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By Staff | Jun 18, 2010

The vast majority of people when asked what the Humane Society of the United States does, responds that it shelters orphan dogs and cats. That would be like if I asked what they do at the White House, answering that they grow an organic garden. They do, but growing organic tomatoes is an incidental footnote in White House activities and pet shelters are small potatoes to the HSUS.

Less than 1 percent of what the HSUS does goes to run animal shelters. Most of the rest of HSUS activities is to run around making trouble, spending donations given them by those who think the HSUS shelters pets, challenging animal agriculture.

HSUS thinks it knows how livestock should be treated better than farmers and ranchers with their first choice being the elimination of livestock and meat production in the U.S.

HSUS coordinated public relations and political campaigns to regulate livestock production with models that cannot produce enough meat to supply U.S. consumers at prices U.S. consumers can afford or enjoy. HSUS would like to force livestock industries to adopt models of production that are economically unviable thereby forcing them out of production reducing meat consumption in the USA.

The HSUS model of livestock production is a throwback to chickens in the back yard, a cow in the pasture and a hog in the mud pen. Under this model, farm animals would all have names not far removed from being pets.

U.S. consumers have left the farm long enough ago that they have become generationally detached from a traditional cultural understanding of animal agriculture so that organizations like HSUS can successfully imprint their ideas into a void where personal experience of most consumers with animal agriculture no longer exists.

We as livestock producers think HSUS are a bunch of smooth, organized radicals, but we can’t rely on consumers long removed from a personal experience with agriculture, to recognize the fallacy of arguments made to HSUS.

Livestock agriculture has belatedly recognized that in the world of public opinion, they cannot count on common sense like consumers accepting that farmers and ranchers know best how to take care of livestock.

If farmers and ranchers do not educate consumers and voters that humane commercial practices are being used, HSUS will fill that void with their propaganda. HSUS has effectively gained the confidence of the American public with its efforts supporting animal shelters.

This is what constitutes a bait and switch. HSUS then exploits the positive image with the public to promote its vegan animal rights agenda. PETA is more honest. PETA uses shock rather than deception to promote its message. PETA’s mode of operation was only going to be effective with a small number of people. They were partly entertainment. HSUS is much more sophisticated than PETA, which makes it more effective and dangerous to livestock agriculture.

U.S. House livestock subcommittee chairman, David Scott, says that animal ag must provide current information to consumers. Why is that? The U.S. consumer today is removed from the farm far enough and long enough that they don’t know what to believe.

Activist groups are promoting an agenda, and deception to achieve their end is a tactical means they are perfectly willing to employ. A recipe of 25 percent truth, plus 50 percent distortion, plus 25 percent vegan ideology, equals success in disparaging animal agriculture with the public and promoting Meatless Monday’s, Tuesday’s and every other days.

Animal right groups are not going to let the truth restrain the delivery of this message. This is more than being just about animal welfare. There is a fundamental effort to change animal agriculture as we know it. They would also get rid of most circuses, zoos and aquariums too while they are at it.

HSUS now has a watchdog group providing a lot more transparency to what the animal rights organization does. It’s called HUMANEWATCH.org. HUMANEWATCH posted a full page ad in the New York Times with 3 dogs looking surprised with the headline, ”Surprised to Hear the Humane Society of the United States Shares Less Than 1% of Your Donations With Real Pet Shelters? The Humane Society of the United States is NOT your local animal shelter. Don’t be fooled, go to: Humanewatch.org. Keeping a watchful eye on the HSUS.”

The HSUS is a sham perpetuating a degree of fraud on Americans who think they are what they are not.

The organization is essentially a vegan animal rights group that thinks it is morally and intellectually superior to farmers and ranchers in how they care for livestock and use their funds to feed the public disinformation and finance legal and legislative challenges.

I was elated to see such an ad in a paper a lot of people removed from the farm read.

David Kruse is president of CommStock Investments Inc., author and producer of The CommStock Report, an ag commentary and market analysis available daily by radio and by subscription on DTN/FarmDayta and the Internet.

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