It was only a matter of time, and the time was today. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), a self-declared “sophisticated political organization,” submitted a petition to Ohio’s Attorney General in support of placing an anti-cruelty measure on the statewide November ballot. The proposed measure would allow voters to require the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board to adopt standards that will effectively end livestock production in Ohio by making it economically unfeasible to feed chickens, hogs, or cattle in the state.
Utilizing a large corps of paid petition circulators, the group will seek to collect more than 600,000 signatures of registered Ohio voters upon approval of the petition forms by the Secretary of State. In doing so, they will attempt to circumvent the will of the Ohio voters in passing the measure to create the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board last November.
HSUS, it is widely known, is a radical activist organization dedicated to reducing and replacing animal-derived proteins and products from the human lifestyle. Equating animals with humans, they passionately believe that domesticated pets and livestock should have the same rights as every American citizen, and firmly hold that no animal should be consumed for food. Led by charismatic lobbyist Wayne Pacelle, the organization has organized in Ohio under the banner “Ohioans for Humane Farms,” though applying the label “Ohioans” to the campaign organization is extremely duplicitous. HSUS is a Washington, DC based fundraising and lobbying organization, and the campaign committee is supported, not by Ohio citizens, but by other Animal Rights extremists like Farm Sanctuary and the so-called Center for Science in the Public Interest.
Earlier this month, in response to the earthquake in Haiti, HSUS began a massive fundrasing effort ostensibly to “save the animals” in that impoverished nation. Unfortunately, those funds will most likely be spent in Ohio to deprive farmers of their right to farm profitably, and to deprive consumers of their right to buy safe, affordable, locally produced food. The organization successfully raised over $34 million in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and in reality spent less than 18% of the money to aid in relief and recovery efforts in Louisiana, launching a nearly two year investigation by that state’s Attorney General.
HSUS continues to use lies, falsehoods, and half-truths to promote its vegan agenda. In the press release announcing their latest move, for example, the group claimed the measure would prevent so-called “downer” animals, or those too weak or injured to stand or walk, from entering the food chain. That declaration, of course, failed to note that downer animals are currently precluded from entering the food chain at any federally-inspected meat processing facility in the country.
Likewise, the organization cited an infamous HBO “documentary” about an alleged case of animal abuse in Ohio earlier this decade. Claiming “Ohio’s agribusiness community hailed the acquittal [of the accused abuser] as a ‘huge victory,’ because Ohio has no law specifically requiring humane farm animal euthanasia methods,” HSUS did a double-play of duplicity. First and foremost, no one in agriculture “hailed the acquittal as a huge victory.” By the time the case was concluded, farmers and farm organizations had soundly and completely denounced the situation and stated clearly and decisively that farmers in no way, shape, or form supported any actions remotely resembling those depicted in the HBO film.
Even beyond that obvious and glaring lie, the bigger issue is that HSUS clearly and completely ignores the fact that Congress passed a law known as the “Humane Methods of Slaughter Act” way back in 1958, and strengthened it again in 1978 and 2002. That act provides for very clear rules and regulations about how animals are to be humanely dispatched at the end of their productive life cycle.
In their own press release on the activist effort, Farm Sanctuary shared this: “Ohioans oppose cruelty and believe that all animals, including farm animals, deserve to be protected,” said Gene Baur, president of Farm Sanctuary. “In November, Ohioans will have the opportunity to make their voices heard and phase out some of the worst factory farm abuses.”
Actually, Mr. Baur, Ohioans already made their voices heard LAST November. You and Wayne were too busy raising money for your own selfish agendas to notice. The overwhelming majority of Ohioans, you see, decided the best course of action was to assemble a group of Ohio citizens, experts and stakeholders all, to enact and enforce minimum standards to ensure that all animals are “protected” from any and all forms of abuse. Why not wait until the Board is fully vested and organized before giving them your marching orders?
Good question, and here’s the answer: if the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board is allowed to do its job and enact minimum standards, HSUS is no longer the controlling body in the conversation. To this point, HSUS has bullied legislators, regulators, voters, and farmers in states like California and Michigan, forcing them to adopt standards completely beyond the realm of science of reason. The Board will adopt standards in everyone’s best interest, including the best interests of farmers and consumers, two groups for which HSUS has no concern. Secondly, if the Board is left to do its work, HSUS can’t further fatten its already gluttonous war chest. By declaring war on Ohio farmers and consumers, Wayne, Gene, and their staff of thousands can con unsuspecting citizens into donating to their efforts to “save the animals.”
In reality, of course, they’ll be taking food off their own table, and helping Wayne and company put food on theirs instead.