Over the weekend, I spoke at the annual meeting of the Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association. On our way back to South Dakota from Wisconsin Dells, we stopped in Minnesota to visit my husband Tyler’s family. We were visiting with his grandparents when we both noticed a pair of winter gloves lying on the table. Eblazoned on them were the words, “Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).”
Immediately, Tyler asked his grandma where she got those gloves. Worried that the gloves were a reward for her $19.99 donation to HSUS to save homeless dogs and cats (a fallacy that HSUS claims in its advertising), we were somewhat relieved to hear she had received the gloves from a neighbor. My mother-in-law had explained to Tyler's grandma how HSUS is an adversary to animal agriculture, and Tyler’s grandma had dutifully tried to obscure the “United States” part of the gloves with a black permanent marker.
What I found disturbing, however, was that the neighbor who had given Tyler's grandma the gloves is from an active hog-producing family. Apparently there are still well-intentioned farmers and ranchers out there who unknowingly donate money to HSUS, the very organization that seeks to end animal agriculture.
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I sometimes feel like a broken record in talking about HSUS at agricultural meetings. After all, I expect that virtually everyone in agriculture is aware of how HSUS uses ballot initiatives, misinformation, controversy, confrontation and legal action to regulate or try to push livestock producers out of business. Yet, following every appearance I make, someone in the audience will approach me and thank me for sharing the information I provide because they had just sent a check to HSUS and had no idea. Therefore, I continue to stand on my soapbox and speak about the threat of HSUS to animal agriculture.
That’s why I was pleased to see a Wisconsin dairy producer and blogger, Carrie Mess, take HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle to task recently in a blog post entitled, “Dear Wayne Pacelle.”
Mess writes, “Wayne, you can tout that your organization is above the board. You can say that you’re being honest with your donors and that your interest is in helping all animals. You can say that you are not against the use of animals for food. But as Joe Maxwell confirmed for me the other day, your organization is still subscribing to the 3 R’s. Reduce, Refine and Replace. From your website, ‘The HSUS promotes eating with conscience and embracing the Three Rs—reducing the consumption of meat and other animal-based foods; refining the diet by avoiding products from the worst production systems (e.g., switching to cage-free eggs); and replacing meat and other animal-based foods in the diet with plant-based foods.’ I think you missed another R, redundant. Your goal is for us to both reduce and replace meat in our diets. That agenda is where the dollars donated are going. That is what HSUS stands for. Let’s stop pretending, you may be a vegan wolf, but you’re still a wolf. The three little pigs have had enough of your tofu and they have joined up with Little Red Riding Hood and her buddy the lumberjack to show the world exactly what you and your organization is about. Welcome to reality, you’ll probably not like it here.”
Without a doubt, HSUS and its employees are wolves in sheep clothing. We must be aware of this adversary and be willing to continue to spread the facts about how this organization is both hurting animals and its supporters. I don’t think we can repeat that information enough.
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