Alliance Letter to Jordan Vineyards re: Decision to Host Gala for HSUS
The Alliance sent the following letter to John Jordan, the President of Jordan Vineyard & Winery, after learning that the company planned on hosting a fund raising gala for the Humane Society of the United States. The Alliance’s Executive Vice President, Kay Johnson Smith, spoke with Jordan on June 1, 2010. Jordan showed great understanding of the importance of animal agriculture and volunteered to consult the Alliance before hosting an animal – related event in the future. He stated that HSUS has agreed that all funds garnered during the winery’s one – time event would go towards hands – on cat and dog care programs. The Alliance encourages others to share this information within their communities and local businesses.
November 22, 2010
Mr Joseph Gallo E&J Gallo Winery 600 Yosemite Blvd. Modesto, CA 95354
Dear Mr. Gallo,
Earlier this year, two wineries came under fire after donating money and services to the Humane Society of the United States, an animal rights activist group that uses its considerable budget to threaten America’s hardworking farmers and ranchers. The Animal Agriculture Alliance believes that all segments of the agriculture industry must unite to prevent future attacks from HSUS. We urge you to take a stand against animal rights extremists by ensuring that your all members of your business are aware of this threat and by pledging to support only legitimate animal protection organizations with your philanthropic efforts.
The Alliance is a national non-profit organization that educates the public about how today’s farmers care for their animals while providing nutritious, plentiful, and affordable food products for all. Our diverse membership includes national agriculture associations, individual farmers and ranchers, veterinarians, animal behaviorists, agricultural businesses, animal health companies, and other allied industry stakeholders. Collectively, we represent more than two million individuals.
Agriculture is a diverse industry, but it is important that all sectors support each other in times of need. We hope to reach out and help educate your company about the very real threat that HSUS poses to many members of the agricultural community.
HSUS is not affiliated with any local animal shelter. HSUS and other animal rights groups are not concerned with improving animal welfare. These extremists are systematically working to prohibit the ownership and use of animals in any way- be it for companionship, entertainment, or food.
HSUS is not the organization that it appears to be. When Wayne Pacelle took over as President and CEO of the organization in 2004, he told the watchdog newspaper Animal People that his goal was to “build a National Rifle Association of the animal rights movement.” Miyun Park, who was formerly the group’s Vice President of Farm Animal Welfare, has bluntly stated that HSUS’ objective is to “get rid of the egg and broiler industries in the United States.” HSUS’ John Goodwin has boldly claimed that his goal is “the abolition of all animal agriculture.”
The misleading information distributed by HSUS falsely depicts scientifically-valid and ethically-based agricultural practices as inhumane. While numerous HSUS campaigns have attempted to discredit modern agricultural practices, it is noticeably yet to fund or support research seeking alternative practices to enhance farm animal welfare. This is because HSUS promotes a vegan agenda and is focused on eliminating meat, milk, and eggs from consumers’ diets.
In April, Charity Navigator downgraded its rating of HSUS and its international arm to lower than that of even the notoriously radical group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. In December 2009, the American Institute of Philanthropy gave the organization a “C-” grade in its Charity Rating Guide, largely because HSUS dedicates a significant amount of its staggering $100 million budget to fund-raising. HSUS spends as much as $40 to generate every $100 raised. Analysis of its 2008 tax return shows that only onehalf of one percent of the group’s funds actually went towards caring for animals.
HSUS has recently gained the media spotlight by allegedly providing aid to animals affected by the Gulf oil spill- but the group’s animal rescue methods have frequently been questioned. HSUS routinely capitalizes on natural disasters and images of injured animals in order to raise money through clever marketing campaigns. An investigation by an Atlanta news station found that only 53 percent of the $34 million HSUS raised in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina could be accounted for as spent on disaster-relief activities. In December 2009, HSUS raised $1.2 million using the image of “Fay,” a severely disfigured pit bull that was rescued from a fighting ring- despite the fact that HSUS had not provided any of the animal’s care. Only after harsh criticism did HSUS agree to pay just $5,000 for one of the dog’s needed surgeries. Worse yet, HSUS continued the “Fay” fundraising campaign even after the dog’s unfortunate death.
This spring, HSUS shamefully used the crisis in Haiti to fund-raise. When the American Veterinary Medical Association joined with fifteen other animal welfare organizations to form the Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti (ARCH), HSUS declined to participate and instead began marketing itself as the sole provider of animal care to the ravaged area. It launched a massive advertising campaign to secure donations for itself, even before a call for animal aid had been made from caregivers in Haiti. HSUS’ volunteers admitted that pets were a rarity in the country and that they were able to interact with only a few animals- even as donations poured in.
Clearly, improving the lives of animals is not the main goal of HSUS. Instead, the organization invests the millions of dollars that unknowing supporters donate every year into sophisticated legal and legislative campaigns that threaten the way of life of America’s farmers and ranchers. HSUS has developed an extensive network of animal lawyers that donated 10,273 pro bono hours in 2008 alone, much of which was focused on animal agriculture. In 2008, HSUS sponsored a ballot initiative in California- which, as you know, is home to many vineyards and wineries- that is expected to fully eradicate the state’s egg industry and will bring with it an expected economic loss of $615 million. This is not an isolated case; HSUS is currently working to impose unreasonable restrictions on farmers in other states through ballot initiatives and similar legislative measures.
In contrast, the Alliance suggests that you consider supporting local animal shelters as a possible alternative for future philanthropic efforts related to animal causes. Many of the hundreds of shelters across the United States are in dire need of financial support and supplies. This is truly an opportunity to save the lives of animals in your community.
As we head into the holiday and giving season, we would gratefully ask that you share this information with
your clientele and fellow wine producers to help them better understand the true agenda of HSUS before they find themselves manipulated by its deceptive tactics. We hope the wine industry will stand up with, and for, the farmers and ranchers that provide the foods that pair so well with wine.
If you would like to learn more about the threats being made against today’s agriculture industry by animal rights organizations such as HSUS, or more about the Animal Agriculture Alliance, please do not hesitate to contact me at (703) 562-1412 or by e-mail at KJohnson@animalagalliance.org. Thank you for your time and consideration.
Kay Johnson Smith Executive Vice President Animal Agriculture Alliance (703) 562-1412 KJohnson@animalagalliance.org
Category: Alliance Outreach and Projects