Rural Issue

HSUS tries a new approach in Nebraska

Is the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) changing its strategy in regards to state-by-state ballot initiatives?

At a news conference in Lincoln Tuesday, the HSUS joined the Nebraska Farmers Union (NeFU) in announcing the formation of an advisory body called the Nebraska Agriculture Council of The Humane Society of the United States.

Chief among the new council’s goals will be creating market opportunities for farmers and ranchers who want to market “humanely-raised” meat and poultry products.  Officials of both groups say the council will also “facilitate a dialogue with individual farmers, ranchers and the organizations that represent them.”

AUDIO: Excerpts from NeFU-HSUS news conference (20:49 MP3)

NeFU president John Hansen says that, as part of their agreement to work with HSUS on the project, the animal rights organization has assured him that it will not pursue an animal welfare ballot initiative in the state.

 “That’s one of the things we had to have—is that if you’re not committed to backing off and giving this alternative approach a chance to succeed, then we can’t stay at the table–and so we did get that assurance from them,” Hansen says.  “If they do otherwise, that would jeopardize our working relationship.”

AUDIO: John Hansen (8:41 MP3)

Joe Maxwell, a Missouri hog farmer and director of rural affairs for HSUS, says this approach is preferable to a ballot initiative.

“We knew that we weren’t going to do it in 2012—but we believe this allows us to put it aside because we think this approach will work,” says Maxwell,  “that we have an opportunity to increase the market share and put market pressure in place on getting those individuals to change the extreme confinement practices that exist in the commercial, ‘big ag’ industry right now.”

AUDIO: Joe Maxwell (6:56 MP3)

But other Nebraska ag and livestock groups, who have been girding for battle with HSUS, were not impressed with the announcement.  Pete McClymont of Nebraska Cattlemen, who is president of the We Support Agriculture coalition, says they are “shocked and disappointed that any Nebraska ag group would align itself with an extreme animal rights organization such as HSUS.

“It is disturbing that somebody would reach out to groups that want to eliminate, if not restrict, animal agriculture like the animal rights groups,” McClymont says.

Despite the assurances that HSUS will not pursue a ballot initiative, McClymont still isn’t convinced.  “As we’ve said all along—they come in, they have a playbook—and they’re following the playbook right to a tee.”

Asked whether his group would reconsider its stance of no-negotiation with HSUS, McClymont responds “Absolutely not.”

 AUDIO: Pete McClymont (6:41 MP3)

Litchfield, Nebraska rancher Kevin Fulton, an active member of HSUS, will chair the new Nebraska Agriculture Council of The Humane Society of the United States.

AUDIO: Kevin Fulton (3:30 MP3)


  • There is no “compromise” when one side gives everything and the other NOTHING except a blackmail of “no ballot initiative”
    McClymont has it right.. there is NO middle ground with these people ( HSUS). When the HSUS puts a recipe on their website that includes a “humanely raised” steak from Kevin Fultons ranch then I might believe them but until then pig will fly before that happens..

    HSUS is a VEGAN organization with absolutely no real morals.. They lie and cheat every chance they get..Here is what Pacelle says about YOU:

    “Speaking of the HSUS California ballot initiative against egg production: “People know what happened in California, and they know it can happen again and again. They know that no group has passed more ballot measures than we have. They know we have a focused strategy. They know we have a budget of $150 million a year. And they know we’re ready for a fight.” Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO, Humane Society of the United States, Los Angeles Times, April 7, 2010.

    sound like someone who wants to “compromise”?

    Here are some statements about veganism and the HSUS

    My goal is the abolition of all animal agriculture.” JP Goodwin, employed at the Humane Society of the US,
    Think cage free is as far as the HSUS wants to go with edd producers:?? Guess again..
    “We have a very active cage-free campaign. Are we saying that cage-free eggs are the way to go? No, that’s not what we’re saying. But we’re saying it’s a step in the right direction, getting these birds out of cages so that maybe they can actually spread their wings.Miyun Park, former Vice President for Farm Animal Welfare at the Humane Society of the United States,

    Farm Sanctuary an “off shoot” of the HSUS.. supported by HSUS:

    “I dream of a vegan world – that’s where I want everything to go.” Gene Baur, Farm Sanctuary

    Finally .. HSUS is totally vegan:

    “The good news, and what is really going to help immensely, is the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) just passed their vegan policy. They are seen as the mothering organization for the SPCAs,
    shelters and animal control agencies. And the fact that they have adopted a vegan policy may just be the major breakthrough to bring others along. All HSUS expos, trainings, conferences will be vegan. It is huge.” Kim Sturla, SATYA Nov/Dec 04 “The Barnyard Campus: Teaching Compassion for All”

    Hold firm Nebraska.. the rest of the world is counting on you

  • You can’t sit down with the devil and expect your soul to remain intact. The HSUS has proven to be exceptionally deceptive and they are certainly hoodwinking those in agriculture who think they can compromise.

