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December 31, 2008

With Unwavering Resolve

Winston Churchill: "When we face with a steady eye the difficulties which lie before us, we may derive new confidence from remembering those we have already overcome."

Wise words by which to anticipate this New Year.

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As 2009 beckons, we understand there are mountains still to climb.  Greed, selfishness, callousness, and indifference are still the core causes of animal abuse in our society, and they have deep roots in human nature. 

Just the same, we know we can summit these peaks.  The human spirit also guides us toward kindness, decency, and mercy.  And these principles, throughout history, are trumping countervailing human impulses.  The advance of a civil society is an unyielding force, and all of us at The HSUS—our staff and members—are propelling the advance of good in the world. Compassion and courage are at the core of our mission, and they have the power to transform our world.

Just listen to our opponents. Our triumphs of 2008 have truly shaken those who defend the mistreatment of animals as “the cost of doing business” in America.

I’m thinking, for instance, about the hirelings at the CCF who attack The HSUS as part of the group's misdirection strategy.  In the wake of the passage of Prop 2, this front group for agribusiness, junk food companies, and other special interests has decided we are the number one threat to their financial backers.  They’ve been pouring  heaps of cash into deceptive advertising, trying to tarnish us. 

Who are these shadowy financiers of CCF, anyway? Here’s what the organization’s website says: "Many of the companies and individuals who support the Center financially have indicated that they want anonymity as contributors." I’m sure they do. They are ashamed to try and defend the cruelties of, say, factory farming or puppy mills or seal clubbing or unnecessary laboratory testing on animals. Well, they can hide their names, but they cannot hide the ugliness of their values. Cowering in the dark corners of the misery they create, they look for diversionary arguments.

We will not be diverted.

To borrow from Churchill, we have growing confidence.  Our ideals resonate with average Americans, and the groups opposed to our work know this all too well.

The animals who share our world deserve our best,  our most vigorous defense of them. Americans have shown again and again that they want such a society.

In 2009, let us renew our pledge to bring it about.

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