OCM explains its dislike of ‘industrial ag,’ trust in HSUS

MOUNT VERNON, Ohio — Cattle rancher and political activist Mike Callicrate has spent a lot of time fighting for what he considers fair and open markets in the beef industry.

He’s sued large corporations, lobbied lawmakers, fought to defund the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and helped to file ballot measures supporting what he feels is the fair, humane way to raise animals.

Callicrate, who is known for inventing the Callicrate Bander used to castrate bulls, was one of the featured speakers at an event sponsored by Ohio Farmers Union Feb. 25 in Mount Vernon.

Related: OCM, NCBA at opposite ends of table

He wears many hats, but his main theme is supporting “family farmers” against industrial agriculture.

“My whole reason to get out of bed every morning is to increase income at the farm gate,” he said. “Number two is to provide a good, healthy food for people.”

Competitive markets

According to Callicrate, grocery stores, meatpackers and large farms are pushing family farmers off the land. His organization — the Organization for Competitive Markets — fights for a “true supply-demand based competition.”

In recent years, after experiencing some setbacks with lawsuits and legislative pushback, he’s decided on a new approach: Go around the major food companies and find a direct way to the marketplace.

This has worked for Callicrate, whose company raises, slaughters and sells its own meat in Kansas and Colorado. But as an activist, he wants to see this model spread, and more of what he considers “family farmers” be put back on the land, while overcoming what he considers industrial agriculture.

Partnering with HSUS

Part of his new approach is becoming a partner with the animal rights organization Humane Society of the United States. Callicrate joined the HSUS farmer advisory council for Colorado in 2012, and has worked alongside the organization to “stop industrialized ag.”

HSUS Knox crowd

He spoke about his vision in Wooster and in Mount Vernon, alongside Missouri farmer and HSUS Vice President of Outreach Joe Maxwell.

Last year, Ohio formed its own HSUS advisory council, which includes Ohio Farmers Union President Joe Logan, who moderated the event. Other Ohio advisory council members who attended were Warren Taylor of Snowville Creamery, Bruce Rickard of Fox Hollow Farm, and Mardy Townsend of Marshy Meadows Farm.

Seeking justice

Maxwell talked about the decline in the number of farmers, while large farms and agribusinesses have continued to grow.“Where is the justice,” he asked. “Where is the justice in America today for the farmer, the animal and the land.”

Trusting HSUS?

Maxwell knows all about the concern some farmers have regarding HSUS — that it promotes Meatless Mondays, promotes reducing and replacing meat, and that it’s president, Wayne Pacelle, is a vegan.

But, he said HSUS and family farmers do have a lot in common, in terms of values and their intolerance for mistreating animals. And, Maxwell said,“family farmers” today are so badly outnumbered, they need the support.

“It’s not that we won’t fight. It’s not that we won’t mount, we won’t charge … it’s the simple fact there’s just not enough of us,” he said. “We charge toward the Capitol and they just laugh at us — they shove us aside. We charge toward your state capitol and it’s the same thing. There’s just too few of us to penetrate the line anymore.”

Maxwell and his supporters got a new hope for penetrating the line when Wayne Pacelle offered them the chance to join HSUS’ state advisory councils. He said the size of the HSUS and some of their similar values, made it an attractive partner.

“It’s time for us independent producers to start looking outside of the traditional place to find support,” he said. “We have to look to consumer groups like HSUS. We have to begin to reach relationships with the environmentalists. We have to begin to build those coalitions and collaborations if we are going to win today.”

