Recently, while walking with friends through Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, I picked up a publication called “The Pitch” which caught my attention. The title read “Down on the Farm, The Humane Society and Big Agriculture Slug It Out Over Animal Rights.”
It seems I have spent much of my time researching, reading, discussing, and thinking about the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). I literally tell everyone who will listen about HSUS and their goals to end animal agriculture and put farmers and ranchers out of business.
I am shocked at the number of people who don’t know about HSUS but are familiar with PETA. I don’t know why this surprises me so much, as I too was one of those people six months ago, before I started working for the Kansas Corn Growers Association and Grain Sorghum Producers Association.
Going off of the name, you would think HSUS is the shelter you took the stray dog you found near your home, or the place you took your children to adopt a kitten which is now a member of your family. This is exactly what HSUS wants you to believe.
According to Kristen Hinman who wrote the “Down on the Farm” article, HSUS had a mild-mannered reputation until a decade ago when president and CEO, Wayne Pacelle, launched the “End Factory Farming” campaign. HSUS has taken a political route by purchasing stakes in businesses and aiming to outlaw pig and veal crates, as well as battery cages.
Quite frankly, it’s obvious that HSUS is good at what they do. They make you think, they make you feel for the animals and then they make you choose between them or agriculture. As a consumer, I know I don’t have to choose either- or.
“Just because you’re a big farm doesn’t mean you don’t care for your animals,” says Troy Hadrick, a South Dakota rancher.
As farmers and ranchers, you are busy. I think most of America would agree that farmers are generally hardworking and humble, but if you don’t take a few minutes each day to tell your story, who will? I will tell you who- Michael Pollan, HSUS, PETA, The Animal Liberation Front, and your neighbors who have been listening to what these people are saying.
Thanks to social media, you can tell your story to hundreds and thousands of people within a matter of minutes. For help getting started, visit our advocate post. It is important to remember that even though you live in a rural community, your friends and neighbors may not be educated in agriculture. Take the time to talk with them. If you would like our assistance in becoming an “agvocate” or would like to write an article for this blog, please contact
DeEtta Bohling is the communications specialist at the Kansas Corn Growers Association and Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers Association.