This morning, a child woke up hungry.  He'll stay hungry because there isn't anything to eat where he lives.

This morning, a farmer in Nebraska woke up with a new idea to grow more food on his land so that no child goes hungry.

This morning, a single mother sat at her kitchen table wondering how she would feed her family.

This morning, a farmer in Nebraska sat at his kitchen table wondering what he could do to raise more food so that no family would go hungry.

Today, a man told his wife and family he'd find a way to put food on the table, then walked out the door worried and spent the day trying to find a way.

Today a farmer in Nebraska walked out the door and put into action his idea for raising more food with fewer resources in hopes that no family would go hungry again.

Today, a mother and father will have to decide between paying for food for their family or medicine for one of their sick children.

Today, a farmer in Nebraska will work from sun up to sun down as he does every day, so there's enough food that no family has to make such a choice.

Today, a father struggling to feed his family will look around at Nebraska's abundance and wonder how his family could be going hungry when he's surrounded by food.

Today, one, a small group, or a coalition of farmers will ponder and try to solve the problem of getting more food through the chain to families in need.

Last week, someone in Nebraska died of cancer.

Last week, Nebraska cattlemen raised over a million dollars at the Cattlemen's Ball, as they do every year, for cancer research in hopes that someday no one would die of cancer.

Last year more than 16 million children lived in food insecure households.

Last year farmers and their trade groups shared ideas and held strategy sessions to help them grow more food, get it through the distribution system, and feed more people, including those in food insecure households.

Last year, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) developed new ways to talk you out of your money so they could make it harder for Nebraska farmers to do all these things.

There is a clear distinction between the work of Nebraska's farmers and HSUS which endeavors to make it difficult for farmers to feed all of us, including those in need.

In a time and place where people go hungry every day, we have to question the motivations of those who place obstacles in the way of farmers trying to feed us.

Today, if HSUS contacts you and asks for your money, you should ask them why less than 1% of it will go to animal care and the rest will go to line their own pockets, lobbying lawmakers, and for ballot initiatives or restaurant propaganda against farmers who are trying to feed your fellow Nebraskans.

Today, if HSUS asks you to donate, you should ask them why they're making it more and more difficult for farmers in Nebraska and across America to feed the hungry.

Today, every Nebraskan should turn their back on HSUS and tell them "not in my State."

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(8) comments

Donna Fernstrom

What, HSUS doesn't like it when someone uses their own tactics against them? I think the most important thing to make clear here is that folks who are against HSUS are still for humane treatment of animals, and still care about animal welfare. In fact, many of them are against HSUS BECAUSE they support animal welfare. Animal rights is the opposite of animal welfare. It seeks to give animals human rights, and animals are not human--they don't need, or want, our rights. They deserve to be treated in a fashion that suits THEM, not us. Animal rights sinks into a very dark place--a place where a life is better off never being lived at all, if it doesn't match up to a person's ideal of that life should be like. Our domesticated animals live in partnership with us--they feed and aid us, and we propagate their species across the globe. In terms of evolution, that is a success story. Calling them an 'abomination', as so many AR people do? That's disrespectful and myopic.

As for HSUS itself...it's a big, bloated company that spends most of its money on fundraising and lobbying, and takes advantage of people who want to help shelter animals by tricking them into believing it's a shelter umbrella organization. Folks who want to support HSUS? Answer this for me--what happened to the millions of dollars raised by HSUS after Hurricane Katrina? Where's the missing money? Do you really believe that a 500 grand shelter makes up for the millions stolen?

Doppster

Sarah Barnett is paid by her employers at HSUS to post carefully worded defenses and "attack the messenger" comments in order to further mislead the public about where donations really go. It's a weird and creepy job, one that her more educated and ethical colleagues in the damage control department could not stomach. Sarah is the only one that has stuck around for years - the others fled for meaningful work that doesn't involve lying, distracting, and slandering for a living.

