In western Ohio, agriculture and the products we produce provide for the fine families we rear and the lives we live. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is trying to take our farming practices back decades and the eventual impact their efforts have on our bottom line could negatively impact our way of life. I will continue to stand up against HSUS’ attempts to destroy our livelihoods and raise the price of food.
HSUS wants to outlaw our ability to eat a hot dog at a Cincinnati Reds game and destroy production agriculture in this state. They pose as animal lovers, but they really just want to make us all vegetarians and act in a manner that is nothing short of a political agenda.
Polling has found that most of the public think that money given to HSUS largely helps shelter pets, such as cats and dogs, that HSUS promotes in its marketing campaign. However the truth is that only one percent of their budget goes to local animal shelters. Their true goals are to trick politicians and bully farmers into slowly reducing protein in our diets. These impacts are already being felt as egg producers move to cage free operations and the swine industry abandons the superior practice of using gestation crates.
HSUS chooses when protecting animals is critical or just convenient. For instance they led the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation in their effort to increase penalties on cock fighting in Ohio. But building a relationship with an NFL star led their CEO to endorse Michael Vick to get another dog after being convicted as a dogfighting kingpin. Their convenience style of politics should be avoided in Ohio, and we must stand strong defending animal protein in our diets.
They have also demonstrated their political agenda by engaging in a lengthy, but quiet, lawsuit since 2012 with the USDA regarding the sale of the brand trade mark “Pork: The Other White Meat” from the National Pork Producers Council to the National Pork Board. The HSUS has no practical business suing over this exchange, and it really makes me wonder: Have they filed suit to slow the use of the brand and reduce pork sales to hurt the success of our farms?
HSUS has successfully convinced industry and marketing experts of their mission and it is time agriculture stands-up and defends traditional family farming. Their move for cage free chickens and hogs without gestation crates promises lower productivity for Ohio farmers and that trend has already begun. For example, in the past year alone, Ohio farmers increased their egg laying flocks by two percent but their egg production only increased by one percent. A lot of questions are out standing and this demonstration of less productive hens could be a blip on the chart, but I anticipate it to continue and expand as long as HSUS continues to control the marketing efforts of America’s largest food companies.
Please join me in opposing HSUS and their clever marketing tactics and gimmicks by eating only the highest quality food from our local family farms. They are a sham organization and we should talk to our friends and neighbors about the dangers they pose to our way of life. If we do not, HSUS will fully succeed in eradicating high quality animal proteins from our diets. Please join me in eating only food from Ohio’s traditional family farms. Let’s eat traditional!
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The writer represents the 84th District in the Ohio House of Representatives.