My son told me a disturbing story the other day, not long before he graduated form our local high school here near Franklin. It seems that students were doing projects where they were asked to take one side or the other on the animal welfare debate, either that groups like PETA have a point, or that they don't, and farmers treat animals humanely. What disturbed him and me both was that one team started out to take the side that animals aren't abused. In the end , they decided to make their presentation on how animals are abused.
What swung their decision? It wasn't because of what they truly believe. At least one is a farm girl, showing purebred cattle, and to her credit, made it through the project unscathed in her belief that farmers and true cattlemen who raise and show animals don't abuse them. But the problem they encountered was that when they Googled anything they could think of that should have led them to animals being treated properly in search engines on the internet, they got very little. However, type 'animal abuse' in the Google site and they discovered all sorts of images of grotesque treatment of animals, plus all kinds of facts, popped up form a plethora of sources.
To get through the assignment, they chose to go with what they could get- show the abuses, then tell class members that they didn't really think these things happened all that often. Unfortunately, a picture is worth a thousand words, especially when it's a pile of dead pigs dumped in a ravine or a pig dropping off the hook at a slaughter plant, still alive and writhing in pain. That clip, by the way, must be on every animal welfare Website known to man.
The girls finally went to the National Pork Producers Website. What they found there was a video clip of NPPC board members, some actual producers, talking about what NPPC does to ensure that producers do a good job with the environment, and with treating animals. Unfortunately, men in suits talking is no match when it comes to the 'no holds barred' tactics PETA and groups like it use.
One of the most typical symbols that comes up when you type in animal abuse into a search engine is the Humane Society o the United States symbol of a map of the United States. Their fingerprints are all over a number of pieces about animal abuse. Some of them are clearly marked from the beginning as being from HSUS. Others aren't. None of course describe just who HSUS is. If you want to think it's the same group that cares for pets in your county, that's left to your imagination. Truth is it's a well-funded national effort living off donations from people thinking they're supporting folks who truly care for dogs, cats and other animals.