The Other Pandemic

BY JOHN NASH

Imagine, for one fleeting, bucolic moment that you are clip-clopping through leafy lanes on your way to market, sitting on your sturdy farm cart pulled gently along by trusty Clydesdale, Dobbin. Your faithful old dog Spot sits beside you, sniffing the country air, whilst behind you, the puzzled murmuring of a posse of free-range Rhode Island chickens in crates betrays the reason for your journey. 

Now, animal welfare requires all of us, with a degree of humane common sense, to treat the horse, the dog and the chickens with a reasonable standard of care, commensurate with their positions in life as beast of burden, companion and Sunday roast respectively.  

By contrast, animal rights (ARs) belief is not humane common sense; it is humane concern infected by rot, and gone all fundamentalist and deranged.  It decrees that we have no right to enslave the horse, the dog or the chickens in this way; in fact, under the diktat of ARsism, all three would be done away with and would cease to exist since there is no la-la land where they could live out their days in unfenced peace, love and harmony. Under ARsism’s mad fundamentalism, you wouldn’t even be on your way to market because there would be no animal market, no means of transport and no point anyway. You might as well eat the damn cart since it will probably be as tasty and nutritious as a lot of vegan food. 

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Animal welfare says you can own the horse, the cart and the chickens but, in exchange for ownership, you should make each animal’s life and death as stress-free and painless as circumstances permit.  Seems fair.

ARsism, on the other hand, says you cannot own any living creatures – no companions or pets, no guide dogs, no cart horses, no sniffer dogs at the airport, no landmine-detecting rats, no coconut-gathering monkeys, no meat, no leather, no feathers, etc, etc.

It gets worse;  ARsist folly holds the very peculiar idea that animals have rights like human rights, and so we mustn’t kill or even use any animal for any reason.  Unfortunately, it is totally impossible to exist as a human being without killing large numbers of animals.  Ironically, you even have to kill lots of animals just to establish and run an organic vegetable farm or to grow, weave and pitch a commune of organic cotton tepees. Away from the simple minds of ARsists, life is complicated. 

And since half of evolution’s great fitness test involves creatures of one kind killing creatures of another, the impossibility of existing without killing shows that ARsism is really only a theoretical mental game for the divertissement of philosophers and lonely people with nothing better to do. Like the fermentations of David Icke, ARsism is amusingly mad and funny but shouldn’t be taken seriously by anyone, unless, of course, you are a lizard from the Constellation Draco. Safely tucked away within the asylum that is the human mind, ARs can be fashioned and moulded like funny putty into a host of phantasmagorical theories whose only practical use is to mesmerise young freshers while randy old academics in berets and scarves take a rather more fundamental interest in them. Clearly, as a practice in reality, ARsism is a folly, a mind-fungus, that, like its fungal cousin ergot, infects the human brain, causing the bizarre aberrations exhibited by the mad mullahs of the ARs movement. ARsism is like dry rot, interesting while confined to learned biological and mycological literature, but a pain in the back door if it breaks out in the reality that is your house, place of employment or field sport.  

All of this is rather self-evident and obvious to non-lizard sane people, so ARsism has evolved a cunning plan to avoid being dealt with appropriately with the Jeyes Fluid of common sense the moment it appears. ARsism disguises itself as kindly animal welfare. This dishonest intellectual and social camouflage is a parasitic masterstroke. A cover of animal welfare makes it easy to defend itself (if you attack ARsism, you are obviously cruel to animals, you unfeeling beast) but even more ominously, it makes it easy-peasy to extend its creepy mycelium and suck voluntary donations and legacies from a kindly and unsuspecting public.  In this way, the dry rot that is ARsism turns normal human minds to jelly and vacuums up money faster than you can say Dyson Venturi. 

It is more than a little creepy and dishonest, but such effective encryption and dishonesty brings great material and social rewards because the fountain of human kindness carries upon it an unending flotilla of benevolent gullibles, buoyed along in false credulity by the inflatable ducks of their compassion.

