Saturday, February 28, 2015

An Open Letter to all HSUS Agriculture Council Members

If you are not aware, one of the HSUS programs is to establish state Agriculture Councils in a poor attempt to have input on agriculture production and standards. According to their website they have established councils in 10 states that supposedly provide "guidance" on better, more responsible farming practices.  Protect The Harvest sent a letter to these councils.  Good reading. . .

I would like to start out by wishing you a good day, and to point out that the following message is not meant to have accusatory or otherwise menacing intentions. We realize that many of you are involved with your respective state’s HSUS Ag Council because you sincerely desire to make a positive impact on agriculture. We take very seriously the importance of promoting and supporting the hardworking American farmer who provides nourishment for American families.

A select group of you are even involved in animal agriculture. Meat and dairy products are essential components of a well-rounded diet, providing vitamins and nutrients that can’t be properly provided through other means. We commend you for your service to the industry and for the work you put in day in and day out to make a living while feeding our population.

All that being said, there are many things you need to know about the organization with which you have partnered. You may be aware of some of the criticisms that have been leveled against them, but we want to encourage you not to write this off — what is written below is very serious and should be of critical importance to you as a food producer in America.

Within this letter, we hope to have consolidated some of the most vital information about HSUS and its leaders as it directly pertains to your way of life and your ability to make a living doing what you love.

Please carefully examine the following information about your “friends” at the Humane Society of the United States:

1)      The Humane Society of the United States is a Washington, D.C. special interest group that was originally formed to unite the animal rights movement under a single banner. Their interest in modern animal agriculture is to see it done away with and nothing more.  Sure, they have their state directors and other outreach personnel (you’d know far more about these people than we would), but their higher-ups likely see you as nothing more than a stepping stone to furthering an agenda laid out a long time ago. They’ve realized that their legislative efforts have been futile in recent years as they’ve increasingly encountered strong opposition to their attempts to pass policy favorable to their cause. Therefore, they’ve moved on to appealing to farmers and ranchers on a more personal level.
         That’s where you come in. The idea is that good people like you might be attracted to a message that they think you want to hear, and that in response, you will take what they’ve taught you and spread it on to your fellow farmer or rancher and your customers.

2)      You might think that HSUS is putting its money where its mouth is, or at least where their donors would assume it is spent.  Let’s examine that for a second. In 2012, for example, HSUS generated $125 million dollars. Of that money, $42 million went towards fundraising and $44.3 million was spent on salaries. Do you know of many non-profits that spend such an exorbitant amount on fundraising or have such an expensive workforce?
          Both those numbers are higher than the amount they spend on advocacy and public policy — the issues they must be telling you are of utmost importance to them, because of how important it is to you.
          No, that would interfere with the bottom line. They spend so much money and resources just to make more money, which is the same reason why they don’t bother to correct donors who have the misconception that they are associated in any way with local Humane Societies. In actuality, they have absolutely no affiliation with them nor do they allocate more than 1% of donations for that cause, yet they happily benefit from exploiting this name association.

3)      In its own “Statement on Farm Animals and Eating with Conscience”, HSUS reveals its true beliefs about food and your chosen profession and way of life.  Outlined in that document available on their website is what they call their “Three R’s”:
         Reducing the consumption of meat and other animal-based foods; Refining the diet by eating products only from animals who have been raised, transported, and slaughtered in a system of humane, sustainable agriculture that does not abuse the animals; and Replacing meat and other animal-based foods in the diet with plant-based foods.
         We’re not sure what they are telling you or how they’ve explained that your involvement with their state Ag Council will benefit you as a farmer or rancher, but if you’re at all involved in animal agriculture and you’re a member of one of HSUS’s Ag Councils, you are working for an organization that is actively seeking to reduce demand and dry up the market for your goods.

4)      Most people aren’t quick to name Humane Society of the United States among others when asked to think of radical animal rights groups. They have been careful to watch what they say in public to avoid the kind of controversial radicalism that has cratered the credibility of outspoken groups like PETA.

However, HSUS has absorbed some of the smaller, more radical animal rights organizations and brought some of their staff with them. When HSUS brings staff over from the extreme animal rights groups, those individuals may begin to project a different image than their former cohorts who stage protests and resort to property damage to convey their message, but it would be foolish to assume they check their radical ideology at the door.

5)      Much has been said here in the hopes of helping you see exactly who it is that you are working with, but we can’t say it any better or more convincingly than HSUS’s leaders have, in their own words.

More of the letter at Protect the Harvest

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