About the Author

Chris Kick lives in Wooster, Ohio. An American FFA Degree recipient, he holds a bachelor’s in creative writing from Ashland University. He spends his free time on his grandparents’ farms in Wayne and Holmes counties. More Stories by Chris Kick

32 Comments

  1. C. Sawyer says:

    Just remember HSUS like PETA is a social movement. Seems the egg union just dropped out in their partnership with HSUS. Guess they found out the real HSUS. They do not believe animal should be “owned” and have “dominion” over them. Guess that means cattle too. They are responsible for billions upon billions of dollars being removed from the economy in the USA, since the 90s. Total for California in the cattle industry is about 55, billion dollars and HSUS saw to that. What makes you believe that the small farmer can feed the USA? Impossible. Of course Peter Singer, the “father” of the animal rights movement believes in termination of life of children less than two years old if they can not be productive citizens. Mike that is the type of people you have put your faith in – very bluntly put – an organization that is taking you for a ride and philosophy is: no more animal use by humans. Mike HSUS is not a consumer group, it is a charity! Small farmers have known the HSUS agenda for years and they are simply packing it in, just like animal research and hobby dog breeders, people who raise animals for fur and on and on.

  2. “Callicrate joined the HSUS farmer advisory council for Colorado in 2012, and has worked alongside the organization to “stop industrialized ag.” From the OCM website:”During the morning, Wayne Pacelle, President of the Humane Society of the United States, will discuss his organization’s brand new alliance with family farmers, which has the potential to entirely transform the politics of animal agriculture in America.”

    ONE QUESTION: How can anyone say that Wayne Pacelle, HSUS, has a new alliance with “family farmers” who are breeders when HSUS/Mr. Pacelle has joined the government in a lawsuit against ALL FAMILY BREEDERS?

  3. The HSUS is not your local animal shelter. The HSUA has been hijacked by radical animal rights activist. It is an over 150 million dollar corporation that spends almost every dime it gets on obscene salaries and filing lawsuits. It raises money by showing ads of cute dogs and cats, but it spends less then 1 cent on the dollar to feed and shelter cats and dogs. More and more members of congress are questioning the tax free status of the HSUS because of its political activities. The HSUS IS AGAINST RODEO AND WESTERN TRADITIONS. IT IS FOR A VEGETERIAN LIFE STYLE AND AGAINST EATING MEAT. The HSUS has been accused of paying employees to abuse animals and videoing the abuse as proof that meat production should be stopped. The HSUS wants to change our eating habits and standard of living by outlawing farming methods which are used on family farms. The HSUS is bad for America so don’t applaud its lackeys. If you want to support something think about giving to the child fund, St. Jude, the Wounded Warriors, or you local food bank. If you want to help animals, give money to you local animal shelter. Giving money to the HSUS is throwing money away on a bloated bureaucracy that waste it on salaries and litigation. It claims to do good but if you really look at what it does, it only piggybacks on the work of local organizations.

  4. This gentleman will find out, if he doesn’t already know it, that HSUS is not his friend or ally. I will compare it to the public zoos that have joined forces with HSUS to put the private breeders and exhibitors of exotic animals out of business. The zoos think HSUS is their friend, when HSUS hates zoos just as much as they hate the private owners. It’s just easier to take down the private owners first. Likewise, they think it’ll be easier to take down “big ag” by accusing them of all sorts of atrocities and getting the “family farmers” to help them do it. Personally, I see a need for both the small farmers and the big ones. This nation can’t be fed by the small farmers; as much as I love their products, I recognize the need for the larger facilties. Partnering with radical groups like HSUS is always a mistake.

  5. Laurella Desborough says:

    Polly Britton is right. I grew up on a small farm. If the small farmers want to continue to do their work and to survive, they do need friends and supporters. I just don’t think choosing HSUS is the right move since HSUS is against ALL animal breeding and keeping. Perhaps small farmers would do better to create local chapters where they partner with schools so kids learn what farming is all about and then grow up to support farm activities. The problem is that city people are just not knowledgable about what real farming requires.

