My View From The Country

HSUS Releases Another Animal Abuse Video

The abuse of sows and piglets, graphically depicted in another HSUS undercover video reportedly shot on a Wyoming hog operation, shocks both consumers and livestock producers.

Anyone who knows the history of the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) and its “undercover” documentaries knows that what one sees on the videos and the reality of the situation are not necessarily the same thing. It makes sense to be circumspect about any organization that not only misleads so many people in its fundraising efforts, but has professed its intention to end livestock agriculture.

Perhaps we’re too skeptical because we know that a love of animals is required to participate in this industry. And we know that even greed can’t explain such actions because well-cared-for animals are the most profitable.

Of course, the other side of the coin is that, if there is even some semblance of truth to even parts of these videos, the industry should be more than appalled and should do everything possible to make sure such actions never happen again. To serious livestock producers, such behavior, however, defies logic because there is no explanation, and such actions are so rare that they always seem implausible.

It’s like the mass murderer who lives next door, and all the neighbors say he seemed like such a nice guy. The bottom line, however, is that whether the picture is distorted or accurate, either way it’s a major black mark for the livestock industry in the eyes of the non-ag public.

The real disturbing part to me, however, continues to be those so-called “ag” groups that seemingly have aligned themselves with HSUS. In exchange for being sycophants for HSUS, they’ve been accorded positions on the group’s “ag councils,” and given HSUS money and clout on key political issues.

Of course, such arrangements aren’t anything novel in either politics or business; it’s common to form alliances with the devil, if who you are aligned against is seen as the bigger evil. And I get that these “ag” groups may not share the same ideological leanings as the larger more dominant organizations in agriculture. But I’d still like to believe that the industry is more important than ideological differences on how to deal with industry issues.

Discuss this Blog Entry 4

Ron Morgan (not verified)
on May 11, 2012

First off, I fully agree that organizations like HSUS and PETA all to frequently use fanatical, misleading propaganda to further their extremist agendas. What often happens, though, is that the truth is buried in the noise; this is the problem with extremism, and this is how extremist end up inadvertently supporting the cause they portend to oppose.

And the truth is that there ARE farms and processing facilities out there that are unspeakably cruel to animals. If somebody did some of these things to a domestic pet, you would be horrified, and the offender would likely even get jail time.

What needs to happen is for the ag community itself to speak out and point the finger at these idiots, to ostracize and banish them. We proclaim that we DO care about the welfare of our animals, and that we work hard to take care of them 24 hours a day, and that's true, we do.

Even when we hunt wild game, we speak proudly of our desire for a quick, clean kill that alleviates suffering, out of our compassion for God's wild creatures.

Yet, when somebody - one of US, mind you - is exposed inflicting nightmarish pain and suffering upon an innocent, dumb farm animal, we turn our heads and quietly look the other way. No wonder we're so often stereotyped as bunch of ignorant yahoos in overalls. This must stop.

Bieber (not verified)
on May 12, 2012

All producer should be upset that other handle animals this way. This video is dispicable however edited it might be. These owners and employees should be banned from the livestock business. Any one who handles livestock (dead or alive) this way is not a stockmen.

Bieber (not verified)
on May 12, 2012

All producer should be upset that other handle animals this way. This video is dispicable however edited it might be. These owners and employees should be banned from the livestock business. Any one who handles livestock (dead or alive) this way is not a stockmen.

on Mar 13, 2013

In different countries there are different rules and regulation for everybody if also for the animals. But due to some miscreants animals are being treated every harshly which they don't deserve. In order to stop this there are many organizations those work for the benefits of the animals. Such organizations like PETA, HSUS. And HSUS has released another video of animal harassment in order to create awareness among the people about animal harassment.
Veterinarian Simi Valley

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What's My View From The Country?

As a fulltime rancher, opinion contribur Troy Marshall brings a unique perspective on how consumer and political trends affect livestock production.

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Troy Marshall

Troy Marshall is a multi-generational rancher who grew up in Wheatland, WY, and obtained an Equine Science/Animal Science degree from Colorado State University where he competed on both the livestock...

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