Ark Trust Becomes Part of HSUS

The Ark Trust recently announced that it is being absorbed by the Humane Society of the United States and will henceforth become The HSUS Hollywood Office.

In a press release Paul Irwin, president and CEO of HSUS, said of the announcement,

This is a very significant development for our organization. The past few years have seen a dramatic increase in the entertainment and news media’s attention to animal issues. The Ark Trust’s extensive relationships in this industry and its record of success encouraging vigilance in the treatment of animal issues in the medical, coupled with our expertise on animal protection issues, give us an even stronger voice in our common effort to change the hearts and minds of the public when it comes to animals.

It is interesting that HSUS feels comfortable with the sort of extreme animal rights sentiment espoused by Ark Trust. This is consistent, though, with HSUS’ ongoing habit of sending one message to the public and another message to the animal rights community.


That Ark Trust, Inc. to Become Hollywood Office of the Humane Society of the U.S. Press Release, Humane Society of the United States, August 27, 2002.

Ark Trust Genesis Awards

Ark Trust recently announced the winners of its Fifteenth Annual Genesis Awards, given to individuals and programs in the media that further the cause of animal rights. The award show aired on May 12 and May 13 on Animal Planet.

From an Ark Trust press release announcing the winners,

“Politically Incorrect” won in the Outstanding Television Talk Show category for fearlessly dissecting the arguments of those who defend Hunting, declaring that animals’ right to live supersedes a dying child’s wish to kill. The discussion followed a policy change by the |Make A Wish Foundation| that denies last wishes involving firearms.

“I thank you all for having me, for giving me this, for noticing, for joining in,” said “Politically Incorrect” host and Executive Producer [Bill] Maher upon accepting his award. “The animals are the most innocent, most speechless, most defenseless creatures and they deserve a mean, take-no-prisoners son-of-a-bitch like me talking for them.”

The Make A Wish Foundation caved into activists a couple years ago in announcing it would no longer consider requests from young people for hunting trips. Philosophically the argument offered by Maher and others makes no sense unless they also are going to start targeting the Make A Wish Foundation for paying for meals for dying kids that include meat — does an animals right to live supersedes a dying child’s wish to have a hamburger at McDonald’s?

And, of course, Maher and other activists are on record as opposing the sort of ongoing animal research aimed at the treatment and prevention of the diseases that are killing these kids in the first place. Maher’s view is closer to saying that a child’s right to live does not supersede an animals right to live.

As with most animal rights “victories,” by the way, their conquering of the Make A Wish Foundation really didn’t amount to much. Ted Nugent and other hunters quickly set up the Hunt of a Lifetime Foundation to specifically fulfill hunting wishes of dying children, and the Safari Club International stepped in to pay for the costs of a bear hunting trip for Erick Ness whose requested started the controversy (hunters in Minnesota raised the $18,000 necessary in three days).


Genesis Awards Celebrates 11 Years on TV!. Ark Trust, Press Release, March 10, 2001.

Ark Trust: It's All The Media's Fault

One of the more amusing things about radical political movements, such as the animal rights movement, is just how seriously they take themselves. In a press release announcing its annual list of media “foe-paws” (who thought that up), Ark Trust’s Gretchen Weiler goes on about the supposed overwhelming influence of the media,

In our role as media watchdog, we must be ever-vigilant and speak out about negative as well as positive messages. Either from ignorance or insensitivity, these movies, television shows, magazines and newspapers communicate messages that desensitize the public toward animal suffering and are deserving of a “Foe Paw,” our end-of-year dishonor roll.

What images in the popular media “desensitize the public toward animal suffering”? Here’s a sample.

  • Unsurprisingly, 20/20’s John Stossel gets a prominent mention for a segment on that show that criticized the animal rights movement. As the Ark Trust recognizes, the last thing in the world the animal rights movement can stand is any criticism, because it is modeled on philosophical premises that the overwhelming majority of Americans reject.
  • The film, The Wonder Boys, gets a “foe paw” for its black comedy treatment of a professor who shoots a dog and puts it in the trunk of his car.
  • CBS’ “Survivor” television show obviously comes in for criticism for advancing the bizarre notion that human beings might use fish, chickens, and even rats as a food source. Oddly, Ark Trust says, “We’d rather watch “Gilligan’s Island” — but didn’t that show frequently use non-human primates for some of its more amusing episodes?
  • “The Today Show” earns a “foe paw” for “glorifying” the use of animals in the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
  • All of the sports shows on TNN, ESPN, and ESPN2 earned “foe paws.”
  • Jay Leno receive Ark Trust’s enmity for a skit in which Leno put a toy puppy in a wok and said the dish was a favorite in Korea. Bad taste, perhaps, and a bit inaccurate, but obviously it hasn’t done much to desensitize Americans as there have been no reported cases of people trying to fry up dogs in the United States.


The dirty dozen doesn’t save the day. Ark Trust, Press Release, December 11, 2000.