The other day I linked to a letter to the editor in the Toronto Star in which the head of the U.S. Humane Society defended his organization against accusations by the Center for Consumer Freedom that it is tied to "eco-terrorist" organizations. Today another letter, from David Martosko at CCF, insists that no such accusations were made. Martosko sent me a link to the letter and asked, "care to retract?"
As it happens, no, I don’t. I don’t know any of the specifics about what CCF may have said about HSUS, or why HSUS may have misinterpreted it, but I’m perfectly willing to accept that CCF did not make the accusations in question. But the specific accusation was never my point. Martosko makes much of the distinction between HSUS and other animal-rights groups:
My comment referred to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and its quasi-medical affiliate the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). …. HSUS has done a good job of distinguishing itself from other animal rights groups in this one narrow area.
I don’t find that distinction very significant.
An explicitly political effort is being made to tie some mainstream animal-rights groups to the criminal actions of a tiny minority, and to thereby discredit the entire movement. Moreover, the same effort is attempting to lump environmental groups in with animal-rights groups and sully them with one undifferentiated smear. The motivations for this effort have everything to do with financial interests and nothing to do with reasonable assessments of the threats facing the public.
That HSUS is not a target of the smear is perhaps worth noting, but doesn’t change the basic narrative.