Speaking of lying, those spruced up "financials" are hilarious. 80% on programs?? The true number is 50% - with the rest going to fundraising and fundraising-related self-promotion and marketing. Of the 49-53% spent on programs, a miniscule fraction (1% range ) goes to non-political outside organizations. Even their grants to shelters are largely pass-through funds raised via special solicitation campaigns (Spay Day is one example) or pass-through grants directly from foundations. HSUS counts at least 30% of fundraising expenses as programs, exploiting a loophole that needs to be tightened up. HSUS ABUSES the loophole, and in 2008, the BBB ordered them to stop cooking their IRS 990's. Unlike their fake "financials" and fraudulent "Annual Report", tax returns are LEGAL DOCUMENTS). HSUS did what they had to to pass muster with BBB (then). As expected the HSUS money geezers went right back to creative accounting and outright falsehoods in order to hoodwink hapless, inept Charity Navigator into granting them a 4 star rating. Charity Navigator also gave 4 stars to East Asian Institute, profiled on 60 Minutes and sued by the Montana Attorney General for fraud. The case was settled a couple of months ago for over $1 million. Charity Navigator also gave high ratings to a veterans charity whose crooked solicitation firm, Quadriga Art, is under government investigation after last month's scathing CNN investigation aired. Quadriga is one of HSUS's major direct mail mills too.
Charity Watch, which gives HSUS a D grade, was part of both the 60 Minutes and CNN exposes. Charity Navigator was briefly mentioned in both - for their questionable approvals of these clearly deceptive organizations. Sarah works for con artists, as bad as those at Scientology.

Speaking of hucksters, the "$30 million" for "direct care and services" is simply a lie. The true number is less than ten percent of it. HSUS counts the work of separate organizations in that total, something that may be illegal. HSUS also counts fundraising expenses related to direct care. HSUS is pathologically deceptive and has been for decades. Under the current CEO and his ALF- PETA crew, it reaches new lows every year. Dozens of staff members have left in the wake of the Vick scam, Katrina investigation,
lawsuits for illegal raids, and excessive lobbying inquiries. Only sycophants and Sarahs remain.

Doppster

SARAH BARNETT is HSUS's longest running paid damage control shill. She is quite young and less educated than her former colleagues in Wayne Pacelle's "attack the messenger" stable. The others have mostly left HSUS for saner and more ethical environments. I hope that Sarah has it in her to join them in the future.

The "financials" Sarah's HSUS ghostwriters refer to are NOT LEGAL DOCUMENTS. They, like the HSUS Annual Report, are mostly PR spin, filled with phony numbers and bogus claims intended to make the organization look like it is spending donations appropriately. I can assure you that HSUS does not spend 80% on charitable programs, but simply classifies it's TV ads, direct mail, telemarketing, and fundraising events as program services on it's tax returns, which ARE legal documents. Some of HSUS's creative accounting is technically legal, some is not. The true amount of money spent on program services is in the 50% range.

The claim that HSUS spent $30 million on direct care and services in 2011 is simply a lie. It also makes no sense. HSUS counts separate organizations' direct services as their own; counts millions of dollars in bean counter salaries and millions more in fundraising costs in that $30 million. The true number is probably 10% of $30 million, just as their true membership numbers are less than 10% of the "11 million" claimed. HSUS always gets two extensions for filing their tax returns, but when they are finally available, an examination of the grants listed will provide a corrective for some of the lies, and an examination of what HSUS is labeling "direct care and service" will reveal more obfuscation. In the meantime, Sarah and the other salaried drones will lie as they are directed and direct the public to the lies. I hope Hillary Twining is in a better place.

BTW, HSUS's Charity Navigator rating is also based on lies and misleading claims. Charity Watch, the go-to organization for serious analysis of the tax-exempt sector, gives HSUS a D grade for spending so much on fundraising, and was a major part of a CNN expose of two F rated veterans groups and their crooked fundraising company, Quadriga Art. Charity Navigator took yet another embarrassing hit right on CNN when they had to defend their high rating of one of the two fake charities. (They didn't rate the other one at all). The fundraising company, now under Congressional investigation along with the charities, is the same one HSUS pays to send countless millions of unwanted "free gifts" of junk to an unsuspecting America. HSUS dishonestly counts those guilt gifts and accompanying fundraising letters as program services - part of the 80% that Charity Navigator accepts without question. Not surprisingly, Charity Navigator has given some of the worst organizations in America 4 stars, and then had to backtrack when the charities unraveled. Feed the Children and East Asian Institute are very recent examples. The duo who run Charity Navigator are in way over their heads. HSUS shamelessly takes maximum advantage of CN's ineptitude, further exploiting the hapless "watchdog" by invoking the Charity Navigator name as a defense and shield every time they are criticized or investigated. It is cringeworthy. And Charity Navigator really needs to stop HSUS from doing it, especially after the CNN report.

