HSUS AG COUNCILS: COMING TO A STATE NEAR YOU?
The Humane Society of the United States has built a reputation for aggressively, and ruthlessly, pursuing its agenda. If that means stocking Capitol Hill or state legislatures with its handpicked enforcers, providing dubious claims in its advertising, or any number of questionable tactics in the name of a self-appointed “morality”, then so be it. For decades, there has been a clear line drawn between those who represent the human rights to farm/hunt/fish, and those who see animals as having the same God-given rights as humans. That is, until now. For the last few years, HSUS has begun the slow-burn process of infiltrating American agriculture in an attempt to blend in and make changes from the inside. It’s an audacious plan. Their hope is that Americans will fall for this fake olive branch and believe that they actually want to work “with” farmers instead of “against” them. Pardon the expression, but that plan isn’t worth the manure on my work boots. Not that the ag community isn’t open to making things more efficient and making the world a better place, but this certainly isn’t HSUS’s primary agenda. A plan between two groups with separate ideals is not truly cooperative if only one group is forthright about its expectations. What does HSUS get out of working with farmers? They claim to pursue better living conditions and welfare for animals. Well, we already have that on 99% of American farms. Farmers, in general, treat their animals with respect and care. It doesn’t make sense for one to abuse his/her livestock or expose them to harsh environments. Any farmer/rancher who wants to do well will make sure that his/her animals are healthy and happy in order to ensure a better product. Wayne Pacelle and his cohorts know this, and they also know most farmers will not acquiesce to their demands. So they’ll do what they’ve always done. They will chip away at our rights until animals are on equal footing as us. HSUS will do this through deception. They’ll shake the public’s hands while they cross their fingers behind their backs. Look at California and the developments there. Farmers and hunters have been trampled upon with the state’s enriched cage requirements for egg laying hens and the lead ammunition ban, legislation that was fueled by false reports. Say what you will about the state’s policies, but most of the farmers and hunters in California are good, hardworking people who deserve the same rights as you or me. These relatively new “ag councils” are nothing more than a wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing strategy. They are comprised of mostly smaller scale, organic farmers. HSUS sees this as a way to appeal to many in rural communities without actually dealing with the farmers with whom they disagree. It’s hard to know exactly what most of these ag council members get out of the partnership; perhaps they even have good intentions, but they associated with a group that doesn’t share that sentiment. Therefore, we are forced to question the motives of all involved. Nebraska was the first state to see one of these ag councils pop up in 2011. Soon after, Colorado, Missouri, Indiana, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio, and Oklahoma would have them as well. They are spearheaded by HSUS’s VP of Outreach and Engagement Joe Maxwell. A complete list of each state’s ag council members: Nebraska Kevin Fulton, Jim Knopik, Doug Dittman, Martin Kleinschmit, Jon Yoachim, William Powers Colorado Tom Parks, Mike Callicrate, Matt Kautz, Carrie Balkcom Indiana James D. Benham, Peter T. Eshelman, Lance Dunbar, Cheyenne R. Kenin Iowa Chris Petersen, Garry Klicker, Marian Kuper, Gary Hoskey, John Gilbert, Tom Frantzen Missouri Wes Shoemyer (Those in Missouri may recall his handy work in the anti-Farming Rights debate), Eric Fuchs, Ruell Chappell, Eddy Mitchell, Ken Midkiff, Sheila Nichols, Chelsea Davis, Jake Davis North Carolina Jamie Ager, Amanda Carter, Shelley Profitt Eagan, Eliza MacLean, Traci Nachtrab, David Spain, Linda Spain Ohio Warren Taylor, William Miller, Bruce Rickard, Mardy Townsend, Joe Logan Oklahoma Harlan Hentges, Paul Muegge, Lauren Nitschke, Adam Price Wisconsin Rhonda Carrell, Genie Metoyer, Mike Miles, Lea Dolan Stroncek HSUS hopes that these ag councils will continue to expand outward to other states. The more states that have them, the easier it is for HSUS to make changes to the American agriculture system. A “Move the Goalposts” strategy works for them, because it allows them to incrementally make big changes over time under the guise of smaller changes, without having to outright state that they want to abolish all animal products. We only hope that as more Americans learn about the true intentions of these groups, they will treat them with the same scrutiny that we do. We suggest you prepare accordingly, for one of these ag councils may be coming to your state next.