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Gabe Thompson Jr., Antler, N.D., Published July 07 2012

‘Local’ in measure is a sham

There have been a number of letters to The Forum in regards to the proposed animal cruelty initiative seeking signatures to get on the ballot. Most of the supportive letters have suggested that the concerns of those of us who provide a living for our families through animal agriculture are simply unfounded and unwarranted.

In some fairy tale land, perhaps the Humane Society of the United States, the sponsor and writer of this measure stand beside farmers and ranchers and sing “We are the World.” But in the world most of us live in, HSUS has proved itself time and again to consistently have an agenda to end animal agriculture. They have realized this cannot be accomplished in one fell swoop, so they have adopted a policy of taking one small step at a time down the path of accomplishing their admitted agenda.

And make no mistake about it – that is the agenda of the people involved in crafting this narrowly focused animal cruelty ballot initiative.

This measure’s fairy tale front appears to be one of “local” concerned North Dakotans. In reality two representatives from HSUS – one of whom has a criminal history of furthering the animal rights agenda – were directly involved in the creation and wording of this measure. In meetings that were held around North Dakota to garner support in the creation of this measure, it was clearly spelled out by those HSUS representatives that it was necessary to write this measure in a manner voters would accept, then after passage, steps could be taken to broaden its scope.

The sponsors and supporters of this measure who were at these meetings cannot deny this because members of North Dakota’s animal agriculture organizations were in attendance and saw firsthand the context of the message.

Every North Dakotan has the right to pursue their agendas through the initiated measure process in this state. But North Dakota residents who are being asked to vote on this measure also have the right to know the truth about it, as well as the identity of people advocating or opposing it.

The animal cruelty ballot initiative was written with the help of out-of-state people who have a clear agenda to end animal agriculture one step at a time. This measure is being funded by the same organization that also controls the domain name of the ballot initiative. This same organization wishes to end the sport of hunting and any usage of animals by people they do not approve of, and has involved itself previously in failed measure attempts here in North Dakota in pursuit of their cause.

The “local” sponsors of this measure need to take ownership of the actions and history of the people they have invited to come into our state and write the measure North Dakotans are being asked to vote on. They need to own up to the fact that one of the people they have involved in writing their proposal is in fact a convicted criminal.

Without admitting to and owning up to this involvement and the agendas behind it, the sponsors and supporters here in North Dakota who wish people to believe they are the face and voice of this measure are being disingenuous with the North Dakota voter. The supporters of this measure wish to have the people of North Dakota believe those of us opposed to it are merely crying wolf as in the children’s fairy tale.

What needs to be remembered is that in the fairy tale, just as in this measure, the wolf indeed did show up.