2 Feb 2012 - No response from HSUS

Late last year I devoted one of my commentaries on Samuelson Sez to criticizing The Humane Society of the United States, stating that they encourage giving by individuals to support local animal health shelters across the country, when in reality they are not doing that; instead they are lobbying to achieve their stated goal of eliminating animal agriculture in the United States.

Well, that brought a letter from the attorney for HSUS threatening a lawsuit because I used the word “lobbying” and they demanded a retraction. They were right on that point, I should have said ‘to fund their programs to eliminate animal agriculture.” I made the full retraction and at the same time I invited Wayne Pacelle, the President, to join me on my TV program to answer questions on who contributed the $142-million dollars in their treasury, and how it will be spent.

People are wondering what kind of response or reaction I received. Well, so far no response from HSUS, so apparently they accepted my retraction. But, also, there was no response to my invitation to have Mr. Pacelle sit down with me and answer my questions.

It did however, generate some interesting e-mails, all of them from the agricultural community were very positive, but there was one exception...from an angry viewer in Oklahoma who did not like my idea of extending the invitation and said so in no uncertain terms....”I just heard your capitulation to the HSUS on RFD-TV. To say you made a mistake was enough. To invite them to come on your program to spread their propaganda is simply a betrayal of farmers and ranchers in the United States. That cannot be explained away. A betrayal, Mr. Samuelson, is a betrayal.”

I wrote back saying “Thanks for your response, but I disagree with your conclusion. If he accepts, it will not simply be a statement from him. I will interview him and ask him explicit questions on their goals and how they will spend the $142-million.” Well, that didn’t satisfy Mr. Oklahoma; he fired right back...“Orion, I am reminded of an old political truism . . . ‘If you get into bed with a skunk, no matter how good your intentions, the morning after, you will still smell like a skunk. To allow him on America’s Rural Network gives him access to thousands of viewers that he cannot ever hope to address, otherwise.

I understand the concern, but I also know through the e-mails from non-farm consumers, there are a lot of people who still believe if they send money to the HSUS it is going to support local animal shelters, and who also believe that HSUS is not trying to pass laws that will ultimately put livestock and poultry producers out of business and turn us all into vegetarians. They need to hear that directly from the source.

My thoughts on Samuelson Sez.