More Letters From the Dark Side
From the sunny side – Many years ago I spent a lot of classroom hours studying the various effects of propaganda. If ever there was a course that I would recommend, it would be just that, because a hell of a lot of people believe whatever they are told without giving any thought to the possibility that they are indeed being lied to by others. We are all subject to various forms of propaganda, either from the news media. the government, Wall Street or Madison Avenue. Retrieving little flakes of truth and gathering enough information sometimes allows us to see what is really happening, that is if people really want to know the truth. Sadly, most of the time, people don’t.
Without getting into current politics (and once again, this is NOT the forum for political discussion), animal welfare is one subject that separates people from one another. Be it the use of any animals as a food source or just the use of equine as food, the debate is often extremely vocal, often punctuated with language that would embarrass a Master Sargent.
The goal of any discussion should be an exchange of ideas and philosophies to the point of arriving at a new level of understanding. The “line in the sand” on a given subject is the give and take. Call it diplomacy or politics, that line should be the most acceptable point between the differences.
With horse slaughter, there is no “acceptable difference.” One side wants to kill and eat, the other side wants to let live and cherish. The “kill and eat” side has been winning the battle for a long time, but lost ground when the US slaughterhouses closed. What they lost was not the ability to kill and eat, but the ability to make money from the process, thus they struck out on a new front – “Bring horse slaughter back to the USA.”
The propaganda dispersed by the kill and eat crowd is filled with the normal lies and bent truths, yet is believed by far too many, including most of those who tend to profit from the slaughter of horses; including any number of ranchers, breeding farms, welfare ranchers on BLM land and, of course, the politicians.
Since we, as the “live and cherish” side, will not accept any compromise, our job then is to keep our combined objections before the public and the politicians. Being quiet does absolutely nothing but give the other side more power. Never giving an inch, always demanding, being in control, accepting no lies and expressing what we consider the “truth” to all who will listen is what will eventually win this battle.
I love to read the comments many of you post, and I appreciate them more than you may ever realize. “Liking” HfH on Facebook means a lot, also, as well as signing up to receive this newsletter. That is a small part of the race between the sides (Sweet Sue and her group have their own Facebook page and website). Reposting and retweeting important messages and articles is also important, but still not as important as the one action that each of us should be taking every day.
Call the politicians. If they are on our side, thank them time and time again. Every time one of them comes out and says something in favor of the horses, call their office and tell them how much you appreciate it. When some yahoo spouts senseless garbage about “too many horses,” call and tell them that is answer is to stop the breeding, not feed the excess to foreigners.
Bottom line – never stop calling. Make it a habit on your lunch hour. Put the phone numbers on your contact list. Make friends with the aids in the politician’s office.
Even the pure, raw truth can be called “propaganda.” Use it to expose the lies of the Dark Side. Be the ray of sunshine for every equine alive. – Jerry)
June 29, 2013,
Dear Friends of Horses,
Yesterday we couldn’t resist sharing the welcome news that the horse processing industry will once again be able to provide a humane option that provides value and a good use for horses. Today we are privileged to share with you evidence that common sense and sound science has finally prevailed over the vitriolic defamation campaigns of oganizations like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). Hand in hand with the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announcement that the horse processing facilities are being granted inspection, FSIS publicized their official response to the HSUS petition for rulemaking that sought to once again ban horse processing.
In their response FSIS categorically and unequivocally denied every single petition request of the radical animal rights group and backed it up with solid facts!
What a refreshing change from the overblown emotional propaganda we have all endured for far too long. FSIS Administrator Al Almanza and his agency are to be commended for their professionalism, their diligence, and their dedication to following the law. In so doing they have given the entire horse industry new hope. We just wish they could have done it two years ago, but we are glad to see it nonetheless.
Now, if we can only hold it…
We’ve made a huge step, and a good one, but I am sure our struggle to improve the welfare of horses, to protect the rights of horse people, and to provide a responsible solution for the long run is far from over. Emotional fundraising is the bread and butter of so-called nonprofits like HSUS. So long as they can foist dollars from generous, kind hearted Americans who love animals by convincing them that all animal based businesses are run by evil monsters who just want to abuse animals…they will continue to do so.
So how do we stop the “lobbying for profit” machine? One way we change it is by telling our own story. When we all stand up and tell the truth, it deprives them of their ability to tell a wrong story about us, and it exposes the hollow fraud that they perpetuate to support their fundraising industry.
Thanks to every one of you for doing your part. Keep it up.
Remember that Congress takes the month of August off to go home, and the campaign season begins. Go to their town hall meetings. Go to their district offices. Find them at ice cream socials, and county fairs, and anywhere else you can and make sure they know that their position for or against the horse industry will make a difference in the votes they receive. Take away the excuse we hear so often that “I understand where you are coming from, but the only people I hear from in my district are opposed to horse slaughter.” Make them hear from YOU.
Another thing you can do is support the organizations that are working the hardest for your best interests like United Horsemen, a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to building a better future for horses and horse people, and the Cavalry Group,
a private member-based company dedicated to advancing the constitutional rights of law-abiding animal owners, animal-related businesses, and agricultural concerns. Of course, if you are directly involved in the horse processing industry you should consider becoming a member of the International Equine Business Association. Our mission is to to mutually protect the international horse industry, and to promote the use of horses and equine products in commercial enterprises.
The past month has been a roller coaster with action good and bad on Agriculture Appropriations and the Farm Bill in Washington, D.C. Although we were dismayed by a Congressional lack of courage in some quarters, we were greatly heartened by a coalition of tribes, agricultural organizations, horse industry groups, state and local government entities and some of the finest individuals in Washington D.C. today that stood shoulder to shoulder with us and never lost heart. At the same time our members struggled to slog their way through what seemed like unending hurdles. Now our companies are beefing up their security, hiring well vetted employees, and generally getting ready to go to work. They have customers lined up and waiting both here and abroad. It is a day we’ve long been waiting for.
We will do our best to keep you informed. Watch for alerts and announcements in coming weeks.
I’m guessing the ride is going to get wilder in coming days. As my old bronc riding Daddy would say, “Time to get your holds, set your spurs, and nod for the gate.” Happy Fourth of July!
It feels fine and fitting to have this gate kicked open for us in conjunction with our national celebration of freedom and independence.
International Equine Business Association
Habitat for Horses is always on the lookout for a few great people at our ranches. The work is unique, the animals are special and we want folks who both know and understand the special connection our animals need.