Last quarter our article described how elected and appointed officials in our government can act to effect our hunter’s rights. These government officials are influenced by a number of different groups. Some are sportsmen and conservationists like us. Others have a different agenda and they represent probably the greatest threat hunting has ever faced. We see them all the time on our TV’s. Heart wrenching pictures of poor starving puppies and kittens shivering in the cold appear along with a plea. For a donation of only $19 a month you can end all this suffering. This is the image that most Americans see as representing the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and others that use this tactic to solicit donations. These organizations all fall under the general title of Animal Rights groups and they have recently been called to task for their deceptive practices. The principle complaint is that less than 2% of the money they collect is spent to help animals in need. The bulk of their funding pays for advertising, huge salaries and pension funds, off shore investments, fines, legal fees, lobbying and to finance ballot initiatives. It is their lawsuits, lobbying and ballot initiatives that pose a threat to our American way of life. To understand why this is true we need to look at who the Animal Rights people really are. The farmers in our country know them as radical vegans with a long term goal of completely banning all human use of animals for any purpose. We know this is true because their leaders have publicly stated it, though not in their commercials. Their strategy is to use their money to get laws passed that make commonly accepted practices regarding animals illegal. They are well organized and patient as they use their wealth to chip away at our rights and traditions a piece at a time. Here are some examples. Selling fur is illegal in some areas, some hunting such as the Michigan dove hunt has been banned , the cost of eggs has risen by 18% in California and 95% of the hog farmers in Florida have quit operating as a result of their activities. Animal Rights activists are also ruthless and not afraid to break laws to achieve their goals. In extreme cases they have resorted to vandalism, intimidation and blackmail along with arson and terrorism. Their donors would be shocked to learn that as a group they paid $15.7 million in fines resulting from a federal RICO (Racketeer Influenced & Corrupt Organizations Act) suit in a witness bribery case. Some animal rights groups have faced Congressional investigations which have been called for in both the House and Senate.
Part of our job at SCI is to be spokespersons for hunter’s rights and to educate the general public. When they see a petition drive, ballot initiative or are asked to support a political candidate that attacks hunting, fishing or agriculture they should understand that there is probably an Animal Rights group paying for this effort. The money is from out of state and obtained by deceptive practices. The people providing it are radical vegans and their long term goal is not just to stop some form of hunting but to end all human use and consumption of animals and animal products. Their plan is to use money and influence to create a world where no domestic animals are raised and wild ones are totally protected. Ultimately their goal is to make it illegal for you to own a puppy, see a horse race, eat a hamburger or buy milk for your children. As Americans we value our freedom to live the way we want above all else. The very idea that an extremely small group of people, no matter how much money they have, can change our nation’s practices and traditions is just not tolerable. We have federal and state farm, fish and game agencies to manage our resources and we don’t need or want radical groups imposing their will on us through deception, lawsuits and political maneuvering. Getting this message out will stop the radical vegans and it is our responsibility to fight them everywhere we can with our voices, our votes and our contributions to organizations like Safari Club International.