeg

    Death is still death no matter how you sugar coat it. These animals will still die at the end and will continue to be treated as property and commodities regardless of the so called improvements. In a way, HSUS is prolonging the fight against animal exploitation but then again, HSUS seem to be only interested in the welfarist position rather than interested in the abolition of all animal abuse and use. And now, they are profiting from it too…not a good move for the movement or the animals. Animals are not property and are not ours to eat, wear, use for experimentation or whatever else society chooses to do with them. educate yourself for the animals, the health of our planet, and people.

    • Alessandro Machi

      Which is worse? 50 million animals being humanely treated before being slaughter, or, 10 million animals being humanely treated before slaughter?

      Does the ratio matter to anybody? Are farm animals “happy to be alive” if the alternative was they never existed at all because everybody was a vegan? Just asking.

      At the very least, I would hope that the HSUS can get vegan product on the menus. I used to eat the burger king veggie burger but I might be allergic to something in it so I stopped. I would like to see at least one or two vegan meals in all fast food chains.

      I am not a vegan but try to eat vegan as often as possible.

  • jeff

    Don’t make perfect the enemy of the good. Most folks are going to continue to eat meat. That’s a fact. You’ll accomplish a lot more for the welfare of these animals by supporting efforts to improve the conditions of those animals, as well as supporting transitions to meat-free diets.

    • VeggieTart

      It doesn’t matter how nice the animals’ lives were before they were killed; they’re still killed in the same slaughterhouses as animals who had miserable lives in conventional facilities. No amount of greenwashing can hide the fact that if you are eating meat, dairy and eggs, there’s cruelty involved. There is no kind or humane way to kill someone. If people want to eat meat, that’s their decision, but they shouldn’t be deluding themselves, and they shouldn’t have a clean conscience because the animals in question supposedly had a good life.

      • kristin

        well said VeggieTart.

      • jeff

        I understand what you’re saying. But the fact is, people are going to continue to eat meat. And most people could care less where that meat comes from. Getting these restaurants to go veg is NOT going to happen. So if they’re going to keep serving meat, it seems to me that it makes sense for them to at least expect better conditions for the animals. Don’t get me wrong. I respect what you’re saying. But I still believe a lot more good will come out of this than expecting these restaurants (and most people) to give up meat. That’s just not realistic.

  • herwin

    frankly speaking all these animal welfare organisations make me really sick. At the end of the day all these animals still live and suffer and die in animal factories, maybe a bit bigger cage, but still beaks cut off, still hatchlings are sexed and the “useless” males thrown alive in plastic bags or in the shredder. Still overexploited as eggmachine.
    “controlled atmosphere killing” ? Nice word. What does it mean ? It means death by suffocating, its a painful death.
    Maybe no crates anymore for pigs, but still a miserable life.
    At the end of the day its all make up, the welfare groups are doing pr work for the factory farms, polishing the image of this disgusting and cruel industry. At the end of the day many ordinary people will be fooled into thinking that it used to be bad but now the lifes of factory farm animals has been improved. Well, it hasnt.
    “Trying to earn as much money from animals as possible” and “animal welfare” are its oposites. HSUS are defenitely not my heroes, never were, never will be. That list is reserved for Farm Sanctuary, Sea Shepherd, ALF, Peta, and others..

  • Frida

    “frankly speaking all these animal welfare organisations make me really sick.”

    So the prevailing sentiment seems to be, “Don’t bother even making a small bit of difference. I spit at your attempts and success at even moving the ship and turning the tide just a little bit in the hopes that future change may be that much easier.”

    I hate to be cliché, but “they” say, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” Any positive efforts to increase the comfort of suffering animals is better than no movement at all. And I doubt anyone can site many (any?) instances where really big changes affecting the zeitgeist were made in short order. I can think of plenty of examples of small successes that lead to larger and larger ones over time (need I mention the many human and civil rights movements in the U.S. alone?).

    I’m just suggesting that maybe we ought to consider that as much as we’d like to click our heels and wish upon a star that by midnight, everyone becomes vegan, we know, as rational humans who have watched these kind of ideological shifts take hold over time, that such a shift will also take time… Any positive movement to ease pain in the meantime while we work and wait for the rest of the world to get on the vegan band wagon should be celebrated.

    There is a point where our idealism needs to merge with reality. And the reality is, turning off the part of the brain of an entire human race that says that allowing animals to suffer and become hamburgers and mcnuggets because “they’re yum” is ok, and turning on the part that says that veggies are tasty and suffering=bad, is going to take some time. Ask anyone who has tried to stop smoking, stop shopping compulsively, start working out more regularly… Change for one person takes time, why would we not expect that for an entire race of humans it will take a considerable amount of time?

    So my rant ends with this: Let us celebrate the small wins on our way to victory.

    Be your true identity.