  6. Faith MIller says:

    This is a typical ploy of HSUS. Divide and conquer It is easy to vilify a big commercial enterprise The public has already been brainwashed into thinking all big commercial farms are inhumane (not true) and small family farms are idyllic (also not true) The underlying plan is to have family farms side with HSUS big bucks and get rid of the big farms and then HSUS will work to get rid of the family farms. It is a plan of steps . And it has been working. It is time that ALL farmers commercial factory farms and family farms and hobby farms ALL get together and stop this. There is no way family farms can feed the US let alone the world. As a farmer myself I see daily how hard we work to feed our people in our house let alone the rest of the population. And besides just the farmers getting together ALL animal owners past present and future need to step up and speak out against the steady erosion of our right to own, use and eat animals! Mike is just buying himself a little time and sooner or later he will learn that HSUS is not a friend to anyone that considers animals property and thinks that they have the right to use them

  7. Partnering with H$U$ is like allowing the fox free access to the hen house, day or night, and trusting that it won’t eat the hens if given the opportunity. The only reasons I can think that any animal enterprise would partner with the H$U$ is (1) they’ve been flim-flammed and brainwashed by the propaganda (whether through desperation or just plain ignorance); (2) they think they will profit monetarily (false promises by the H$U$, so it can *use* a few farmers to *get* the others); or (3) they will not be attacked by the H$U$ (kind of like throwing others to the alligator so it’ll eat them first). May be more reasons, but it is NOT animal welfare. Animal rights is NOT the same thing as animal welfare, and H$U$ is an animal rights-led organization. Its leaders may con people, but the core belief of the animal rights movement is NO animal use. Why would anyone invite animal rights “true believers” to the table with farmers interested in animal welfare?

  8. Angela says:

    Hi, I am the market development coordinator for the rural development and outreach program at The HSUS and I live here in Ohio. We are an animal welfare organization rather than an animal rights group as was stated in the article. If you visit our website (humanesociety.org/rural) you’ll see our Board of Directors ratified policy statement that says we support humane and sustainable farmers. We promote them to our members and connect them with retailers. In Ohio our experts are helping farmers from a Grassfed beef co-op and we’re working with a grocery chain to bring more local meats into the stores. We have similar efforts in a number of states. We are hosting a meeting this month in Omaha where we’re bringing in pork companies and inviting farmers to connect with them to sell gestation crate free pork. We do support traditional family farmers. We are working to eliminate four of the most egregious practices in agriculture: gestation crates, barren battery cages, veal crates, and tail docking of dairy cattle. That’s it. We are absolutely not working to eliminate animal agriculture. I am proud to eat humanely produced meat from folks like those on our agriculture councils and encourage our members to do the same. We are fortunate to have this great network of farmers helping us refute the myths and stand up to Big Ag. I hope people reading this article will take a look at the work we are doing and keep an open mind.

    • How long have you been with H$U$? Many of us have followed the animal rights movement for decades, and we are NOT fooled by the current propaganda coming from H$U$ leadership (which has tried to re-write the past in denying former comments that are definitely anti-animal-use). You may, as an individual, be truly animal welfare, but H$U$ leadership IS NOT–they are animal rights “true believers”–have you even looked at their personal histories of vilifying animal enterprises? You need to look up what the AR movement really is and the *incremental steps* that are part of the strategy for diminishing animal use (and the human/animal bond) as much as society will allow.

      • Angela says:

        Hi Marcy,
        I’ve been with The HSUS for a couple of years. I can’t speak to certain comments staffers may have made in the past, but I take direction from our Board of Directors and executive staff (which includes a pig farmer), and under that direction I open markets for high welfare animal products. I think what matters most is our policies and our actions, not comments staffers may have made years ago. We are doing real work that benefits family farmers. We may not have done a good enough job in the past talking about what we are for in agriculture, and that has given Big Ag the opportunity to define us as anti-ag. But it’s not true and they are the real enemy to the family farmer, consolidating the industry and driving family farmers off the land.

      • [Angela's response to my post doesn't have a box that allows me to respond to her comments, so this will show up above hers.]

        Angela, of course you cannot speak to past staffer positions, but it is very relevant to know that the TOP management in H$U$ (not just “staffers”) are animal rights “true believers”, based on their past comments in various forums. If you think that the AR extremist philosophy does not influence their decisions and strategies, then you are naive. I’m sure you do care about animal welfare and you are made to believe you are doing good works—and you may well be EXCEPT that it is very dangerous for animal enterprises to partner with an organization led by those who would eliminate those enterprises in a heartbeat if they had the power to do so!

