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Animal Ag Alliance to Yellow Tail: Please Reconsider

Animal Ag Alliance To Yellow Tail: Please Reconsider
02/12/2020 11:05AM

In an effort to assist Yellow Tail Wines in determining its best opportunity to help animals, the Animal Agriculture Alliance has written a letter this week to the company’s owner, Cassella Wines. Yellow Tail Wines announced last week their intent to donate $100,000 to the Humane Society of the United States.

Yellow Tail’s announcement has generated considerable controversy among livestock producers and a backlash against the wine company. “The uproar over the last week has shown that you will undoubtedly lose a significant segment of your American customer base if you continue with your pledge of support for HSUS,” the letter says.

The Animal Agriculture Alliance pointed to the tactics employed by HSUS to encourage donations from individuals or organizations not aware of how the contributions are used. “(HSUS) is not affiliated with local animal shelters and instead uses its considerable budget to threaten America’s hardworking farmers and ranchers,” the letter stated. “HSUS is not the organization that it appears to be.”

The letter urges Yellow Tail to reconsider its choice to fund HSUS citing the groups numerous campaigns against animal agriculture and other animal industries. “While wanting to help animals is indeed a noble goal, we urge you to not aid a group that works to eliminate animal agriculture. The letter goes on to suggest Yellow Tail instead support the American Humane Association which has a solid record of providing aid to animals.

The letter goes on to explain that “HSUS has a vegan agenda that does not wish to truly improve animal welfare, but to eliminate meat, milk, and eggs from consumers’ diets.” Saying that Yellow Tail is not the first company to have been sold a bill of goods by HSUS the Alliance letter offers assistance to the wine company in recovering from the unfortunate situation.

HSUS has received criticism and come under increasing scrutiny after its 2008 tax return showed that only one-half of one percent of the group’s funds actually went towards caring for animals. “Clearly, improving the lives of animals is not the main goal of HSUS,” the letter said.

2101 Wilson Blvd, Suite 916B
Arlington, VA 22201

February 5, 2021

W.J. Deutsch and Sons Ltd.
108 Corporate Park Drive
White Plains, NY 10604
Dear Mr. Bill Deutsch,

The Animal Agriculture Alliance is dismayed by your decision to donate $100,000 to the Humane Society of the United States, a group that is not affiliated with local animal shelters. Instead, HSUS uses its considerable budget to threaten America’s hardworking farmers and ranchers- the very people that produce the steaks and cheese that pair so well with your wines. Over the last two days, hundreds of farmers, ranchers, hunters, and pet lovers have utilized social media to urge you to reconsider your choice. While wanting to help animals is indeed a noble goal, we urge you to instead pledge your money to local shelters, which often are underfunded but provide much-needed services to homeless pets.

Unfortunately, HSUS is not the organization that it appears to be. 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 on fund-raising, spending as much as $40 to generate every $100 raised. Analysis of their 2008 tax return shows that only one-half of one percent of the group’s funds actually went towards caring for animals. Is that really how you want your money spent?

HSUS’ animal rescue methods have also been questioned. HSUS routinely capitalizes on natural disasters and images of injured animals as a way to raise money through clever marketing campaigns. An investigation by an Atlanta, GA news station found that only 53 percent of the $34 million HSUS raised in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which devastate much of the Gulf Coast, 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 animals care. Only after harsh criticism did HSUS agree to pay just $5,000 for one of the dog’s needed surgeries.

Even now, HSUS is using 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 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 while a call for animal aid had yet been made from caregivers in Haiti. HSUS’ volunteers have admitted that pets are a rarity in the country and that they have interacted with only a few animals- even as donations continue to pour in. Where will this money go?

When Pacelle joined the organization in 2004, he told Animal People, a newspaper focused on animal issues, that his goal was to build a National Rifle Association of the animal rights movement. Miyun Park, 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. So far, HSUS has enjoyed much success in manipulating the public to gain support- but at what cost to American agriculture? The misleading information distributed by HSUS falsely depicts scientifically valid and ethically based agricultural practices as inhumane. Although HSUS’ campaigns strategically discredit modern agricultural practices, it has yet to fund or support research seeking alternative practices to enhance farm animal welfare.

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. In 2008, HSUS sponsored a ballot initiative in California that is expected to fully eradicate the state’s egg industry when it goes into effect in 2015, bringing with it an expected economic loss of $615 million. This is not an isolated case; HSUS ultimate goal is the elimination of animal agriculture in entirety.

The Alliance urges you to reconsider your donation. As a national, non-profit organization comprised of food producers, agricultural organizations, and veterinarians, we work to educate consumers and the media about the important role that animal agriculture plays in our nation’s security and vitality. We strongly disagree with the manipulative tactics that HSUS uses to mislead the public about how farm animals are raised, and we feel your money would be much better served at any of the countless local shelters and legitimate animal organizations that are in dire need of support. I encourage you to contact the Alliance if you have any further questions.


Kay Johnson Smith
Executive Vice President

Posted by OFAC on February 16th, 2010 :: Filed under Activism, Consumers, Letters to the Editor, Vegan, Vegetarian
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