This time of year there are lot of year end appeals for donations, and animal activist groups are among the most aggressive. The Humane Society of the United States, HSUS, is an extremely effective organization when it comes to getting consumers to support them with donations by appealing to their emotions. Glen Klippenstein, a board member of Protect the Harvest, said that that is the biggest barrier the livestock industry has to overcome, “The feel thing has just gotten to be so pervasive in our society. Let’s mix some of the feeling with some good common sense. It is easier to feel than it is to do.”
Klippenstein told HAT the goal of HSUS is to give animals the same legal rights as humans, “We, as producers, maintain welfare. We take care of our animals. As far as giving them human rights, that cannot be.” He added that it is hard to get consumers to look at what the consequences are of supporting groups like HSUS.
An example of this has occurred in California where consumers are paying significantly higher prices for food because of the restrictions they voted to implement on the livestock sector. “If all people will listen to is the emotional side of the argument, then we have a hard time getting them to think,” he stated.
Consumers are not the only ones who often act on emotion and not information. In 2019, the U.S. House passed an animal rights bill unanimously, without debate. Klippenstein said this shows the political power of groups like HSUS, “I am afraid the people in Congress did not even know what they were voting on.” Protect the Harvest has been working to get the tax exempt, non-profit status of HSUS revoked by the IRS.