    • Randy Janssem says:

      What is the name of the pig farmer, what is the address of his farm and how much is he getting paid.

      • “Humane Society of the United States vice president Joe Maxwell claims to represent “humane” farming, but his record is questionable. As we have reported, Maxwell’s pork co-op Heritage Acres was suspended by the USDA for violations of humane slaughter/treatment regulations in 2009.

        We submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the USDA to get further details on the violations of Maxwell’s operation. Needless to say, the gory details bring new meaning to the term hypocrisy. In all, USDA records show that Maxwell’s Heritage Acres was cited more than 150 times for noncompliance violations ranging from humane handling issues to meat contamination to unhygienic conditions…..” http://www.humanewatch.org/inhumane-violations-fecal-contamination-at-hsus-vps-operation

    • Angela wrote “I take direction from our Board of Directors and executive staff (which includes a pig farmer), and under that direction I open markets for high welfare animal products” Is that the same pig farmer that had multiple USDA violations? According to HSUS, a USDA violation makes one a bad breeder. While I’m not in agreement with that statement, why would HSUS hire someone who they consider to be a “bad breeder” to promote “high welfare animal products”? Shall I assume that I’ll receive the same reply that I would receive when HSUS is asked why they hired Michael Vick?

      Gestation crates protect the piglets from being rolled on and killed by the mother among other things. Why doesn’t HSUS want to protect the little piggies? Same question for chicken cages and calf restraints. And then, why would HSUS willingly join as a co-defendant with the USDA in a lawsuit regarding regulations that force family dog breeders to keep their dogs in cages? HSUS wants dogs/pets in cages but not food animals??????

  9. JohnDopp says:

    Contrary to the paranoia of the pet mill owners and conspiracy theorists, HSUS is not the enemy. What the ag industry is facing is the public backlash against factory farming practices that have undermined consumer confidence in the safety of their food, created environmental nightmares, and given rise to unspeakably cruel practices.

    These are your customers voicing doubts about the ag industry, not “radical animal rights activists”… and you ignore them at your peril.

    Doubling down on practices the public finds repellent is not going to increase your sales. So the industry is left with a choice: ignore public concern and continue to excuse, downplay, and enable the animal cruelty seen in undercover videos; or take an active role in solving the problem by working with the HSUS and other groups to address consumer concerns.

    The public is not persuaded by the industry’s assurances that “farmers love their animals” when they can see video evidence of workers beating them. The public is not impressed with feeble attempts at distraction (e.g., “look over there, shelter pets!” or “crazy vegans wants to take away your pets!”).

    What will win consumers back and save your farms is to stop denying the problems inherent in factory farming, and work to address consumer concerns. That’s precisely what Callicrate and OCM are doing. They’re getting out in front of the problem instead of sticking their heads in the sand.

    Because when you stick your head in the sand, it’s all to easy for someone to come along and kick the other end.

    • Ah, yes, it was only a matter of time before Dopp, one of H$U$’s prime shills, with insults and arrogance, started posting here….

    • Mr. Dopp, if all responsible breeders are mills as Mr. Wayne Pacelle, CEO and President of HSUS has stated, then I admit my “problem” as a breeder mill. Breeder mills/family farmers are the people that feed this country. I’ve been giving away free eggs and chicken dinners to those who are hungry. How many dinners did HSUS give to the hungry last year? Why would you or anyone at HSUS disparage the very people who put food on your plate? If you ate meat for dinner, a breeder raised it!

      And since a breeder raised that meat and HSUS now says they have “formed an alliance with the family farmer”, why would HSUS “undercover people” trespass on private “family farmer” property to take video and then wait over a year to publish those edited videos? After all, the life of that particular animal would be in the guestimate range of less than 1 year, processed and on someone’s plate for dinner before the video was even released. Doesn’t HSUS care enough to report animal abuse immediately to authorities?

