The Humane Society’s Battle With Farmers Began Right Here in Florida
By Kristen Hinman
published: April 15, 2010
Around about the lunch hour in Vale, South Dakota, on February 5, a 33-year-old cattle rancher finished a morning of blogging, then stepped outside with a bottle of wine and a Flip video camera.
“Hello, my name is Troy Hadrick. I’m a fifth-generation United States rancher in South Dakota,” the man ad-libbed to the camera while standing amid a small clutch of cattle. “I recently found out that Yellow Tail wines is going to be donating $100,000 to the wealthiest animal-rights organization in the world, the Humane Society of the United States — a group who is actively trying to put farmers and ranchers out of business in this country. That being said, I cannot and will not support a company who is doing such a thing. This is the only thing I know to do now with this last bottle of Yellow Tail wine that was in our house.”
In his cowboy hat and Carhartt jacket, Hadrick paused to cock the bottle of white at shoulder height, flick his wrist, and send the contents pouring to the snow-covered earth like a stream of piss.
“I hope you will do the same,” he concluded. “Thank you for supporting American agriculture and the family farmers and ranchers in this country.”
Five minutes later, his 54-second “Yellow Tail Fail” clip posted to YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, Hadrick finished his chores and skedaddled with his family to the Black Hills Stock Show & Rodeo. Back online that night, he was shocked at the viewing stats for his maiden voyage on Internet video.
First it was 500. Then several thousand. The tally kept climbing until, as Jim Klinker, the Arizona Farm Bureau’s chief administrative officer, terms it, “Yellow Tail done turned its tail and run!”
Within two weeks the Australia-based wine giant announced it was rescinding the remainder of its $300,000 pledge to the Washington, D.C.-based Humane Society.
The frustration shared by Hadrick and others had been bottled up for some time, but not in recent memory had a Humane Society donor buckled under such public pressure. Only a week later, Tennessee-based Pilot Travel Centers announced it would stop collecting Humane Society donations at its chain of roadway rest stops. Then the Dallas-based Mary Kay cosmetics company publicly clarified that a personal donation by an employee’s wife to the Humane Society had been misconstrued by the group as a corporate sponsorship.
Hadrick’s social-media sensation seemed to represent a tipping point in a battle that has had modern food producers playing defense for nearly a decade. It’s farmers vs. activists.
Agriculture vs. animal rights. Read More
Here’s a pretty good run down of what’s happened in the last decade. I’ve never seen anyone involved in animal agriculture be able to survive by abusing their livestock. The HSUS continues to make those claims, but it flies in the face of common sense. Farmers and ranchers are the true caretakers of these animals. Working with them everyday makes you very aware of what it takes make them thrive. It also makes you very aware of what happens when they aren’t taken care of. The HSUS is in the business of raising money and passing laws. Who’s the expert in the discussion of animal welfare? The answer seems simple to me.