How large are the rewards, you may ponder.  May I show you an example? The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).  It sounds wonderful (“humane”) and advertises itself as an animal welfare organisation, plastering the media with familiar pictures of sad puppies and kittens, each one pleading for your financial help to save it.  So moved, you send off your money and get that well-deserved, warm feeling that you have saved a poor, suffering creature. It must be true; you’ve seen the picture.

Now, I hate to relieve myself all over the light Victorian sponge that is your moral comfort, dear refined CSM reader, but I’m afraid you have been winked by a hood. The Humane Society US is neither very humane nor very social. Far from it; it is a suppurating ARsist bed of infection. As reported here, although not the blatantly wholesale butcher of pets that is PETAnnihilate, it raises more than $120 MILLION every year and rather inhumanely spends very little supporting animal shelters. What it does do well is salt away donations in its Caribbean off-shore arm. Its former boss, Wayne Pacelle, did nicely, too until sexual harassment allegations got in his way. You want green? Now that’s a lot of green.

I’m sorry if it upset you, but it gets worse; HSUS is not all that sociable, either. It is reported that, in 2014, HSUS paid $15 million to avoid facing charges under the RICO Act.  The RICO act is a US law designed to bring the mob under control, so falling foul of RICO sort of tarnishes HSUS purity a little. I bet all those hard-working people and children who ran raffles, garage sales, sponsored walks and a host of other activities aimed at saving animals would not have been quite so keen to bust a gut had they known they were funding a HSUS Caribbean Offshore Fund or a Court-case over HSUS’s Capone tendencies.

Now, my fellow little islanders, you might say, “Humane Society of the United States? In 2014? I care not a whit, not the tiniest particle of faecal matter, care I.” And then you might add, “They’re funny, those crazy Americans. They’re all very fat, wear loud checks, wave guns about, murder our spelling and describe everything as “ossum” whatever that it.  What do you expect in the colonies, vicar?  They are safely a long way away.”  

Well, reach for the Jeyes Fluid, Dear Reader. You see, in that same year of RICO litigation dilemma, 2014, HSUS’s international branch, Humane Society International, had already established a bed of infection right here, in jolly old Blighty, called, rather creatively, Humane Society International/UK.  According to their annual report for 2019, they are 100% controlled by HSUS, so the apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree, nod, nod, wink, wink, tap the side of your nose twice, say no more.  It appears that the tendrils of this mind-rotting ARsist mycelium had already slithered across the pond back in 2002.  That  would have been a good time to don the mask, fill the hypodermic with Jeyes and switch on the Track ’n Trace.

At the time, this HSUS UK fungal eruption came complete with a local Executive Director, one Dr Mark Jones. In the style of BBC auntie news and like the creative fiction of wily Goncalves, I can now divulge that after a prolonged and in-depth undercover investigation by my personal special-ops team, Messrs. “Fingers” Key Board and “Penetrator” G. Oogle, I am able to exclusively reveal to you perfectly lovely CSM readers that scary Dr Mark Jones, who looks a bit sinister, like van Gogh but with two ears, is a veterinarian. He is a very busy vet but he doesn’t fix smelly animals, although according to his bio, he did do three years on pets and a year as a volunteer vet at WFFT in Thailand back in 2006. That must have been a tough gig; it’s at least forty minutes from Cha-am beach.   

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Highly significantly, from 1989, he also spent fifteen years ministering to the Scottish Aquaculture industry.  This is an industry known for cage-breeding salmon and criticised at that time by the WWF because it causes (a) the release of uneaten food and faeces; (b) pollution brought about by releasing chemicals; (c) impact on wild fish populations by escaped salmon that can transmit disease and parasites to wild fish; and (d) impacts upon the wider environment by harvesting large numbers of small fish to provide feed for farmed fish.  

Obviously proud of his time there, on the Tinterweb, Dr J’s Twittery handle is @fishvetmj. There is a degree of comforting human egoism in a vet with rubbery enough ethics to do fifteen years with “Scottish fish slavers” and then, with a straight face, head up the UK branch of the “Absolutely anti-animal slavery” HSUS, whilst calling himself fishvet. It suggests even thicker, fishier skin than Nicola Sturgeon. 

