Two days after it was announced, the consensus in the animal agriculture world seems to be that Ohio farm groups made a “deal with the devil” in the agreement with the Humane Society of the United States to drop its animal rights ballot initiative in the state.
Initially, the HSUS watchdog website HumaneWatch was jubilant about the agreement and called it a victory. Upon further research, however, editor David Martosko changed his mind, finding that the “devil was in the details” of the deal.
The Animal Agriculture Alliance puts it succinctly in a press release. “The only group to benefit from this agreement is HSUS,” they say. “This “compromise” is only the beginning. HSUS CEO Wayne Pacelle has indicated that the agreement is “not legally binding,” meaning that while HSUS will not be pursuing a ballot initiative this fall, the future is still uncertain.”
Many individual farmers and ranchers feel the same way, as well as pet breeders and others who feel they were “thrown under the bus” in the agreement. Time will tell, but an old Irish proverb says “the devil never grants long leases” so we are likely to find out sooner rather than later if this was a deal that Ohio agriculture will live to regret.