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Humane Society of the U.S. accused of misusing tax-exempt donations


People in the agriculture sector don’t really need more reasons to view the anti-farming organization Humane Society of the United States with contempt — yet we potentially have another volley in our arsenal.

In a complaint filed Tuesday with the Internal Revenue Service, the Humane Society of the United States has been accused of using tax-exempt charitable donations to promote the Global Animal Partnership and Whole Foods’ business interests. The connections between the entities are apparent: The animal partnership is run by a Whole Foods employee, and Whole Foods CEO John Mackey sits on the HSUS board.

The complaint, which was filed by the the nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom, can be viewed here as a PDF:

Specifically, the allegations state that HSUS — coordinating with several other animal liberation activist groups — is threatening brand attacks on food providers unless they agree to buy Global Animal Partnership-certified chicken. This campaign benefits Whole Foods by, among other things, having other companies commit to higher-cost animal protein or be smeared in the media and on the Internet. Since November, the Center for Consumer Freedom says that almost 20 brands have publicly pledged to buy Global Animal Partnership-certified products following the launch of pressure campaigns by HSUS and allied animal rights groups.

“There’s a reason people refer to Whole Foods as ‘whole paycheck.’ Animal activists are using mafia tactics to coerce businesses into buying expensive meat they don’t want in order to help Whole Foods try and stay competitive,” said Will Coggin, director of research at CCF. “Charitable donations should not be used to wage a proxy war against businesses in support of the private interests of a board member whose company has seen its stock value tank in the past two years.”

Remember, HSUS is not connected to your local humane societies, which do a lot of good in terms of placing pets in welcoming homes. Rather, HSUS is a deep-pocketed nationwide activist organization that uses almost all of its funding to further its political agenda, which includes attacks on many of today’s farmers. Despite the tone of their television commercials, HSUS does next to nothing to feed, medicate, or place shelter animals.

HSUS has not commented publicly about the IRS complaint.

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