The Humane Society of Ottawa has come under fire from another animal advocacy group for serving meat at its upcoming fundraising dinner, the Fur Ball.
The Ottawa Animal Rights Defence League has asked the Humane Society to consider an animal-free meal at its $300 per plate dinner. Last year the group protested outside of the Fur Ball when the Humane Society refused to consider their request and served meat at their dinner.
The Humane Society has given the group the same reply as last year, but a spokesperson for the Defence League has yet to say if the group will protest again this year when the Humane Society (presumably) serves meat again at the event on March 26th.
The Humane Society’s reply to the Defence League states that the Humane Society is an animal welfare organization, not an animal rights organization and that it sees no ethical conflict with the raising of animals for food, only with the way that they are treated prior to and during slaughter.
They also stated in their letter that they offer a vegetarian option for the meal, but less than five percent of those who attend the event opt for it.
This means that over 95% of people who support the Ottawa Humane Society enough to pay $300 to attend one of their fundraisers see no problem with killing and eating animals.
Last year’s Fur Ball raised $175,000.
The Defence League was instrumental in having foie gras removed from the Winterlude kickoff dinner. If the Humane Society’s history and statements are an accurate indicator, it believes that it already has the moral high ground and will almost certainly refuse to change their menu regardless of any pressure they receive from outside groups.
It is almost impossible for the two sides of the animal welfare/animal rights debate to see eye to eye on issues like this because the goals of the two movements are mutually exclusive.
The animal welfare movement is based on the premise not only that animal consumption will always continue, but that it should always continue. It seems that while the Humane Society fights for humane treatment of animals, it refuses to acknowledge that not killing an animal at all is a humane treatment in and of itself.
The fundamental problem with the animal welfare movement is the idea that some ways of torturing and killing animals are acceptable and others are not, and no one can seem to decide where that line should be drawn or by what standards it should be judged.
The only ideologically consistent way to advocate for animals is to refuse to support any form of animal torture, exploitation, or murder. You can’t change the way we treat animals while you eat them, pay to see them imprisoned in zoos, and support frivolous testing on them.