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February 12, 2010

Talk Back: CCF, Farm Animal Welfare

Many thanks to readers for the expressions of support and outpouring of donations to The HSUS in response to my blog exposing the misnamed “Center for Consumer Freedom.” This front group for cockfighters, puppy millers, sealers, and other animal abusers is fixated on The HSUS for one reason: we’re the best at fighting large-scale, institutionalized forms of animal cruelty. We’re getting closer to our financial goal of $200,000—$100,000 to help our animal care centers, and $100,000 for anti-factory farming campaigns—so dig deep so we can show all of these groups that when they attack us, we’ll just raise more funds to do more of the work they are trying to suppress.

CCF represents the worst of what man can be, quickly diving in to "defend" all manner of harm to animals. Their principal characteristic is conceit; their principal weapon is deceit. The public should be aware of what CCF works to accomplish, and likewise take effort to expose what they are about. Recently, our local paper, representing an important and affluent urban/suburban area, printed a lengthy letter written by a CCF spokesperson, which attacked animal welfare advocates as those who would deny the American public "freedom." The newspaper editors clearly did not understand who or what CCF was acting as a broker for. —Peter Hood
I have donated after thorough research of HSUS—they represent the best interest of animals and are a threat to those like Rick Berman who use inaccurate information to make money for himself and those that pay him. —Bonnie Hughes
Give ‘em hell Wayne!!! It’s past time for the individuals who oppose the humane treatment of animals to be exposed! We need to strip away their corporate camouflage and publicize their actions which directly contribute to animal cruelty. The public needs to know the names of the evil people doing the evil deeds!!! Here are the names of a couple of more groups to watch: Pet-Law.com and North Carolina Responsible Animal Owners Alliance. These groups are operated by individuals with financial and political conflicts of interest. They oppose all efforts and legislation to help animals. We are glad to see HSUS is going on the offensive against the lies, false information, and attacks by these individuals who promote animal cruelty to make money!!! —Peter MacQueen III
HA! This is such a great post—especially the ending! CCF is the worst of the worst, and animal protection and environmental advocates need to understand that CCF will continue to try and undermine any organization that is making progress in making the world a better place to live in, as HSUS has always done. I will definitely donate what I can. —Trish
This is a terrific response. I'm in for a contribution and encourage others to buy in too. —Marc

Meanwhile, you expressed enthusiasm for the launch of the ballot initiative in Ohio to gather signatures for an initiative to promote more humane farming practices.

I love my home state of Ohio, which is why I so strongly support the actions taken by the HSUS. Thank you so much for the great work that you do. —Sam Morris
My heart breaks for these animals. Thinking about such abuse is so overwhelming. It's so difficult to read these stories, and I simply cannot watch the videos. We are living amongst these people who have no problem with performing or allowing these acts. They should be crimes. The judge ruled that Ohio had no standards forbidding strangulation and hanging of farm animals? And then Pork Producers declared victory? —Jenn
What a sad statement about humanity, that we need a law that tells people not to hang and strangle animals. This sort of thing disgusts me more than I can say. Thank you for working so hard and so diligently to help these poor creatures who, through no fault of their own, wind up in the hands of such barbarians. —Teresa Melnick
I remember watching this same undercover video. It was very disturbing to watch and I too had to look away. How can any human being treat animals so horribly and look at themselves in the mirror? I specifically recall watching one of the sons with baby pigs, who were either too small or had something he didn't like, slamming them into a pole and tossing their bodies into a barrel. I was outraged to watch the court proceedings. This group of "farmers" thought they won a victory? If this is some type of victory, I want no part of it! Thank you for pushing this legislation to change the thinking of everyone involved with raising animals. Keep up the fantastic work! I am Canadian and cannot vote but will do what I can to post the link and encourage voters to speak up for those who can't. —Nancy Ball
I'm a new member to receive your blog. Being made more aware of animal issues is difficult, but necessary. I'm not from Ohio, but how can I help? I want to do anything and everything I can to make things right for all animals. There's a lot to be done, but I'll do my part and then some! Thanks. —Erica Bennett

And, with the exception of a few dairy farmers who wrote in to defend dehorning and some aspects of factory farming, you expressed outrage about the treatment of dairy cows after watching an exposé on ABC News’ Nightline.

I saw the Nightline report last night on the abuse of dairy cows. It made me so proud to be a supporter of HSUS's and other animal welfare groups' efforts to bring an end to the mindless factory farm practices that treat animals as machines instead of as our animal cousins. I can't wait to cheer the next exposé and passage of animal protection legislation. —Arden Allen
Thank goodness this horrible treatment of dairy cows has been publicized. As a supporter of HSUS I am praying some quick action is taken on this brutality. —Joyce Van Hulten
I saw the program on Nightline on the horrific abuse of dairy cows. It was overwhelming and very emotional for me to witness barbaric treatment of animals by ignorant people who have no compassion for these animals who give so much to humans. Those images are haunting and need to be shown around the country, especially to children who can grow and learn about true compassion for all creatures. Laws are helpful but people need to change their thinking and their hearts to have real change. Thank you for all you do. —Irene Henle
In regards to the Nightline story on dairy farming. I am a dairy farmer that was interviewed by Anna Schecter for the story that appeared on Nightline. But unfortunately no footage of my interview was used. It is implied that tail docking is a common industry practice which is not true. We discontinued that practice on our farm two years ago and many others have either stopped or never began tail docking. I understand that dehorning may seem disturbing to most people, but it is a necessary procedure to ensure the safety of the animals and the people working with the animals. Dehorning is an industry wide practice whether large or small farm. Also, the practice of burning the horns off when they are small is much more humane than waiting until the horns are larger and sawing or chopping them off which was done up until the late 1980s. I also believe that you need to be careful when labeling things as bad, such as "factory farms.” Just because something is big does not mean it is bad or greedy or destructive. I would encourage everyone out there that has concerns no matter what they may be to not just take one side but to educate themselves and gain as much information as possible to be able to make an informed decision. —Byron
Several years ago I lived near a dairy farm in Tennessee. I had never seen a dairy farm before. There were at least 100 cows crowded in stalls where they could barely turn around and they never got out. They didn't even look normal from lack of muscle. When it was 100 degrees they must have suffered even more since they were so crowded. They were on a concrete floor and I rarely ever saw one lying down. It took me months of driving past to accept that they really never got out and that this was real and accepted. I think it would help if everyone could see these farms with their own eyes. —Shelley

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