Lighter subjects tend to find their way into this Blog because it's more enjoyable to write about things that make you smile, especially if there's a point to it at the same time. Today's subject, however, isn't funny, but it is scary, at least to me. If you haven't got a whiff of what's going on behind the scenes yet in the name of animal welfare, it's high time you did. If you already have, then you should have some excellent insights to add to my comments.
Anyone who still thinks the so-called puppy mill legislation is just about stopping a few bad-boy dog breeders who routinely abuse their animals must be living in a cave made of Bedford limestone. More than one Indiana Farm Bureau staff member has verified that members of the Humane Society of the United States have been walking the halls of the state capitol in Indianapolis, promoting this bill, from almost the very start.
Don't be confused. That's not the folks who operate your local animal shelter, although the folks at HSUS are betting on you making that connection when you consider sending them a check to support them. They are not bashful about their mission- they are against animal agriculture.
This is the same group that was active in supporting Proposition 2 in California. That ballot initiative, passed easily by California voters last November, will likely destroy animal agriculture, at least the poultry business, in that state by 2015. The vote was all about emotion, with very little emphasis on science, and it would appear not the first grain of common sense applied to the argument.
What's frightening to me is that one night this week a radio commercial came on my favorite station, WIBC, in Indianapolis, during a prime-time news report. It made dog breeders out to be immoral, money-hungry abusers. Sure enough, it turned out the ad was sponsored by HSUS. But you wouldn't know that unless you went to their Web site, which conveniently is humanesociety.org. A few minutes later, the same commercial ran again, with a soft, feminine voice expressing distress over how animals are abused just so someone can make money.
Why was such a commercial so frightening? Because it's proof that what observers like IFB's Bob Kraft have predicted is already happening. These people who don't like animals raised for meat are out there, and they work by first getting their foot in the door. That's likely their goal with the puppy mill bill. From there, they have the legislator's ear. And if they can rally the public around the cause, how long before they target more than just dogs?
If there's a light moment in this whole mess, it's that Amish women, whose families could be directly affected by this vague legislation, fought to combat it. Some of the largest dog breeding operations in the state are Amish, located in northern Indiana. So the wives brought their famous Amish food to the statehouse, and set it out on tables for legislators to sample. The only problem is that when the legislators came by, the women shyly retreated form the tables. So legislators chowed down on some of the best tasting food anywhere without having a clue why it was there.
If the legislation was specific and stuck strictly to obvious abusers of animals, that would be one thing. Those who have poured through it say it's just the opposite- it's vague and could have far-reaching implications.
No one paid much attention when the anti-meat crowd won victories where it didn't matter to many- in Florida, Arizona and Oregon. Suddenly, they won a big one in a major ag state- California, and now obviously they're empowered to move into the heartland. If you raise any kind of animal, here's fair warning. Pay attention to what's happening with this bill. If it frightens you as much as it frightens me, maybe you ought to let your elected officials know, before it's too late.
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