Washington lobbyist Rick Berman can repeat falsehoods about The HSUS until the cows come home, but repetition doesn’t turn into a lie into a truth (Letter to the Editor, “Humane society is not being honest with its donors,” March 8, 2012).
For readers of Farm and Dairy, or anyone involved with American agriculture, it boils down to this: You may have concerns about The HSUS’ aggressive campaigns on behalf of animal protection, but trusting Rick Berman is a colossal mistake. He has stood in the way of efforts to crack down on smoking, drunk driving, childhood obesity, tanning bed use, animal cruelty, and a wide range of other behaviors and practices that should embarrass any right-thinking American. He spreads false claims about The HSUS to line his own pockets and keep up the maintenance on his Bentley.
Is Mr. Berman influential or effective? An increasingly large segment of the restaurant industry, which used to hire him, is now ignoring him, and adopting supply chain guidelines that will improve agriculture in the best of ways in the years to come. Since he opened up his campaign against The HSUS in 2005, our budget has nearly doubled.
We are excited about the partnerships we have with farmers, ranchers, trade associations, and other entities, including the United Egg Producers, the Ohio Farm Bureau, and so many others. We at The HSUS are willing to sit down and find common ground with agricultural producers to find solutions that are good for farmers, consumers, and animal welfare.
We don’t think there’s a conflict between profitable farming and high standards of animal welfare.
(The author is president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States.)