In 2002, HSUS funded a ballot campaign in Florida to—for the first time—put animal rights in the state constitution. The campaign sought to ban individual maternity pens, the most commonly used method of housing pregnant pigs. While successful—there were hardly any pork producers in Florida—11 years later the vote has come back to bite voters.
A state appeals court has ruled in favor of a pig farmer who was awarded over $500,000 as a result of the amendment campaign making his property useless. He was one of only two farmers in the state to use the maternity pens, and since the law made his investment useless, the court ruled that he is entitled to compensation.
Why would HSUS and its vegan buddies push a state constitutional amendment that would only affect two farmers in a state of 17 million people, you ask? This was not exactly a pressing public policy issue—certainly undeserving of a constitutional amendment. But that didn’t matter. HSUS and its vegan pals were looking for a state with few pork farmers because it would be easier to ram through an amendment. (More recently, HSUS has been trolling the halls of state legislatures in Rhode Island and other low-pork-production states. It’s all about appearance.)
And what happened to the animals on these two farms? Well, the farmers couldn’t afford to make costly infrastructure changes. So they had to slaughter the animals. “As farmers, they’ve killed us, and as a result we have to kill the animals,” said one in reaction to the vote.
We know that PETA kills animals. Is it fair to say that HSUS kills animals, too?
Interestingly, the aftermath of the campaign was marred in scandal. Farm Sanctuary, another vegan group that supported the campaign, was charged with 210 violations of state campaign finance laws. Farm Sanctuary allegedly had collected donations for the campaign while promising tax deductions, but donations to political campaigns are not tax-exempt. Farm Sanctuary eventually paid a $50,000 fine.
Here’s a memo to voters in any state where HSUS is trying to drive up farming costs—one way or the other, you’ll have to pay for HSUS’s activism, whether at the grocery store or through the tax coffers. And the animals might just pay with their lives.