Is anyone really surprised Wayne Pacelle doesn’t get it?
Pacelle, the CEO of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), can’t seem to understand that “The Agreement” forged last summer by his group, former Gov. Ted Strickland, and Ohio’s major livestock associations was not a binding document — it was a set of recommendations to the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board.
“Recommendations will be made to the legislature…” “Recommendations will be made to the OLCSB…” read the individual agreement points.
And recommendations are just that — recommendations. I can recommend to my boss that I get a raise, but it doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. Even though I happen to think that’s a really sound recommendation, he may have more information at his disposal when making his decision than I do.
The representatives crafting The Agreement were not members of the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board, which is charged with listening to all recommendations from all bodies and individuals to create state standards for the care of Ohio livestock.
In my opinion, board members have faced a task of Herculean proportions and have done it professionally, sincerely and thoughtfully. I wouldn’t want that job.
March 1, after weighing all recommendations, listening to testimonies, and researching issues carefully, the board voted 6-5 to allow individual confinement of veal calves up to 10 weeks of age. And the closeness of the vote tells me that no member made his decision lightly.
The board’s autonomy doesn’t seem to matter to Pacelle and the HSUS. In a statement issued March 2, Pacelle said, “There is still time for the Livestock Board to restore its original and proper position. A phase-out of veal crates is a core element of the eight-point animal welfare agreement, and if the Livestock Board guts that provision… we will have little choice but to renew the effort for a ballot initiative…”
In other words, yes, we’ll say we’ll negotiate with agriculture, but if we don’t get our way, we’re not going to play nice anymore.
I don’t think Pacelle and HSUS have any interest in supporting “the mission and purpose of the OLCSB,” even though that’s in The Agreement, too, and even though they said they did.
This is the group, after all, that has a stated goal of “reducing the consumption of meat and other animal-based foods” and “replacing meat and other animal-based foods in the diet with plant-based foods.”
Their “animal welfare” concern is a mere front for their real agenda, which is converting the world to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. They won’t be satisfied until livestock production of any type is eliminated. Sounds extreme, I’ll admit, but not that far-fetched.
And so, get ready for the signatures on file with the Ohio Secretary of State to come out of the vault. Get ready for a much-edited, nasty veal farm video to magically appear. Get ready for TV ads that show farmers as villains. Get ready for the cute puppy ads that generate millions of dollars for HSUS even though the group has little to do with local humane societies or pet adoption. Get ready for letters in newspapers, for online comments, and for a public relations smear campaign. And get ready for a court battle if any final standards don’t meet with HSUS approval.
The opposition is not going to go away. I suggest we also get ready to fight to maintain our privilege of livestock farming. If we don’t, someone may someday “recommend” we’re no longer needed.
By Susan Crowell
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