7 July 2013 - Amanda, You are Right on Target!

Amanda Radke writes a column for beefmagazine.com. She has a lifelong involvement in the cattle industry. I read her column every week because I like what she says and 90% of the time, I agree with her.

A recent column caught my attention with this headline: ‘HSUS Says Ranchers Don’t Like Animals’. Allow me to quote part of that column. Amanda wrote: “ Last week, the Humane Society of the United States held a town hall meeting in Nebraska. The CEO of HSUS, Wayne Pacelle, showed up in a designer plaid shirt, jeans and sneakers to try to level with the community members he would be speaking to that evening. Only one rancher showed up at that meeting. To sum it up, he was extremely disappointed that more folks didn’t show up to have a conversation with HSUS, to air our side of the story.”

Amanda continues...” I think his disappointment is warranted, especially after what Pacelle told the audience. He opened his comments by talking about how he supports some farmers and ranchers, and that HSUS isn’t against animal agriculture. Yet in the next breath, Pacelle slipped up and shared what he really thinks about animal welfare. He told Nebraska TV. . . Animal welfare may not be central to the thinking of farmers.”

Amanda said “I am absolutely disgusted by his comments.” Well, I would share that disgust because he was not being truthful. He has stated publicly, several times, that the goal of HSUS is to eliminate animal agriculture in the United States, so how can he then say he isn’t against animal agriculture? I don’t think he has changed his mind or his goal on that issue.

And a word to those of you who send money to HSUS in response to the television ads showing mistreated pets and animals, thinking all your money will go to help local animal shelters, very few of your dollars go to care for those animals. That money does go to salaries, very nice offices, travel expenses to go to meetings like the one in Nebraska and other states, and to hire attorneys who file lawsuits against livestock producers, and most recently against the U.S. Department of Agriculture to stop it from following the mandate of Congress and provide funding and meat inspectors for plants in New Mexico, Iowa and Missouri to process unwanted horses and export the meat to foreign consumers.

I echo Amanda’s disappointment that only one producer showed up at the Nebraska meeting to challenge the statements and actions of HSUS. Silence on our part will not win any battles for livestock producers in the minds of the public.

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