My View From The Country

Time Is Running Out On Two Issues

HSUS's divide-and-conquer strategy, and unbridled entitlements at the federal level, are two issues that must be addressed very soon.

Dealing with the Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) from a beef industry standpoint is a lot like politicians dealing with the issue of entitlements. We know that HSUS’s ultimate goal is the destruction of our industry. We also know that unless entitlement reform is addressed, the spending will bankrupt our country. Still, nobody seems to want to tackle these issues head on.

HSUS has a carefully constructed public image that has little to do with its policy aims. Meanwhile, in the case of entitlement reform, any solutions to making such programs sustainable are hugely unpopular from a political standpoint; thus, very few politicians have been seriously willing to address the issue.

Nor is there a state cattlemen’s group out there that wants to take on HSUS directly; HSUS is too powerful, has too many lawyers, too many members, too much money, and too much clout in the minds of consumers. HSUS is aware of that and employs a divide-and-conquer strategy. HSUS knows it can't end livestock production in one fell swoop, but it's content to chip away over decades, taking a piece at a time, until a viable industry no longer exists.

Industry Hot Topic: Addressing The Emotion Of Animal Welfare

Tackling the federal debt and saving entitlement programs means slowing the growth of these programs, which entails the courage to draw a line in the sand and bring spending growth in line with the overall growth of the economy. Up to this point, however, any individual or small group of politicians who have advanced the idea has found themselves in a political firestorm.

Like runaway entitlements, which threaten the overall economy and will bankrupt this nation if left unchecked, an unaddressed HSUS will eventually achieve its professed goal of ending livestock production.

The only hope is for true leaders to step forward, and the majority of voters and/or producers having the fortitude to bear the sacrifice to support them, for the long-run greater good. From an industry standpoint, modern agriculture, science and technology have to be defended if we are to remain competitive.

Both of these issues have to be addressed immediately; otherwise, we’ll just find ourselves past the point of return and sitting in the front row watching our own demise.

Discuss this Blog Entry 3

M Covault (not verified)
on Sep 1, 2012

Good observation, especially this comment: "HSUS knows it can't end livestock production in one fell swoop, but it's content to chip away over decades, taking a piece at a time, until a viable industry no longer exists." I'd add though that gaining control, wealth, and therefore power, are high on vegan AR management's list (Pacelle, et al), and once "they get theirs", ending animal use would be a dream come true for the sociopathic AR leaders. Did you notice H$U$ just hired another high level PeTA person to their management team?

Walt Hutchens (not verified)
on Sep 4, 2012

This is a good way to present these issues. The author might also have noted that they both tell us how to vote this November: Under President Obama we've had both total denial of the entitlements issue AND a growing animal rightist presence and level of activity in USDA.

My experience is with the HSUS attack on pets. There are no pet breeders with the money to fight them, indeed most of our forces are hobbyists. Beef (and other food animal) businesses are the first of the major animal rightist targets with the money to carry this fight to the enemy. I suspect the reason they haven't yet is that they calculate that modest cost increases can be passed on to the consumer -- and anyway, isn't it the consumer who is backing the campaigns to end various standard and economical practices? That's true as far as it goes but HSUS has no intention that the increases be modest and food animal production CAN be offshored.

Consumer sentiments are not to be trusted: Percentage of California voters supporting laying hens having lots more room: 60. (Prop. 2) Percentage now buying cage-free eggs: 3. If domestic beef gets significantly more costly to the consumer YOU will be blamed and your product replaced and/or bought from other suppliers.

This fight is going to take courage, commitment, and money. But if you don't step up to it, I don't know who will.

We're pretty close to now-or-never time on both issues.

Joe Overlease (not verified)
on Sep 5, 2012

The Companion animal industry has been destroyed by the HSUS and a bunch of jelly back boned politicians and lobbists.

We have too many people who are cheap, lazy, who will not do any of the heavy lifting to insure they have the benefit of being able to legally raise companion animals. And then we have those who have their head in the sand hoping these people will go away.

We have learned they are not going away. without strong positions being taken and we must insist to our people to never never never compromise.

This comment about money is hog wash as every farmer and every breeder has the money to donate and invest in their own future, plus there are millions of people who own and love their animals, they too will join in the fight if simply asked.

The HSUS, has problems they do not have 10 million members. They only print about 450,000 membership mailers
So where is the other 9 million 550,000 members? Do you think they are embellishing the truth?

They use any dishonest method to raise funds they can think of. Right now they are claiming to be in Louisianna rescuing people and dogs. After checking with the people in Jefferson Parrish, the HS of Jefferson Parrish said they have no flooding and they have no people in danger and needing to be saved. They did say they had a sewage back up and the HSUS offered to help them move some animals to another facility until the sewage problem had been cleaned up.

These people (HSUS) lie to extort money from the general public by deception.

Making matters worse we have people in Agriculture like here in MIssouri who come out and support politicians who are
working to destroy agriculture, The Corn and Soy organizations as an example.

We in agriculture need to do a better job educating our own
The HSUS depends on people to be stupid, un engaged, and afraid of them.

If you do not have a Lawyer you need to have one. and If you do not have a Animal lawyer join the Cavalry Group. http://www.thecavalrygroup.com/

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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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