Editorial: HSUS continues to use deceptive tactics to push agenda

When you hear the words “Humane Society of the United States” what comes to your mind? If you think of a heartwarming picture of people saving lost puppies, you may be giving them more credit than they deserve. Animal activist groups, such as HSUS, have been slowly sneaking their way into the agriculture industry in hopes to regulate, if not eliminate, animal agriculture.

As an agriculturalist, it pains me to sit idly by and watch such an atrocity take place. The American public has been tricked into believing these groups help animals, as their names would imply. It’s time for the truth to be revealed.

Temple Grandin, doctor of animal science and professor at Colorado State University, bestselling author, autistic activist and consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior, has spent a part of her life trying to better the treatment of animals, from pasture to slaughter. Grandin has developed working facilities for cattle that have increased safety for both the people and animals. Grandin is one of the most respected agriculture advocates.

Animal activists take every opportunity to make animal agriculture look bad. Even Temple Grandin believes this.

“Activists make everything sound worse than it is. It’s like saying everyone drives drunk,” Temple Grandin said during her speech at the 17th annual Agriculture Future of America Leaders Conference held in Kansas City this past November.

Unfortunately, there have been some situations where animal abuse has occurred, but the media has taken them to an extreme. For example, in 2008 hired workers in a California slaughterhouse shocked a cow to try and get her on her feet. However, the media did not release the fact that the individuals behind this video, both recording and abusing, were actually working for the HSUS and they were undercover at the plant on that day trying to collect footage of animal cruelty in the slaughterhouse, according to humanewatch.org. The downer cow came in and they saw an opportunity for the video.

Animal activist organizations also take a stand when it comes to wild animals. They are opposed to people owning exotic animals as pets and are definitely opposed to hunting any wild animal for trophy or sport. However, they approve of killing animals for population control, as long as “officials” do the killing. Then they also say that they approve of hunting for food subsistence needs, which seems to contradict their message to decrease their meat consumption.

The Humane Society of the United States was founded in 1954. It is based in Washington, D.C., and is the largest animal advocacy organization in the world. They have more than 10.6 million members and a whopping $120 million budget. According to humanewatch.org, a majority of this money is spent on attorney staff, legislation including advertising and promotional purposes, and huge salaries with big benefits including beachfront houses. Most people believe that they support local animal shelters and control agencies, but in reality less than one percent, which correlates to only $350,000, is spent on local animal shelters and helping animals.

These facts are disturbing and prove just how deceptive the names of these organizations can be. When these organizations are not raising money to “protect animals,” they are working to convince people to become vegetarians and vegans.

Their work to encourage people to reduce their consumption of meat or choose from their definition of humanely raised animals has caused conflict among agriculturalists. As a result of this, there have been attacks among different fields in agriculture. The market for all-natural and organic products has skyrocketed, but it takes more time and resources to grow food organically, which raises the price for the consumers. In order to get consumers to buy their more expensive products, the organic industry slanders the name of the more common, conventional form of agriculture and conventional agriculture has retaliated with the same. I think Grandin said it best when she said: “Big ag and little ag need to stop attacking each other. You all have your place in the market.”

It is time for our society to look past the commercials of sad looking animals and realize what the HSUS and similar animal activist groups are all about. These organizations are making a profit off of an uneducated public. That must come to an end. We must close these groups out of the agriculture industry in order to preserve our way of life.

Jacob Coon

About the Author Jacob Coon

To freshman science and agricultural journalism student, Jacob Coon, attending the University of Missouri was never a question. Being a tiger was something instilled in him at a very young age, as both of his parents are MU alumni. He dreams to use his science and agricultural journalism and psychology double major to one day have his own magazine, operating from his farm to continue his family tradition of raising registered Angus cattle.