In summary, HSUS is one of the most corrupt charities in America. As more and more people are learning this, HSUS has stepped up the lies - and the fundraising and the harassment of critics. Their vitriol and damage control tactics remind me of Scientology's response to controversy and scandals. Scientology has plenty of Barnetts on staff too, with a turnover rate like HSUS. Let the deprogramming begin!

poptarts1

My sentence: "bet many people, even though they say they care so much about the poor and worry about them being able to afford food" should have been "bet many people, even though they say they care so much about the poor and worry about them being able to afford food, would be against it."

Another thing that shows that no method of raising and harvesting animals for food is humane to the HSUS (besides what their own actions and what staff members say when not being interviewed by the mainstream media), is how they treat hunting. They say support ethical hunting, yet wanted Dan Richards fired from his job as California Fish and Game Commission for hunting and consuming a non-endangered animal in a legal hunt another state. If that is not an ethical hunt, then what is? And if eating an animal that had unlimited room to grow is cruel, then how would they ever see farming as not cruel? The CEO of the HSUS was also a hunt saboteur in his younger days, and a large portion of the staff are animal right's activists, so it is no wonder the group is so anti-hunting.

Also, take a look on the HSUS website. See any recipes including animal products? Nope. You'll only find vegan recipes and articles promoting veganism.

Robb Blue Wynne

It's good to see more folks taking a stand against H$U$ and the lies the spread about all aspects of life with animals. High ranking officials of the organization have expressed extremist views against animal agriculture, hunting/fishing and animal ownership time and time again. They run ads under the insinuation they represent and support the local shelters but less than 1% of their $200 million a year tax deductible income goes towards real shelters. They spread lies to bena the ownership of exotic animals small and large while at the same time the scamtuary they use when confiscating exotics (Black Beauty Ranch) has had many offenses from USDA inspections. The same inspections exotics breeders and exhibitors have to go through.
Wayne Pacelle (H$U$ CEO and habitual liar) has made excuses for notorious dog fighter Micheal Vick, likened the keepers of reptiles to the pimps of 12 year old girls and called for an end to hunting and fishing. H$U$ doesn't just attack animal agriculture. They attack all forms of human/animal interaction and want your $20 a month to line the pockets of politicians to buy their new laws. More goes into lobbying and lawyers than actual hands on care of fauna. Once they get a law passed they leave it up to the taxpayers to fund the costs of enforcing the law and it's off to the next state to do it all over again.
If you really care about animal's in shelters; you will give directly to shelters and not a charity scam claiming to represent them.

poptarts1

Eh, while I dislike the HSUS and believe they should not be able to push animal husbandry laws using their donation money, the article seemed a bit too emotional to me. Imagine if someone said that we should use all the millions of unwanted dogs and cats as a food source for the poor (if they chose to eat them), instead of pumping them with poisons to euthanize them. I bet many people, even though they say they care so much about the poor and worry about them being able to afford food. There is already enough food grown in our country to feed every single person. There are plenty of cheap, healthy foods out there. If people can't afford them already, then they need more serious help than what can be solved by farming animals more intensely.