      And what is animal abuse? According to Vegans who claim to prohibit themselves from any product made from animals, animal abuse is any use of any animal including for pets or food. If processing animals on a farm to provide food for your children is animal abuse, then every single meat eater in this country is an accessory to animal abuse and I guess I’d have to say “I done it” because I had beef short ribs last night. Did you enjoy a nice pork chop last night?

      P.S. We have DIRT here in Indiana that animals graze upon and vegetables grow in, not sand.

    • Laurella Desborough says:

      HHmmmm…Well, John Dopp, you are either a troll for HSUS or you haven’t been paying attention. The only reason that consumers are noticing animal agriculture is due to the ongoing propaganda of HSUS against animal agriculture. And take note that when they have an abuse video they take months to turn it over…waiting for an opportune PR moment to present the video.

    • Bonnie says:

      Re: “What the ag industry is facing is the public backlash against factory farming practices that have undermined consumer confidence in the safety of their food, created environmental nightmares, and given rise to unspeakably cruel practices. ”
      Sorry, this so-called public backlash is not a spontaneous grassroots uprising, it is the result of years of lying propaganda spread by animal rights groups in an effort to deliberately bamboozle the public. Ninety percent of what the public hears in the media about farming is just plain lies from a very tiny, very noisy fringe element of animal rights activists – is it surprising that the public has come to believe these lies? But there is a way to see through the lies: Simply ponder this: if all the laws and regulations that the animal rights lobby wants to get passed actually became law, what would be the total effect of all those laws added together? It would make it impossible to own any animals, including pets, or eat any meat, or use any animal products, or do any animal research. And it would finish us, too, as a species, because, contrary to the animal rights lies, a true vegan diet is not capable of sustaining human life. Ask any actual, practicing doctor (not those animal rights figurehead doctors). That shows you what the REAL intention of this so-called “humane” movement is.

      • >>But there is a way to see through the lies: Simply ponder this: if all the laws and regulations that the animal rights lobby wants to get passed actually became law, what would be the total effect of all those laws added together? It would make it impossible to own any animals, including pets, or eat any meat, or use any animal products, or do any animal research. <<

        Excellent argument and absolutely correct! The AR *propaganda mill* BIG LIES have done a number on the public. The AR "true believer" leaders, such Pacelle, are con men of the first degree—or maybe it's more accurate to say that they are charismatic cult leaders, and we all have read of a few of those in our society and the destruction they have wrought! Alinsky's Rules for Radicals is like a Bible to those who would influence our society by using incremental techniques and vilification strategies towards their targets (IOW, those who oppose a minority extremist philosophy). Alinsky undoubtedly studied Third Reich philosophy and implementation using the BIG LIE in order to control the people.

  10. AmyK says:

    I have no problem with small farmers who partner with the HSUS to reach new customers for their products. If the HSUS is as anti-agriculture as some people here believe, why would they hire a pig farmer as their vice president of outreach? Why would they form agriculture councils in several states? Why would they put their name on several different humane labeling systems for meat? Why would 95% of their members eat meat? These same members are very interested in purchasing more humane meat products, and it’s the HSUS, not the conventional meat sector, that’s bringing humane products to market. The fact is, consumers want meat products produced in a humane manner, and the sooner the conventional meat sector realizes that and acts accordingly, the better for them and the animals under their ownership.

    • Answers to yours questions, AmyK:
      Question number 1: Answer: Money
      Question number 2: Answer: Money
      Question number 3: Answer: Money
      And last but not least, Question Number 4 only begs another question: Amy, how do YOU know that 95% of the very small amount of people that are HSUS members eat meat? Is there now a question on the membership application that asks “Are you a meat eater?” And if so, WHY?

