I don’t understand why farmers are told to fear groups who advocate for a healthy and humane food system.
"We Support Agriculture", formed by the Farm Bureau and commodity organizations, recently received $100,000 from the Attorney General’s office to fight the Humane Society of the U.S.
I attended one of their ‘informational’ meetings in Blue Hill on November 18, organized by the local Extension Educator. They used Humane Watch.org as their source of information regarding HSUS. This site is one of many developed by the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF).
CCF receives support from multi-national food, tobacco and alcohol companies to mount campaigns not only against HSUS, but also unions, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and other respected and credible organizations.
CCF is one of several shadowy non-profits associated with lobbyist Richard Berman. Berman is notorious for feeding misleading information to the media and public officials on behalf of big corporations to protect their profits and market share.
One of the blatantly misleading statements I heard at the meeting in November was that HSUS’s goal is to destroy animal agriculture and force everyone to become vegetarian or vegan. I am a member of Farmer’s Union. The spokesman for HSUS at the Nebraska Farmers Union convention in December was a Missouri hog producer who stated that 95 percent of HSUS supporters consume meat. Their goal is creating a market that links consumer and farmer more closely.
Since 1980, Nebraska has lost 91 percent of its independent hog producers, 70 percent of its dairy producers, and 40 percent of its beef producers. It was not HSUS that drove them out of business. What drove them out of business was a market increasingly controlled by multi-national food corporations that destroyed competitive and fair prices, and operate with no transparency.
Unfortunately, the Farm Bureau and the Nebraska Cattlemen have lobbied against market reforms and succeeded in removing the 1982 Nebraska citizens’ anti-corporate farming amendment to Nebraska’s constitution, (Initiative 300). It is their vision that increasingly creates a food system controlled by the few and everyone else is a serf for the ‘feudal lords.’