  • Absolutely INSANE for anyone in the animal industries to join with the H$U$. “Lie down with dogs and you get up with fleas.” “Dance with the devil and you lose your soul.” All applicable to any animal-related industries partnering in any way with the H$U$! Unfortunately, it gives this immoral and anti-societal organization credibility in regards to animal-related industries. It’s like people totally ignore Pacelle’s past position on animal use, as well as those who work for him (e.g., JB Goodwin). Think of the allegory of the rabbit (or other animal) giving the scorpion a ride across a river–stung at the end and the scorpion just says it’s their nature–after all, didn’t they know it was a scorpion. If people are so gullible and easily brainwashed that they won’t look at or consider H$U$’s past and at the anti-animal-use statements of its leadership, then there will *continue* to be lots of “collateral damage” in people and animals by the time H$U$ is brought down–and it will happen–just a matter of how harmful to society they are allowed to be with their arrogance and “propaganda mill” BIG LIES.

  • What is with you people? You have no idea what HSUS stands for. Don’t you want to protect animals? Do you like factory farming where living beings are treated like units? Do you approve of pig farms where the pigs are packed so tight they can’t move? Do you approve of hens who never see the light of day? Do some research and find out the facts. Animals are living, breathing beings just like you and me. They DO have rights and should be respected and treated humanely. The same spark of life in us is in them. They have souls. Stop whining and work toward improving our treatment of all animals, especially farm animals. What is wrong with doing this? What are you afraid of? Why can’t you respect and protect all of God’s creations? The Ten Commandments say, Thou Shall Not Kill. The Commandment doesn’t specify, Thou Shall Not Kill Human Beings. Think about it.

  • Unfortunatley, industrial ag needs the conflict with HSUS to keep producers distracted from the real issues that are driving them out of business – it’s not HSUS.

    Pete McClymont says, “We will not negotiate with someone who is trying to put us out of business,” but, Nebraska Cattlemen’s Association happily align’s with the big packers in driving independent producers out of business – 41% of cattle producers gone in the last 30 years – Pete, that’s radical!

  • Mike, You are so right when you mention where the other cattle organizations align with the big packers, to force the small operators out of business. There a are few like R-Calf and you that fight for dear life to protect us! As they get rid of us, the big packers take over the industry as they did the chicken and swine. Then they build their own or contract with others to have these confined chickens they talk about. There are only a few left that raise them otherwise.
    TO YOU GLORIA; How sad, how sick in my opinion. The ranchers, farmer feeders, care for their animals! They know if they take care of them, it is good for them and the livestock. They are proud of how good of a job they do raising them, the health, preformance. You write, “Stop whining, and Thou Shall Not Kill!” WOW! The Lord you talk about put grass on this earth, he put animals on this earth to eat this grass, he put other animals on this earth to eat the meat, AND HE PUT HUMANS ON THIS EARTH TO EAT THAT LIVESTOCK WE RAISE OFF OF THIS GRASS! There would be no human race on this earth without meat. That grass, plant proteins, will not substain the human bodies for ever.
    Why don’t you take that $150,000,000.00 budget of yours and put it to use where the problems really is?? Help us fight the multi-national, NWO, packers, money, etc., and stop them from destroying the life blood of this “One nation under God.’ Support the smaller producers that do care for that livestock, not just for money. Those that will feed your children healthy food, if you help them!

  • I would no more turn my back to HSUS than I would a rattlesnake! What is the matter with you people? The companion pet industry is rapidly being driven out of the country due to those scam artists with their crying puppy dog messages. In the mean time they spend our hard earned money on their retirement plans and lobbying endeavors. .5% of all money received is spent on animals, pretty sad. They line their pockets while animals die. You didn’t see any of them trying to save those wild animals that were turned loose last week, but you can bet the barn that they’ll be a on a TV ad soon! Look at the horse industry, their BS resulted in more deaths by starvation than anything else.

  • I have just become involved in this debate , as a member of farmers union of nebraska , I see a change in the dialog , sides are bieng formed , battlelines drawn , who is right or wrong ? What is our moral obligation ? I am a cattle rancher or farmer as you may have it , but my family has raised every kind of domestic animal that is normal in nebraska , you could say we understand animal agriculture in this state . Due to market conditions , economic pressure , time constaints , vertical integration, whatever kind of excuse you can come up with , we have now in this country ,a very large and powerful meat industry that is very efficent and serves the people that feed off of it very well . The reason it is here , is because it works . What I do not understand , is why is this huge industry is so fanatic about stamping out another marketing aproach . Reach out to the general population , try to help the smaller producers sell thier animals , with the aproach of animal welfare , not rights . Could it simply be about money ? There are a lot of good people that support HSUS, and some of the policies that have come from there efforts have led to more inhumane treatment of animals , as in horses , that is a disaster , yet media such as the MEATRIX and FOOD INC do portray some truth to what goes on in the meat system . An open forum is what farmers union is after not an all or none attitude.

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