  11. I.A. Sawyer says:

    Borrowed from Protect the Harvest
    http://protecttheharvest.com/bad-egg-bill/
    IF YOU HAVE BEEN TOLD any of the below, a sign to run like heck.
    In 2011, HSUS forced the UEP into a one-sided bargaining room, offering to stop efforts to create a patchwork of statewide ballot measures, and in return work together in support of an amendment to the Federal Egg Products Inspection Act (a.k.a. the “Egg Bill.”) No one at that table represented the interests of American consumers. The amendment would have impacted the entire egg industry and created an unavoidable increase in the cost of eggs and egg-containing products for American families and consumers.
    The Egg Bill failed to get needed congressional support, due in part to the successful efforts of Protect the Harvest, National Pork Producers Council, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the American Farm Bureau Federation to expose the dangerous consequences and rally support against the amendment. We worked with agriculture industry leaders and members of congress to block HSUS’s efforts to increase egg production costs, which would have forced farmers out of business, and left American families with what would have amounted to a hidden food tax.
    After several attempts to pass the Egg Bill, it became evident that the amendment itself would never survive. As a result, HSUS began working to place the amendment inside the 2012 Farm Bill, but those efforts would soon prove to be a failure, as well, as neither the Republican-controlled House or the Democrat-controlled Senate added the provision to their respective versions of the Farm Bill.
    The victory is worth celebrating, but the fight is not yet over. Chad Gregory addressed the fact that California’s Proposition 2 (2008), set to take effect January 1, 2015, is a looming concern.
    HSUS spent $4 million funding California’s Prop 2 which created vague cage size requirements for California egg producers. California lawmakers realized that egg producers would simply relocate operations out-of-state to avoid the new regulations and corresponding increase in costs for consumers. In response, California passed a new law applying their stringent new standards to any egg product sold in the state, forcing egg producers from other states to meet HSUS’s Prop 2 requirements if they wish to sell their goods in California.

    • Gotta love Protect the Harvest and other organizations who have the financial wherewithall to battle the propaganda mill BIG LIES of the H$U$ and their other AR buddies. There’s a media battle right now, and the dollars of misled donors to the AR-led organizations are being used in a BIG LIE campaign to undermine animal enterprises in this country.

  12. It’s called deception and infiltration. They KNOW that there is no way that society would accept the sociopathic “animal rights” movement’s philosophy, so they work towards eliminating animal use in society in *incremental steps*. Especially since Pacelle took over leadership of the H$U$ (2004 or so–claimed then that he was going to make the H$U$ the NRA of animal rights per Satya interview back then), the attacks on animal enterprises have been frequent and nasty, using Alinsky tactics (BIG LIE–also used by Hitler’s regime) to convince the people that animal businesses are the bad guys, abusing animals and trying to hide it. Nothing could be farther from the truth, but once that idea is “played” hundreds of times, people start to wonder if it could be true—and here we go, making the farmers the bad guys. That is so WRONG on so many levels, but it seems to play well to urbanites and to those few farmers who see a way to gain for themselves by joining the H$U$ camp (better not sleep too soundly though, as they are next if the anti-animal-use campaign continues to be successful). Could animal businesses be more transparent? Yup, and they are gonna have to be to win against the AR juggernaut attacking them by *using* gullible animal welfare people.

    • Bonnie says:

      Yes, the animal rights strategy from the beginning has been a deceptive one: They intentionally misrepresent what their proposed laws do in order to entrench them before anyone notices what they REALLY do.

  13. Tim Stoffel says:

    If HSUS is involved in something, RUN LIKE HELL from it, or be ready to fight and fight hard. Far from being an animal welafare foundation, they are a die-hard animal rights organization whose only goal is to end all association of humans with animals on all fronts. They are anti hunting, anti meat, anti fur, anti zoo, anti circus, anti pet, ad infinitum, ad nauseum. I have watched them systematically shut down one animal operation after another, whether good or bad. They lie through teeth at hearings and in their public relations programs, and they fleece people for their money (like my elderly mother, who kept being deceived into giving to them, even when straitly warned not to). Their collusion with farmers and the governor in Ohio resulted in the active exotic animal industry in that state being destroyed. The same thing will happen with you if you don’t drop them like a piece of nuclear reactor fuel!

