Further Reflections

By on November 5, 2008 with 0 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

When it comes to the political cycle, I didn’t think it could get better for us than the last general election. Two years ago, we went head to head with the NRA and the rest of the extremist segment of the hunting lobby over dove hunting in Michigan and put a stop to dove hunting by securing 69 percent of the vote, winning every one of the 83 counties in Michigan. In Arizona, we went head to head with the agribusiness lobby and defeated them 62 to 38 on a measure to ban veal and gestation crates, despite a $2.5 million campaign against us.

White and tan greyhound
© iStockphoto

But with yesterday’s victories, we have now rivaled the outcomes of November 2006. We banned greyhound racing in Massachusetts, with the inspired efforts of Carey Theil and Christine Dorchak of Grey2K USA and also our friends at the MSPCA. And in California, despite a $9 million advertising campaign against us by agribusiness companies throughout the nation, we garnered 63.3 percent of the vote on Prop 2, winning 46 of 58 counties in California.  We won throughout California—and with every demographic group in this very diverse state.

More than six million Californians rejected the fear-mongering campaign of the opponents of Prop 2 when they cast their ballots for farm animals. We are so grateful to them for siding with us and for doing something good for animals. And we are grateful to the thousands of volunteers who collected signatures, wrote letters, talked to friends, and campaigned for this remarkable outcome; these volunteers gave millions of Californians the opportunity to make the right decision.

After Question 3 takes effect in a little more than a year in Massachusetts, no dog will ever be treated like a racing machine and discarded or abandoned simply for not being "fast enough." And soon, very soon, in California, we’ll see a new approach to animal care take root in agriculture, one with sweeping consequences for the rest of the nation.

281x144_prop2_volunteers_2
YES! on Prop 2’s Kath Rogers, center, gets out the vote
(and celebrates her birthday today with a Prop 2 win).

These outcomes are yet another measure of the entirely unique capability that The HSUS has in confronting institutionalized cruelty. There’s not another group in the nation—in animal protection or any other field—with the tools and capabilities we possess. Under one tent, we have brought together the best political minds, field organizers, litigators, investigators, researchers, scientists, veterinarians, doctors, communicators, educators, and fundraisers.

When we put the machinery of The HSUS behind a campaign, watch out. Just look at the results.

I hope that you are savoring these two dramatic successes, and that you feel good about the crucial contributions you made to them as a supporter of The HSUS. I sure am. I am thankful to my colleagues, many of whom made extraordinary sacrifices to ensure the success of these ballot initiatives. I am even more proud of our members, who showed faith in our approach and whose unbending support has made such good things possible.

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