Is Rush Limbaugh's cat being held hostage by animal rights extremists?

Our laws do not prevent us from killing animals for food or sport, so the right to life of an animal is nonexistent. ...[W]e are confronted daily by people who wish to obstruct human progress and individual economic choices by elevating the importance of animal existence to that of human existence.
- Rush Limbaugh, The Way Things Ought To Be, 1992

By Chad D. Baus

I have been listening to Rush Limbaugh almost daily for nearly 20 years. I own both of his books - in hardcover. I have been a subscriber on his website since its inception - and each year my wife gives me a renewal for my birthday. When I miss a show, or even part of one, I download it and listen later. In short, I respect the man and believe him to be a highly intelligent individual.

When audience members question a position or prediction he has taken, Rush is fond of saying "Don't doubt me." Well, this week he has given me reason for doubt.

His offense? Recording public service announcements praising the anti-hunting, anti-pet owning, anti-meat-eating, wolf in sheeps' clothing, radical animal rights organization known as the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

Being a regular listener, I know Rush isn't just blowing smoke when he claims to be a "loveable, harmless little fuzzball". All one needs to do is to hear him talking about his pet cat Punkin to realize he has a soft side.

I share with Rush a love for the television series "24". Fans of that series know that Jack Bower can always be counted on to stand up to and refuse to negotiate with terrorists...unless they have taken one of Jack's family members hostage.

After listening to the sickening praises Rush gives to HSUS in these new PSAs, my "24"-sense is tingling. I am beginning to think HSUS President Wayne Pacelle has taken Punkin hostage and is threatening torture. What else could make Rush do something so illogical?

From the HSUS press release, entitled Rush Limbaugh Records Audio Spots for The HSUS:

Rush Limbaugh has recorded two statements of support for The Humane Society of the United States and its work to protect animals from cruelty and abuse: The first spot is on our partnerships with law enforcement agencies across the country to crack down on organized dogfighting and other animal cruelty crimes.

The second is on our outreach to communities of faith, and the moral obligation that we have to be good stewards of God's creatures.

The HSUS welcomes such vigorous statements of support from Americans of all points of view, and is grateful to Rush Limbaugh for reaching out to his audience with a message of kindness and compassion for animals. Like two-thirds of American households, Rush shares his home with a beloved pet – his cat, Punkin.

Does anyone else but me find themselves reading between the lines to find an "if you ever want to see your cat alive again, Rush..." message?

Rush Limbaugh "impressed" with HSUS?

We've come a long way from the day when Rush penned Chapter Ten of his book, The Way Things Ought To Be. The chapter is entitled "Animals Have No Rights: Go Ahead and Lick That Frog."

In that chapter, and often since then on his radio show, Rush speaks out against People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).

Yet David Martosko, director of research at the food industry-funded Center for Consumer Freedom has been quoted by as saying that "he considers there to be little difference between the controversial People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the HSUS as far as their end goals.

"When they use the word 'humane,' that's code for vegetarianism," said Martosko. "They're not lobbying against dog fighting up there. They're lobbying to do away with hog agriculture and to outlaw veal and foie gras."

In fact, according to The Maine Professional Guides Association (MPGA), many of HSUS' leaders have been radical anti-hunting activists all their life. A large portion of the current HSUS leaders came from extreme groups like PETA, the Fund for Animals, and even the domestic terrorist group known as the Animal Liberation Front (ALF).

In the 'dog-fighting' PSA, Rush can be heard urging listeners to "go to practically any animal shelter in the US and you can see the extent of the misery." What you won't see, however, is any sign of HSUS, because the organization doesn't operate a single pet shelter or pet adoption facility anywhere in the United States. (For much more information, download the Center for Consumer Freedom's "7 Things You [and apparently Rush Limbaugh] Didn't Know About HSUS".)

My good friend Larry Moore has been writing about the radicals at HSUS for many years now. An outdoor writer and hunter education instructor, Larry is a long-time volunteer leader for Buckeye Firearms Association and winner of the 2005 USSA Patriot Award and 2007 League of Ohio Sportsmen/Ohio Wildlife Federation Hunter Educator of the Year.

Consider his warnings about HSUS:

HSUS has been on the scene for many years working to outlaw sportsmen activities such as trapping and hunting. They are the largest, best organized and best financed anti-hunting organization in America. They have aggressively merged with or acquired other smaller organizations such as The Fund For Animals and The Doris Day League. Increasingly the anti-hunters who would deny our rights are uniting under one very large and very dangerous umbrella.