  14. Dee says:

    Let’s admit there are extremists on both sides of this argument. I know people who are vegan because they don’t believe animals should be killed for human food. I live in a farming region and know farmers who feel they “own” the animals and that entitles them to do whatever they want to them without regulation. Both are wrong. Animals are God’s creatures and deserve dignity in their sacrifice to us for food.

    That said, whether the HSUS alliance turns out to be a good one or not, Callicrate is correct that family farmers need to build alliances outside the farming industry. Walmart recently announced it is requiring its suppliers to remove harmful chemicals from foods, cosmetics, etc. if they want to be sold by Walmart. A company may ignore some small organic foods chain that makes a similar request, but they can’t afford to ignore Walmart and similar large chains if they want to stay in business. If we, the consumers, make it a point to demand better quality food – fewer chemicals on our fruits and vegetables, healthy working conditions for the migrants who pick them; more humane treatment, fewer chemicals/hormones and more “free-range” conditions for our meat, then the industry will change. Frankly, locally raised beef and chicken have so much more flavor than the mass-produced meat, it’s a wonder more people aren’t demanding meat from smaller, more naturally-raised herds.

    Many environmentalist groups have recognized that while they may personally oppose hunting, they have great allies in hunters who also want to preserve wild areas to they can continue to have places to hunt. It’s time that family farm groups recognize that they potentially have good allies in the animals rights & organic foods industry.

    It would also help the HSUS if they could deradicalize their leadership. People are never going to stop eating meat. We are never going to give up our family pets. HSUS would be better spending their efforts ensuring food animals are treated well, promoting spay-neuter programs, protecting wilderness areas for wildlife, etc.

    And on the flip side, I wish we could stop bashing vegans/vegetarians (and vegans should stop bashing us meat eaters). They may choose not to eat meat, but farmers also produce the grains, fruits and vegetables that vegans eat, so they need each other. We need to be promoting more vegetable and fruit consumption in this country for health reasons. That also will help family farms that produce foods other than meat. Respect is a two-way street.

    • (1) Respect must be earned. When animal enterprises are being constantly attacked and vilified, then there’s fear but little respect, and they will fight back when attacked–and most attacks are coming from the AR “true believers”, so when survival of one’s family, livelihood, and values is viciously attacked, you fight back. Certainly, over the years animal welfare has improved, and some of that is likely due to pressures from “animal welfare” groups [not the same as "animal rights" groups, though often interchangably used]. However, it is deceptive to imply as common practice pictures and videos which the AR anti-meat-eating groups plaster over the internet [as, for example, the Mercy for Animals Meatvideo.com produce does].
      (2) WalMart is doing PR to be “socially correct”. The amount of merchandise (food and otherwise) that comes from overseas to WalMart is staggering, so they are paying lip service to the stir-up of consumers over sourcing.
      (3) I agree with you about H$U$ leadership—there is NO DOUBT that they are AR “true believers”—their past comments verify this, as well as their constant current attacks on animal enterprises in the name of “animal welfare” (IOW, they are *using* animals to *punish people* for using animals). NO reasonably educated person who is not brainwashed by the AR movement will consider anything these leaders say as credible or factual because of their extreme bias.
      (3) As I’ve said before, teaming with H$U$ is like letting the fox live in the hen house and believing you can trust him to not eat the hens. The AR “true believers” embrace a cult-like philosophy, and as with most extremists, “the end justifies the means” (and that includes, lying, deception, etc.–whatever it takes to further their agenda).
      (4) Before the obnoxious AR movement got so vocal and nasty, most people were neutral towards vegans and vegetarians–live and let live. However, when major attempts are made to glorify and justify a minority lifestyle and *force* (through legal and media propaganda) that choice on the majority who do use animals for food, fiber, and as pets, then it’s time to fight back.
      (5) Language is power, and there are words that have been force-fed to the public by the AR movement’s extremists in an attempt to vilify animal enterprises that will wind up backfiring. As one example, my gut instinct when someone mentions a “rescue” is to curl my lip in contempt. I know that’s a gut reaction, but so much negativity is generated by the arrogant and ego-driven attacks on pet breeders by many in the rescue community (IOW, they are so noble, they shouldn’t be regulated, but greedy breeders should be driven out of existence—insanity rampant, IMO). Same thing with other buzzwords pounded into public consciousness by the anti-animal-use propaganda (e.g., puppy mill, factory farm, backyard breeder, etc.).
      (6) Those who really want to educate themselves on the strategies being used by the AR movement’s leaders (Pacelle, et al) should read Alinsky’s ‘Rules for Radicals’. It lays out the strategy for changing society (even if most of society disagrees with the extremists). Undoubtedly, Alinsky studied Hitler’s BIG LIE strategy, as that is a broad base for the AR movement’s tactics.
      (7) I am not a farmer, but I very much appreciate and value the importance of animal enterprises in our society, and when I see them attacked by the AR extremists, I feel suspicious of and hostile towards *anything* the AR-led organizations propose in the name of “animal welfare”. Animal rights is NOT the same as animal welfare, and using those two terms interchangeably shows a lack of education OR an attempt to deceive!

