Here I was this morning, minding my own business, trying to head out to the gym, when I suddenly became dizzy. The cause? More spin from the Humane Society.
The story in question is actually good news for hunters: Meijer Inc. - which has stores located in the hunter-rich states of Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio - has withdrawn its pledge to donate a dollar to the Humane Society for every entry into its online pet photo contest.
The U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance last week protested the store's support of the anti-hunting organization, hunters everywhere raised Cain and it worked. Congratulations, hunters! You won a battle. Feels good, doesn't it?
But here's the stuff in The Grand Rapids Press story that demands a response:
Without directly criticizing Meijer, (HSUS Executive Vice President Michael) Markarian suggested the retailer may have made a mistake by siding with what he called an industry trade group.
"We feel any business would want to be on the side of protecting pets and a group that has more than 10 million members rather than on the side of a fringe group," Markarian said.
Sure, I would say the 10 million members claimed by the Humane Society beats 35,000 claimed by the Sportsmen's Alliance. But 1) it was a broad backlash, not just a U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance press release, that got Meijer's attention, and 2) the implication that hunters are a fringe group is plain nuts.
Markarian said "fringe group" specifically in reference to the Sportmen's Alliance (which has someone named Cabela on the board - hardly fringe). But make no mistake: HSUS is utterly committed to marginalizing hunters as a whole, because the smaller and more irrational we seem as a group, the easier it is to convince lawmakers and policymakers to chip away at our rights.
Let's review some facts in the culture war between those who oppose eating meat and those who not only eat meat, but would rather eat wild game than industrially farmed meat. And here, I use the term "meat" to refer to any animal flesh, because that's the issue.
- 7.3 million: The number of adults in America who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. That's 3.2 percent of the population. Of these, 54 percent cite "animal welfare" as a reason why they don't eat meat. (Source: Vegetarian Times study)
- 1 million: The number of adults in America who follow a vegan diet, consuming no animal products at all. That's 0.5 percent. (Source: Vegetarian Times study)
Meat eaters who harvest their own
- 29.9 million: The number of adults in America who hunt and/or fish. That's 13 percent of the population. (Source: U.S. Fish & Wildlife survey)
- 8.4 million: The number of adults in America who hunt. That's 4 percent of the population. (Source: U.S. Fish & Wildlife survey)
Other meat eaters
- 83.8 percent: The percentage of adult Americans who do eat meat, but get it from the grocery store or their own farm animals instead of from nature. (Source: Doing the math on the items listed above - not statistically pristine, because the numbers come from different sources, but a reasonable approximation.)
Does this whole think make you feel like joining the Sportsmen's Alliance? Click here. It's only $25. If not USSA, join something - make your voice heard. It's time to fight back against the propagandists.
© Holly A. Heyser 2008