4-H. It’s been a staple of youth development for years upon years. It’s slogan goes as follows:
I pledge my head to clearer thinking,
My heart to greater loyalty,
My hands to larger service,
And my health to better living,
For my club, my community my country, and my world.
And to make the best better!
It helps to build dependable, honest leaders for the future. It made a huge impact on my life. I served as a local officer, a county Federation officer, a leadership trainer, and a junior leader. I taught younger kids how to improve their projects and worked hard on barn improvement at our fairgrounds. I learned discipline, cooperation, and patience.
I can safely say that 4-H changed my life.
However, there’s a new H getting involved in the well-known H’s of head, hands, heart, and health. That new H stands for the Humane Society of the United States. While masked innocently behind a name that many people misunderstand, they directly conflict with the many standards of citizenship that 4-H tries to instill in its members.
Confused? It’s not surprising. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is a well-disguised lobbying group. While commercials give off the impression of being your friendly local animal shelter, where puppies and kitties go to find homes, they spend only one half of a percent on actual hands-on animal care. When confronted about this, their PR reps will say, “It says on the commercials and our websites that we aren’t affiliated with any local Humane Society…”
Fine print doesn’t count. Not in this case.
4-H encourages for honesty. HSUS does not.
Following the Michael Vick case, HSUS collected massive amounts of money to benefit the rescued dogs. Later on, it was revealed that HSUS had really no direct contact with the dogs and the money collected was never distributed to those who cared for the victims. In fact, Wayne Pacelle, the CEO of HSUS, pushed to have every dog, from infant pup to trained fighter, euthanized. Even those who were too young to be emotionally damaged or still tame enough to be rehabilitated. In fact, they worked with Vick to rebuild his image and pushed for his return to the NFL.
4-H stands for loyalty. HSUS showed no loyalty to the animals they claimed to serve.
I could go on and on for hours about this. I could talk about how the majority of 4-H’s members are rural kids, farm kids, who want to learn more about their crops, animals, and careers. I could go on to talk about HSUS’s anti-agriculture agenda, and all the movements they are making to hamper animal ag in the U.S. I could go on to list all of the other respectable characteristics that 4-H fosters in youth, and how HSUS directly conflicts with those.
4-H teaches animal welfare. There is no reason for animal rights groups to be showing up at 4-H events to “teach.”
So, following the news that HSUS had some sort of presence at a national-level meeting for 4-H, I’m disappointed. I’m even disgusted. Has leadership become that far replaced from the children they seek to serve? Has the wool been pulled over their eyes? (If it were up to HSUS, none of us would own the sheep to sheer the wool to be pulled over anyone’s eyes. After all, those sheep did not willingly give us their fleece!)
As a country girl, a former 4-Her, a current 4-H volunteer, and a believer that agriculture is a form of stewardship, this saddens me. Hopefully, 4-H will hear the calls of the people. Hopefully they’ll become aware of the fact that some H’s shouldn’t mix.