    • whiplash

      Absolutely terrible all of it. And it happens around the world. From Japan (and its brutal dolphin / whale slaughter) – right across Nth America (Canada’s Seal hunts) etc

    • jeff


      • jeff

        For the sake of clarification, that “Amen” is for Frida. :)

    • herwin

      Frida, thanks for ranting, apriciated ;-)
      i am not clicking my heels and wishing upon a star that everybody becomes overnight a vegan. But as i pointed out these small victories as you like to call them, are in my opinion just make up, not essential, and only will prolonge the suffering of animals and prolonge the existence of animal factories, and obscure the cruelties of ongoing factory farming.
      i rather think that it is idealistic to think that a real change comes in a million “small victories”, because as history shows, change comes sudden and is brought by people who did fight for the whole deal. maybe thats the problme, because as far as i know, many animal welfare arent veggie, arent interested in becoming veggie, but simply want to continue consuming meat and dairy only without animal cruelty. For many of them (my personal experience) is that these people view veganism as “extreme”.
      I think, the fundamental problem is that animal welfare groups want something diferent from vegans and animal rights groups. I think, bottom line, animal welfare groups are more happy to work with animal factories, get a few small victories they can show to their supporters, just as the animal factories can show they have become animal friendly because animal welfare groups work with them. Its all “i scratch your back if you scratch mine”. Only the animals dont get their back scratched, eh, rather they get a big knife stuck in their back, from the very people who should fight for them.
      I always compare it to Human Rights Groups. Ever heard of a Human Rights group who teamed up with the chinese regime and works together with the chinese regime to give chinese political prisoners a better life ? I dont think so.
      Its the very essence that that never would work. Yes, you can talk of course and make deals, but thats something else than teaming up, buying stocks, and becoming part of it.
      I would say there are much better ways to curb animal cruelty in factory farming. For instance, promote MeatFree Monday, and reduce meateating this way, not too extreme and everybody can join and develop a taste for a veggie lifestyle.

  • Frank Mancuso

    Greed is greed. One can never support an organization that profits from pain and suffering no matter the so called justification. Unless the Humane Society wants to make the above companies defunct.

  • D.

    This organization is part of the problem, not part of the solution.

    Too bad.

  • Rex Ray

    It sounds like some people would rather the Humane Society either stay out of the fight entirely, or go in to the hundreds of poultry, pig, and cow farms all at once with commandos and guns blazing. Neither is going to accomplish a useful goal. It makes more sense to buy as much stock in a company as possible so that eventually you can dictate policy. You’re not going to get either company to switch to vegan products by simply demanding it.

    Also keep in mind that a multi-pronged attack will always be more successful. Let the Humane Society do what it want – after all, they are the HUMANE society, not the VEGAN society. If you want to take more direct action, then by all means, please do! If everyone works together in a variety of different ways, we’ll be more likely to make the changes we seek. When we can’t get over the minutia of what someone else is doing (especially when we ourselves are doing nothing by comparison), then we’ll just be arguing and competing with each other and the once again, the animal agriculture a**holes will win.

    • Chastity

      Google the article “Invasion of the Movement Snatchers”.

      There is no infighting. Welfarism (i.e. PETA, HSUS) and abolitionism (Abolitionist Approach, Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary) are two fundamentally different issues. While the former says “uhhh do it another way”, the latter says “stop it right now.” There is no need to so called work together.

      Welfarism is heavily heavily flawed and these “victories” are mocking their nonhuman victims. They also reinforce the idea that it is okay to use, exploit, murder while expecting animals to be our servants. Abolitionism, in other words, is going vegan, spreading vegan education and making it as accessible as possible to the mainstream. There is no room for defeatist terms like “extreme”, “unrealistic”, “purist” because abstaining from animal products, textiles, ingredients, breeding operations and means of entertainment is nowhere near as difficult as portrayed. Say, you’re a nonvegan. Look at the day in the life of one:

      Animal products for 3 meals (regardless of the abstinence of flesh or not–even vegetarianism is not enough), flossing and brushing one’s teeth with products that contain and have been tested on animals, showering with soaps, shampoos and conditioners that contain animal ingredients and have been tested on animals, selecting an outfit with either the skins (leather, suede, etc), furs of animals (wool, cashmere, faux fur–which is made of cats and dogs and is intentionally mislabeled, etc)

      Notice that these were essentials and not random impulse buys? Now switch them over to vegan brands. Voila. Going vegan is the ultimate boycott and wipes out the demand.

  • Ed

    So-called new-welfarists are pragmatic, and understand that the vegan society that they too are working towards won’t happen for very many years. Therefore, while advocating veganism, they also try to relieve some of the suffering that is happening now. They may be pragmatic but they are also compassionate and will not consider turning their backs on the animals that are alive today.

    IMO these pragmatists have a much better understanding of the psychology of the majority in our society who still use or consume animals. They recognize the challenge posed by the deeply integrated defense mechanisms that govern people’s attidues about the consumption of animal products. They also understand that it takes a comprehensive strategy using a variety of different tactics to bring about long term social change. People are diverse and pragmatists are prepared to use any and all tactics that might cause them to eventually drop their defenses.

    In my vegan meetup group there are more vegans who were convinced by Peta than by any hard core abolitionists.