162 #TimesUpAR: Covering the Recent Public Allegations of Abuse and Harassment in the Animal Rights Movement with The Bearded Vegans
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Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | RSSThis week we pair up with The Bearded Vegans to cover the dumpster fire that is the mainstream Animal Rights movement, as revealed by the recent #TimesUpAR campaign.
In This EpisodeIn a collaboration with our dear friends Andy and Paul from The Bearded Vegans podcast, we take a deep dive through a timeline of the recent public allegations that have come out against male leaders in the animal rights movement. We then follow it up with a conversation about public apologies by other men in the movement, avoiding ally theater, and how we can all help create a better movement going forward. UPDATED TO ADD: It has come to our attention that Collectively Free was not credited for the #ARTooWhite actions at the Animal Rights Conference in 2016. We apologize for this oversight, we are huge fans of both that action and that organization!
Public allegations timelineJan 14th
- Carol Adams posts publicly on Facebook – tagging Paul Shapiro (formerly the Vice President of Farm Animal Protection at HSUS and author of Clean Meat).
- Humane Society CEO Under Investigation for Sexual Relationship With Employee, article on Philanthropy.com
- The Animal Welfare Movement’s #metoo Problem, article published on The Philanthropy Chronicles by Marc Gunther
- Female Employees Allege Culture of Sexual Harassment at Humane Society. Two senior officials, including the CEO, have been investigated for incidents dating back over a decade, article on Politico
- Paul Shapiro posts a public statement – It is a PDF of, what appears to be, a letter that was printed out and then scanned, hidden in a Dropbox link
- Rick Bernthal, chair of the board at HSUS sends email to deputy directors telling them to focus on their work
- Humane Society donors call for firing of chief executive after sexual harassment complaints, article on Washington Post
- Top Lab-Grown Meat Advocate Accused of Creating Atmosphere of Sexual Misconduct at Humane Society, reported on Gizmodo
- Humane Society keeps CEO after sexual harassment complaints, prompting seven board members to resign, reported on the Washington Post
- Humane Society C.E.O. Resigns Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations, reported on the NY Times
- Wayne Pacelle publishes a letter to his staff, on Facebook
- The Humane Society of the United States accepts the resignation of Wayne Pacelle as president and CEO, on their site
- Jaya Bhumitra comes out with her story about working with Nick Cooney, on Facebook – stating he is emotionally abusive and manipulative
- Josh Balk makes a public statement, on Facebook (Balk took over Shapiro’s position at HSUS and has been friends with all of the recently accused)
- Christina Wilson comes forward about Nick Cooney, on Facebook – this time the allegations also include sexual harassment
- Alex Hershaft posts in support of Wayne Pacelle
- Nathan Runkle (former head of MFA, now just on the board) makes a statement on Jaya’s post
- At Mercy For Animals, No Mercy For Women, article on Nonprofit Chronicles
Links and InformationNews
- The Anti-Vegan Backlash Has Begun & It’s Called Februdairy (Refinery 29)
- New Law Will Require Animal Abusers To Be Registered Like Sex Offenders (Animal Channel)
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Josh Balk and all the board members who voted to shut down the sexual harassment investigation and to keep Pacelle in place. Wayne Pacelle’s misconduct at HSUS goes far beyond sexual harassment allegations. He has, as a matter of routine, lied about his accomplishments and used charitable resources to publicize false claims that elevated his stature and fostered the kind of hero worship that has been so pervasive. This put the women he interacted with at a tremendous disadvantage when considering whether or not to report inappropriate behavior. His fabricated victories enabled his predatory ways by attracting followers and by insulating him from accountability and exposure. Pacelle generated tremendous publicity for himself when he announced a legislative deal with United Egg Producers, which he claimed would “outlaw battery cages nationwide.” In reality, that deal would have kept laying hens confined inside egg factory cages in perpetuity. Facing litigation that included charges of bribery, money laundering, and obstruction of justice (a check signed by Pacelle was apparently used to pay a witness who had repeatedly lied under oath), HSUS settled a massive RICO lawsuit by paying the owners of Ringling Brothers Circus millions of dollars of charitable donations that should have been used to protect animals. That’s in addition to all the money in legal fees that were paid out. This use of charitable dollars – to cover the improper conduct of Pacelle and other executive staff – was not unlike the misuse of funds used to essentially buy the silence of women allegedly sexually harassed at HSUS. Details here: https://www.hfa.org/pdf/Corruption-RICO_Lawsuit-HSUS.pdf In the biggest blunder in animal rights history, Pacelle squandered over $10 million dollars on Proposition 2, the botched 2008 initiative that resulted in millions of laying hens being subjected to more than nine years (and counting) of preventable cage confinement. Nevertheless, Pacelle’s false assertion that he had “outlawed” battery cages in California has been his biggest claim to fame. Pacelle and the egg industry have now introduced yet another ballot initiative in California. This new initiative would declare battery cages legal in California for additional years and would forever allow the egg industry to provide hens with as little as one square foot of floor space per bird. Details here: https://www.hfa.org/legalizing-california-battery-cages.html None of the above would have been possible without the complicity of the HSUS executive staff and members of the board of directors. Just as Pacelle provided cover for Paul Shapiro, HSUS’s senior staff and board members have covered for Pacelle’s behavior. There needs to be a clean sweep.