retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Los Angeles Times reports that “the Humane Society of the United States has released undercover video footage shot at two of the nation's largest egg farms showing workers slamming chickens into metal bins and dead birds littering cages,” and says that the video represents just “the latest salvo in an escalating war between the food sector and the country's leading animal-rights organizations.”

At some level, the Times writes, the activists have been successful. They have use legislation, public relations and stock ownership in public companies to influence policy decisions, getting companies ranging from Walmart and Sonic to IHOP and Applebee’s to move to cage-free eggs.

But, the Times reports, “the farmers are fighting back. In recent months, agribusiness lobbyists and farm groups have bombarded companies sympathetic to the Humane Society with letters asking them to halt donations to the group. "’HSUS seeks to remove meat from our dinner tables, leather goods from our closets, animals from zoos and circuses and eventually -- pets from our families,’ Kansas Farm Bureau President Steve Baccus wrote in a letter to Bank of America Corp. posted on the bureau's website. The Humane Society, he wrote, is ‘a powerful, well-funded activist organization pursuing what most reasonable observers would consider an extreme anti-animal agenda’.”

The Humane Society, as to be expected, denies that sort of radical agenda and says that it is interested in making sure that animals being used for food are not being mistreated.
KC's View:
No pets? Does that mean that our dogs and cats are going to simply run wild in the streets? Who is going to feed them? Provide them with health care? (I foresee another health care bill making its way through Congress. Oy.) And most important, who will clean up their poop?

If this sort of radical agenda were achieved, I can only imagine my dog, Buffett, clinging to the doorframe, refusing to go. After all, she has it pretty good here. And I suspect that a lot of other pets would feel the same way.

Both sides seem to have a PR problem. It should not be difficult for the two sides to come together to agree that there is a acceptable middle ground - that animals ought not be mistreated, but that it is okay to eat meat and okay to have pets.

But we don’t live in that kind of world.