HSVMA: What’s in a name?

January 15, 2008

Gina blogged yesterday that HSUS and American Veterinarians for Animal Rights (AVAR) have joined forces to create the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association (HSVMA). And I thought, wow. Smart name. And then, like Gina, I found myself wondering what the AVMA — the American Veterinary Medical Association — was gonna think about this.

I don’t know the answer to that question, but I can make a good guess. That’s because back in 2004, the AVAR was expelled from the AVMA’s annual conference after running an ad in the New York Times accusing the AVMA of supporting “some of the cruelest conditions for raising farm animals to be found anywhere in the world.”

The headline on the ad? “Has anyone betrayed more animals than the American Veterinary Medical Association?”

And although HSUS and the AVMA have from time to time stood on the same side of some issues, they parted ways rather abruptly in 2006.

So, what’s up with the copycat name, then? Could it be that HSUS wanted to cloak itself in the mantle of the AVMA’s and the veterinary profession’s credibility? To make an alliance with what is essentially a fringe veterinary group, and then use that oh-so-similar name to create an impression of a much broader veterinary medical authority?

It’s not just the name that makes me wonder, either. In announcing the formation of the new organization HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle said, “Veterinarians bring a special credibility and authority on animal issues.” And he’s right. They do.

But “special credibility” is not medical language. It’s not even animal welfare language. It’s PR language.

Imagine that.

Filed under: non-profits and charities,pets, connected — Christie Keith @ 1:29 am

7 Comments »

  1. If you can’t beat them and can’t join them, copy them and fool people into thinking you have beaten them or joined them.

    Comment by Christopher — January 15, 2008 @ 3:18 am

  2. “So, what’s up with the copycat name, then? Could it be that HSUS wanted to cloak itself in the mantle of the AVMA’s and the veterinary profession’s credibility?”

    I think so.

    If you take a look at Dr. Paula Kislak you will have an idea of where they are going with this. She is a supporter/sponsor of AB 1634. She promotes sterilization of all kittens and puppies as young as 6 weeks old. She’s a vegan, and an activist. She seeks to ban racing (including the Iditarod), tail docking, ear cropping, de-barking, de-clawing and the breeding of all purebred dogs. Here’s a quote “Most “purebreds” (Chihuahuas to Great Danes) originate from only a handful of wolf-like canines that have been artificially manipulated over the last few hundred years through genetic inbreeding, in ways that are cruelly unhealthy.” source http://www.independent.com/news/2007/aug/23/breeding-discontent/

    From the website “Our programs and efforts on behalf of the animals will remain unchanged and this new partnership will give us access to substantially more resources to accomplish our goals.”

    Sound like HSUS bought them and changed the name to me.

    Comment by trucorgi — January 15, 2008 @ 8:45 am

  3. Yikes, I’d suspect a new image with the underlying additional credibility to spark more media leverage. I get pretty sick of the spin these days.

    And gosh, we don’t have enough organizations out there already–do we?

    Comment by Diana Guerrero — January 15, 2008 @ 10:47 am

  4. ” . . . this new partnership will give us access to substantially more resources to accomplish our goals.”

    your donation dollars at work?

    Comment by straybaby — January 15, 2008 @ 3:19 pm

  5. I am typically suspicious of these large organizations. On the way to work this AM, I was thinking of a good friend who died a few years ago of pulmonary hypertension. She had called the Lung Association to find out what assistance they might render for her condition. Basically the answer was “nothing.” They only could provide information. Don’t know what they do with all the donations they receive. Seems they could do more than just disseminate information. Have to look at any of these large organizations – for both pets and humans – with a more critical eye.

    Comment by Carol — January 15, 2008 @ 3:43 pm

  6. Carol – isn’t that the truth!

    Comment by Lynn — January 15, 2008 @ 4:13 pm

  7. You all need to check your facts. If you are on this website because you “love” animals, how can you say such bad things about an organization that works so hard to protect animals??

    Comment by Sarah Jacobson — September 15, 2008 @ 11:43 am

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