    • Bonnie says:

      “Animal rights” cannot be deradicalized because it is radical by definition. “Animal rights” has never been about giving animals SOME rights – from the beginning it has been about giving them EQUAL rights with humans. Equal rights would mean animals could not be owned, could not be pets, could not be hunted, could not be caged, controlled or eaten. Because who, given freedom of choice like humans, would choose those things? However, the extremists know this philosophy will never be popular, so in everything they say and do they cleverly make use of vaguely defined language that leads the public to jump to wrong conclusions, wrong conclusions carefully planned by the extremists and never denied, such as that “animal rights” is the same as “animal welfare”; that “puppy mills” means only careless or large-scale breeders, not responsible or small-scale ones; that the Humane Society of the US is an umbrella organization to fund small, local pet shelters. They take these hair-splitting tactics right down to the individual arguments for various proposed laws and regulations, and even when caught out, they never deny, confirm, or clarify; they just keep repeating their original statements over and over.
      HSUS also cannot be deradicalized. It was founded in 1954 but since at least 1973, when the process became clear to me, it has focused all its resources and efforts at legal manipulation: passing laws, contributing to campaigns of political candidates, harassing animal businesses with protests, lawsuits, and outright raids; and spreading propaganda to persuade the public to back the laws and cheer on the lawsuits and raids. It was radical long before it hired Wayne Pacelle – it hired Pacelle BECAUSE it was radical, not to BECOME radical.

      • >>It was radical long before it hired Wayne Pacelle – it hired Pacelle BECAUSE it was radical, not to BECOME radical.<<
        While I agree for the most part, Wayne Pacelle has spearheaded the most egregious attacks on animal enterprises in the history of our nation. When he said in the Satya interview (2004 or 2005) that he intended to make the H$U$ the "NRA of animal rights", that's exactly what he meant, and he has hired others with the same belief system (e.g., J.P. Goodwin) to further that AR agenda. He is clever enough to know that his true radicalism will not fly with the American public, so like a wolf in sheep's clothing, he flimflams and deceives the public into thinking that the H$U$ is animal welfare, when at its core (because of leadership and many of the staffers) it is a sociopathic animal rights organization sucking parasitically off donations from deceived individuals and for-profit organizations that should know better. The arrogance and audacity of Pacelle and his gang are breathtakingly evil insofar as society's good is concerned.

  15. Bonnie says:

    In 1973 I received my first HSUS brochure inviting me to donate and enticing me with photos of sad-eyed puppies and kittens in cages. I noticed that it didn’t actually SAY the money would go to shelters, although it implied it for all it was worth, so I called them and asked them point-blank. All that the person who answered would say is that HSUS “protects” animals in various ways. When I couldn’t get her to be more specific, I asked to speak to her supervisor, who parrotted the exact same language; so I asked for HER supervisor and again got the same language. I tried this on multiple occasions, always with the same results, as if the employees had all memorized a script. I also researched in the library (no Internet in those days) and found similarly cagey language. So the “flimflam” has been going on for a long, long time.

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