An information meeting sponsored by the Lincoln County Cattleman and the North Platte Chamber of Commerce at the North Platte Fairgrounds Building addressed efforts by the Humane Society of the US to organize in Nebraska. Governor Dave Heineman expressed his views and educated the audience about the objective goals of HSUS in Nebraska.
Heineman began by explaining what’s being targeted and why HSUS are planning efforts in Nebraska. “This is about our American way of life,” Heineman continues “The Humane Society of the United States wants to destroy the American dream for America’s farmers and ranchers.” Heineman emphasized preparedness and staying informed is key.
The HSUS is known to run television ads that depict hurt or struggling animals like cats and dogs that portray animals in desperate need of help. The television ads are what Heineman and other experts on agriculture attribute a large source of funding and support for HSUS. Experts in defense of agriculture say the ads are misleading and don’t create the image of who HSUS really is.
We Support Agriculture is a new organization that formed to protect agriculture nationwide. Executive Director of We Support Agriculture, Michele Ehresman, explained that HSUS has a vegan agenda, “They [HSUS] want to reduce, they want to refine and they want to replace meat products, dairy products and poultry products and our diets to fulfill their agenda.”
Their true agenda is described as “anti-meat” by Ehresman. “Just reducing meat consumption can be a tremendous benefit to animals; If 50 million people reduce their meat consumption by half that can save hundreds of millions if not a billion of animals.” Ehresman said quoting John Goodwin, an HSUS employee.
Ehresman said, “85% of their [HSUS] fundraising features sheltered pets, 99% of their budget does not.” Ehresman pulled up HSUS’s budget from 2010. According to Ehresman and the 2010 HSUS budget she displayed, 39% of HSUS’s budget went to fundraising tactics, “They have been given a D rating by Charity Watch.” Ehresman says only 4% of the $131,000,000 budget went back to animals.
HSUS has no relation to the local human societies. in response to the misleading HSUS image many humane societies began changing identities to animal shelters.
Governor Heineman mentioned for an example to remember a few winters past when ranchers and cattlemen were in freezing temperatures tending to cattle and mentioned, where was HSUS? “They don’t care about you” Heineman said.
Heineman believes HSUS is working to put an initiation ballot in front of voters come the near future and stated that it’s not going to happen in Nebraska.
Director of the Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska or AFAN spoke about the resources available to anyone who is looking for factual information on agriculture stating that AFAN is an information only organization.