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I have no idea; Dr Jones may or may not have learned much about vetting in Thailand or in the fish batteries of Scotland, but, like his namesake in The Temple of Doom movie, Dr Jones discovered in his travels that there a hidden treasure of inestimable value, greater even than a vets’ common fantasy of discovering a mother-lode of countless fluffy little white dogs owned by rich, lonely, hypochondriac widows. He discovered the bottomless material and social treasure chest that is called animal rescue and advocacy.  Advocacy, Dear Reader, is the code name for ARsism.

To the innocently unenlightened, animal rescue looks like hard work for little cash reward, and it probably was, once upon a time.  But times change and money corrupts.  You can make a lot of noise and collect a lot of money without actually helping any many animals. As I mentioned above, HSUS appears to be a money harvester of note, with exposés suggesting that it is more interested in the wellbeing of its bank balance than the wellbeing of animals. Dr Jones clearly went over to the dark side when he landed a job as HSUS UK’s ARsist-fungus-in-residence,  Executive Director, and began spreading its rot in July 2011.  Strangely enough, he doesn’t appear on the HSI/UK executive appointments at Companies House.  Anyway, now, at last, he could mine the real treasure in animals without getting any poo-poo on his hands.

It was all going so well. Then, mentioned above and in this report from May 15, 2014, the brown and unfragrant RICO scandal hit HSUS’s fan in the USA and the US media spotlight turned on full power.  It caused a tsunami of outrage in the USA, where people are a bit robbery-averse and a touch sensitive to racketeering. The resulting waves of less-than-fluffy publicity inevitably rippled out across the pond and when they finally threatened to wash over the rot-patch of HSUS’s UK operation, its boss, fish Doctor Jones, faced the possibility of being doodled rather ignominiously by the digit of destiny.  So, like any other self-respecting rodent of the torpedoed ship variety, it appears from his Linked-in bio that the HSUS UK’s Executive Director, Dr fishvet Jones, promptly or coincidentally slithered overboard in September 2014.

Now, free of that mess, he bobbed back up to the surface and was expeditiously rescued by yet another well-known and deeply admired animal lifeboat, the UK’s very own, much-loved, and for Dr Jonesy, appropriately named, Born Free Foundation.  According to his bio, he joined them only a month after skipping the HSUS fiasco in October 2014.  Fishvet Jones had fallen with his bum in the butter.  The cold and watery salmon gaols of Scotland were far behind, and now the warm and cuddly global name of Born Free, unlike the blatantly avaricious HSUS, gave this ARsist super-spreader a set of clean, dry clothes and made him piously untouchable.

Standing on the shoulders of such a benevolent giant, he is able to reach the stars and disrupt serious animal business and field work all over the world with his fundamentalist head-rot.  Here he is (second left), with wily eco-chugger and shit-flinger Eduardo Goncalves, his gobby thesp eco-greenshirt chum and their Maasai leader from Waterlooville in Hampshire, smugly misleading the public about trophy hunting outside No.10: 

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So why would such a self-respecting charity give a prominent home to a former cage farmers’ vet and refugee from a suspected ARsist eco-boiler-room operation?   Why would they make Dr Fishvet Jones their Head of Policy? Surely, the Born Free Foundation, mummy of Elsa, free as the wind blows, free as the grass grows, couldn’t possibly be giving aid and succour to ARsists…. 

Nah, that would be so sad, like finding out that Mother Theresa had been on the game….

John Nash grew up in West Cornwall and was a £10 pom to Johannesburg in the early 1960’s. He started well in construction project management, mainly high rise buildings but it wasn’t really Africa, so he went bush, prospecting and trading around the murkier bits of the bottom half of the continent. Now retired back in Cornwall among all the other evil old pirates. His interests are still sustainable resources, wildlife management and the utilitarian needs of rural Africa.

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