Partnering with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is a lot like joining an alliance in the Hunger Games. If you’ve seen the movie or read the books, you know that each district in this imaginary world has to sacrifice a boy and a girl tribute to play in the Hunger Games, which ultimately results in the tributes killing one another until only one remains.
A common tactic in the Hunger Games is to join an alliance to help smoke out the weak ones; however, if you are not the strongest or the most cunning in your alliance, your death is imminent as soon as your usefulness wears out.
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Likewise, I think a Kansas farmer/cattle feeder who has teamed up with HSUS to help eliminate “industrial agriculture” is headed for the same result if the HSUS master plan wins out.
As reported in Farm and Dairy, “Cattle rancher and political activist Mike Callicrate has spent a lot of time fighting for what he considers fair and open markets in the beef industry. He’s sued large corporations, lobbied lawmakers, fought to defund the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and helped to file ballot measures supporting what he feels is the fair, humane way to raise animals.
“Callicrate is known for inventing the Callicrate Bander used to castrate bulls. He wears many hats, but his main theme is supporting ‘family farmers’ against industrial agriculture. According to Callicrate, grocery stores, meatpackers and large farms are pushing family farmers off the land.
“Part of his new approach is becoming a partner with HSUS. Callicrate joined the HSUS farmer advisory council for Colorado in 2012, and has worked alongside the organization to ‘stop industrialized ag.’ He said the size of the HSUS and some of their similar values, made it an attractive partner.”
Callicrate seems like a charismatic sort; his website says he was an advisor for the films Food Inc. and FRESH, and is cited in several books including The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Fast Food Nation. He obviously believes in his convictions; however, I think it’s only a matter of time before this “tribute” is a victim of his own game. Siding with a group like HSUS is a slippery slope to tread. I don’t understand how compromising with an animal rights group is going to yield positive results for any farmer or rancher, big or small.
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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