It’s 91 and counting. That’s how many posts by farmers, ranchers and shoppers were made as of last night on the discussion board on the Forever 21 Facebook page. For those not familiar, Forever 21 is a clothing store that is donating portions of its sales to the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS). This is in response to a photo of a sign discovered by a fellow beef producer outside a Forever 21 store that read, “With your purchase of this T-shirt, Forever 21 will make a $1.00 donation to HSUS. We and all our furry friends thank you!”
Last week I posted a call to action for producers to educate Forever 21 employees and shoppers about the true agenda of the HSUS, which is to abolish animal agriculture and eliminate meat, dairy and eggs from the dinner table. I know I probably seem like a broken record, but an organization that spends less than 1/2 of 1% of its annual budget actually doing what it pledges to do doesn't deserve the charitable donations from good-hearted people who want to make a difference.
You may enjoy reading some of the conversations going on at the Forever 21 site, but here is a selection of postings from producers who have made us all proud:
"I'm not only disappointed as a Forever 21 fan, but as an animal lover. It is sad to me that of the $1 donation Forever 21 is making with these shirts, only half a penny of that would go to the animals who need our help. The rest of the dollar goes to lobbyist salaries, benefits and doesn't help animals. I love Forever 21, but until they stop donating to a fraudulent organization, my cowgirl boot wearing friends and I will be shopping elsewhere for our trendy and very accessorized closets. Merry Christmas to you and thanks for caring for the animals on your farm during the holidays, and always!" -Whitney Wallace
"While, as a male, Forever 21 is not my top clothing store, my girlfriend LOVES this place and I can't blame her. Great quality at a reasonable price. However, we, and our families, will not purchase from Forever 21 until you disband your ties with the HSUS. HSUS is not connected to local humane shelters, and instead will use your donation to push through its legislative agenda like it has already done in states such as California. HSUS wants to destroy agriculture. Interestingly enough, I'm fairly certain many of your products are made from agricultural material such as wool and cotton. Kind of a Catch-22, no?" - Dustin Homan
"Hi! I am a farm girl from Nebraska. I have loved your clothing and your store for a long time, possibly one of my favorite stores. But I am not in love with your recent partnership with HSUS. HSUS is a lobbying company that has no relation to your local animal shelter. Just in the last year HSUS has donated $0 to animal shelters in my state of Nebraska. And less that 1/2 of 1% is actually given to local shelters. The majority is spent on lobbying and publicity, in my view they just a huge PR firm for animal rights radicalists. Notice I said animal rights, as a farmer, I am all for animal welfare and humane treatment of animals. But I am not in favor of giving animals the same rights as humans. I strongly urge you to revoke your partnership with HSUS and instead partner with local shelters in the communities of which your stores are based, I feel the money would go to place where the funds are much more needed. And with that I want to wish everyone a happy holidays!" -Regina Janousek
Thanks to all of you for posting on the discussion boards, leaving messages on the fan page and emailing the company about your concerns. Even if the donations continue, the educational messages shared with our fellow consumers will make a difference. How do you think our agriculture friends responded to this issue?