They are a "wolf in sheep's clothing" because their very name confuses many people into thinking they are the same as local humane societies, which rescue animals and operate shelters. HSUS operates no animal shelters. They further play on the unsuspecting public through the sales of calendars with photos of cute dogs and cats. Many people, including some who hunt, "feel" they are doing the right thing by buying the calendars or other merchandise without knowing the true agenda of HSUS. They are masters at disguising their true identity and mission.

Their size, an income of almost $125 million, an operating budget well over $90 million, and the ability to bring sister organizations under their umbrella makes them the strongest threat to sportsmen's ability to hunt, trap and fish today. But it is not just size that matters. Their membership and volunteers are never afraid to take the fight to the courts or the public. Unlike many gun owners and sportsmen, they don't spend time preaching to the choir. They are taking their message to local governments, public forums, and especially to the education of youth today. They leave no stone unturned in their efforts to eliminate the hunting, trapping and fishing heritage of sportsmen.

Even the animal rights community has admitted to HSUS' skill at appearing to be something that it is not. In its examination of "who they really are", MPGA quotes from "Animal People" - a newsletter written by animal rightists for animal rightists. In December 2003's 11th annual report on fundraising, under the heading "How they fool the world", publisher Merritt Clifton wrote:

"The most misleading appeals that Animal People sees on a regular basis are those which misrepresent the sender. Over time, such appeals can create an image for an organization which is sharply at odds with what it actually does."

"The Humane Society of the U.S., for instance, is not and never has been a collective voice for all, most, or any other humane societies. Neither does it shelter animals, adopt out animals, neuter animals, or share funding with local humane societies. In fact, HSUS is an advocacy organization representing just itself."

U.S. Sportsmens Alliance (USSA) President Bud Pidgeon has observed that "the Humane Society of the United States invests millions of dollars in efforts to ban hunting and trapping." In recent years, the USSA has led successful campaigns to get major corporations to reverse decisions to support HSUS. I've no doubt Rush will be hearing from USSA soon, if he hasn't already. [UPDATE: The USSA has sent a letter to Rush. In a press release announcing the move, Pidgeon observes that "many of Mr. Limbaugh's supporters are the very people targeted by the HSUS. By lending such a prominent voice to supporting HSUS, he is helping to deceive people about the real agenda of the organization."]

In an investigation of where HSUS gets its funding, the National Rifle Association (the NRA has, in the past received its own share of praise from Rush), observed that "HSUS is anti-hunting, anti-meat eating and is even against owning pets."

Think that is exaggerating? Then consider HSUS President Wayne Pacelle's own words:

  • "If we could shut down all sport hunting in a moment, we would."
    – Wayne Pacelle, as quoted by the Associated Press in Impassioned Agitator, December 30, 1991.
  • "Our goal is to get sport hunting in the same category as cock fighting and dog fighting."
    – Wayne Pacelle, as quoted in the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, October 8, 1991.
  • "Sport hunting—the killing of wild animals as recreation—is fundamentally at odds with the values of a humane, just and caring society."
    – HSUS Website 2003.
  • "We are going to use the ballot box and the democratic process to stop all hunting in the United States ... We will take it species by species until all hunting is stopped in California. Then we will take it state by state."
    - Wayne Pacelle, as quoted in Full Cry magazine, 1990.

Ironically, Pacelle has even spoken out against owning pets (you know, like Punkin).

  • "We have no problems with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding."
    Animal People News, May 1, 1993.

Doesn't that quote amount to an admission that Pacelle wants Punkin dead? I think it does.

So until I hear a better theory for why an intelligent man like Rush Limbaugh would side up with these anti-hunting, anti-meat-eating, anti-pet-owning, animal rights extremists, I am going with the theory that Punkin is being held hostage in a super-secret HSUS bunker with bamboo shoots under her claws.

Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman, the proud owner of two Burmese cats, and likes to eat meat - especially meat he himself harvested.

If you'd like to ask Rush about his real motivations, feel free: [email protected]

Related Stories:
Rush Limbaugh Deceived by Humane Society in New Ad

Anti-hunting group which endorsed Obama now calling for ammunition ban

Radical anti-hunting organization endorses Obama for President

Meijer Ends Promotion with HSUS

Companies such as Iams, General Mills, Accor Hotels, Pet Safe, Sears and Ace Hardware also ended relationships with HSUS after thousands of sportsmen levied strong protest.

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