As for why I don't think the HSUS should be the one changing animal husbandry laws, that is because they are an animal right's group (like PETA). They should not be in charge of dictating what is a humane way to raise an animal for milk, eggs or meat because there is no humane way to them. This video from an animal right's meeting featuring an HSUS staff member basically shows how they operate:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMUmY8YOeAk

Here, another HSUS staff members states eating meat in itself is inherently animal cruelty:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Osy-6n-eMwg&feature=channel&list=UL

So the HSUS pushes for cage-free eggs, even though they think they're inhumane. So what happens when the farmers switch to cage-free? They start another campaign saying cage-free is cruel, causing farmers to have to spend more money on new facilities. Right now I believe the HSUS is pushing for furnished/enrichment cages. This will cost egg producers billions to switch to. However, on a PDF file on their website, they claim these cages are inhumane:

http://www.humanesociety.org/assets/pdfs/farm/welfare_issues_furnished_cages.pdf

So what's going to happen if it passes and all egg farmers have to switch to these cages? Well, the HSUS says they're inhumane, so you can bet there will be another campaign, and so on. Just like the HSUS employee says in the video, they are doing it step by step to make raising animals for food unprofitable. The HSUS could come up with a way of farming animals that meets their humane guidelines and promise to leave farmers alone, but they don't. This is because, to them, there is no humane way. They don't want animals raised at all, period.

It's not just food animals either. The HSUS is against pets being bred as well, pushing laws they say are to combat "puppy mills" (fun fact: there is no legal definition of what a puppy mill is. It is whatever animal rights groups say it is), when they only truly harm hobby breeders, who can't afford the licensing fees or to comply with the regulations that are more suited for livestock raising.

The HSUS also pushed hard for this law a few years ago:

http://scienceblogs.com/grrlscientist/2009/04/13/hr669-nonnative-wildlife-invas/

If you don't like how a company raises their livestock, don't buy from them. Vote with your wallet and purchase local. If the big businesses want your $$$ and there is a big enough demand, they will naturally change. However, we shouldn't let groups who inherently believe eating animals or their products is immoral be the ones that tell us which methods of raising animals are humane or not. It's also important to read up on animal husbandry to see if the techniques used are really that inhumane.

For example, while not something we raise for food, some people when seeing how ball pythons are raised would think its is cruel, as they're often housed in small plastic containers. However, once you learn that in the wild they cram themselves inside rodent burrows and live in them, only coming out to find food/water, and that they will seek out small, tight spaces even when put in a large cage, and sometimes will even become ill/stressed if kept in large spaces, it doesn't seem so cruel anymore.

tnt_family

Thank you, Sarah. Well said. The most important part is:
We support farmers and ranchers WHO TREAT THEIR ANIMALS HUMANELY, and urge you to do the same.
As for more about our work in general, you can check it out for yourself at www.humanesociety.org/about. Our finances are there as well, where you can see that 80% of our funds in 2011 were spend on animal protection programs (this includes the direct care and serves, as well as CRUELTY PREVENTION, advocacy and public policy, research and education. )

It takes quality, hard-working employees to go up against the meat industry who just cares about making higher profits regardless of the treatment of the animals. Plant fruits and vegetables if you're not willing to follow the anti-cruelty regulations. People can eat fruits and vegetables, too.

Sarah Barnett

As someone who works at HSUS, I'd like to point out that we spend millions of dollars on direct care and service each year - over 30 million in 2011, to be precise. HSUS is made up members, and those members include people in NE, who, rightly so, believe that animals raised for food should be treated humanely. Our NE Ag Council members are farmers and ranchers themselves, as well as Nebraskans. We support farmers and ranchers who treat their animals humanely, and urge you to do the same.
As for more about our work in general, you can check it out for yourself at www.humanesociety.org/about. Our finances are there as well, where you can see that 80% of our funds in 2011 were spend on animal protection programs (this includes the direct care and serves, as well as cruelty prevention, advocacy and public policy, research and education. ) We've been rated a 4 star charity by Charity Navigator, approved by the Better Business Bureau for all 20 standards, and voted by Guidestar's Philanthropedia experts as the number one high impact animal protection group, as well as named by Worth magazine as one of the 10 most fiscally responsible charities.
So if you do decide to donate to us, and support our work - feel free to ask us where your funds go, we'll gladly tell you, because we are proud of the work that our members make possible. But before blindly following along with Big Ag's agenda, why not do a little research, and see what they're protecting - it's not your bottom line, it's theirs.

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