Sunday, November 8, 2009

What if the HSUS actually wanted Ohio's Issue 2 to pass?

What if the HSUS actually wanted Ohio's Issue 2 to pass?

November 8, 2009

By Julie Kay Smithson, researcher

The Humane Society of the United States' President and Chief Executive Officer Wayne Pacelle came to Columbus, Ohio, November 2, 2009, on the evening before Election Day, to restlessly pace a stage in one of the Ohio Historical Society's meeting rooms.

It should be noted that the HSUS has no connection to most local humane societies.

Pacelle began by explaining the HSUS' role as "Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty." A visit to the HSUS website shows this statement to be oft-repeated. The predictable "shock power point presentation" -- showing 'downer' cows in what appeared to be slaughterhouse confines and crowded quarters for hogs -- was flanked by a talk that involved almost half the ninety minutes allotted for the "Columbus Town Hall" meeting.

Wearing what appeared to be expensive leather shoes, in apparent contradiction by his mini-rant about "wearing fur" and mention of having been a "strict vegetarian" for the past 25 years, Pacelle incurred the wrath of more than one HSUS supporter in the 250-person audience -- taking up just half the seats in the meeting room theater venue -- by failing to commit to a ballot initiative.

Pacelle became president and CEO of the HSUS midway through 2004, "... after serving for nearly 10 years as the organization's chief lobbyist and spokesperson." Source: HSUS "About Us" Almost a decade of being steeped in the ways of the professional lobbyist gave Pacelle an education in agendas and being an agent of change. Few, if any, of his Columbus audience, seemed cognizant of the web his talk spun. Knowing the power of molding phrases like "battery cages" and "gestation crates" to a mostly urban group of listeners, Pacelle spoke carefully, statements like "Climate change is a threat to all animals" garnering placid support from those nodding agreement to almost his every word.

Michael Vick and his horrific actions, which led to the torture and death of many dogs -- but only "about 19 months" in prison -- was a sore topic for several in the audience, more than one of whom expressed their disagreement with Pacelle's handling of the case.

Pacelle doggedly stuck to his steering of Vick's milquetoast punishment to a "proactive" meaning of "educating" children, with Vick having the "power to effect change" by speaking out against something for which Vick never expressed remorse. In August 2009, Pacelle stated that Vick "has pledged to make a long-term commitment to participate in our community-based outreach programs to steer inner-city youth away from dog fighting." Source: San Jose Mercury News, October 18, 2009, "Animal rights activists dog Michael Vick":

The Capital Area Humane Society -- an organization with questionable practices -- was lauded at length by Pacelle, while the HSUS boss ignored the tireless work and results achieved by Ohio's dog wardens, animal control officers, and animal shelters.

A real contradiction was stated several times during Pacelle's forty-minute talk. He mentioned the power of strong laws and that many laws not enforced cannot take the place of a few strong laws that are -- then listed the "117 new laws" that HSUS had been instrumental in drafting (writing) and passing in the last year; the "93 new laws" the prior year; the "84 new laws" the year before, and the "65 new laws" the year before. A total of 359 HSUS-influenced laws in four years is anything but "a few" strong laws being enforced.

In a post-election statement, Pacelle said: "We decided to spend nearly no money against Issue 2 and to reserve our energy and resources for [a future] effort." Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer, November 8, 2009, Editorial:

It appears to this writer that Pacelle was imitating Brer Rabbit, asking that, whatever voters did, they should not throw him in the briar patch ... when that is precisely what he and his organization wanted. Pacelle's statement was clear and bears repeating: "We decided to spend nearly no money against Issue 2 and to reserve our energy and resources for [a future] effort."

By passing Issue 2, a stake has been driven straight into the heart of Ohio's Constitution, one which inserts an appointed -- not elected -- board of 13 that are given political power to do as they will. All the HSUS, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), and other politically and economically-motivated groups need do is get their lobbyists appointed to that board. Ohio voters will then be helpless to remove the proverbial camel from the tent.

Outside the meeting room, refreshments were offered to attendees, including dairy products in the form of "Mini-Moos" half and half creamers. One could only wonder if the creamers came from "free-range" dairy cattle ...

Related definitions:

Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) – An AFO (Animal Feeding Operation) that is defined as a Large CAFO or as a Medium CAFO..., or that is designated as a CAFO... Two or more AFOs under common ownership are considered to be a single AFO for the purposes of determining the number of animals at an operation, if they adjoin each other or if they use a common area or system for the disposal of wastes. [40 CFR 122.23(b)(2)] – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Glossary

Farm – Land under one operating arrangement on which there were, or are, expected sales of at least $1,000 worth of crops, livestock, poultry, or other agricultural products during the year. – Modified Agricultural Weighted Estimators, By Robert G. Pontius, Jr. Research and Applications Division, National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), July 1990. Staff Report No. SSB-90-05, Appendix 1: Glossary (page 11 of 14 pages; 1.01 MB)

776 words. With related definitions: 936 words.

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