|An Update on my thoughts on Carrie Underwood and the HSUS|
|Tuesday, 12 November 2013 00:58|
November 7th started like any other day, but by the afternoon it would be a retro-rewind like no other. My views on Carrie Underwood would go viral.
Someone on the internet googled: "carrie underwood fights against rodeo", found my blog post, re-posted it... and in 5 days, over 68,000 people viewed it. Humbling to say, but that's 3.5 times the normal traffic JoeScully.com gets in a year (I do ok...).
The original post dated December 13th, 2009 was a short opinion piece on a $200,000 donation by Carrie Underwood to the Humane Society of the United States. My thoughts on it at the time were: "Miss Underwood just handed over a ton of coin to help the largest Animal Rights Activist organization on Earth fight Farmers and Ranchers and anyone else that has an interest in animals."
Harsh words at first glance, until you read about what the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) really is: a political organization with minimal ties to animal shelters. Oh yeah. Their advertising for dollars leads the donators to believe their funds go to shelters, but their tax returns show that only 0.8% of their over $100,000,000 (one hundred million) annual budget is spent via grants to shelters. The HSUS is a lobbying group that fights anything animal related... livestock agricultural farmers, breeding operations, zoos, sport and entertainment industries, hunters, etc., etc. And of course, this information is directly found on their website, i.e. "...The HSUS opposes rodeos as they are commonly organized..."
My original post contained quotes of farmers, ranchers, and so forth, and of course, they too felt the hypocrisy of a country singer supporting an Animal Rights Activist organization.
This made the rounds and up until November 7th, about 3,000 people had read the blog post (almost 4 years). In April of 2013, another blogger posted about her stance on the hypocricy, even though most would have thought it was common knowledge in Agriculture by this point... and her blog apparently had over 110,000 views; my old post saw a slight spike in traffic. It was through this latest conversation that more claims came out about Carrie Underwood, i.e. that she was also a PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) spokesperson, and big opponent of the Ag-Gag bills, etc. in addition to being an HSUS supporter.
Flash forward to this juncture, and the story is going viral again. This time, the debate on Twitter and Facebook intensified and the Carrie Fans were out for blood. So, in form of an update, I will re-post and respond to the top talking points that the Carrie Fans and assorted debaters lobbied.
Carrie Underwood Fan Talking Point #1) "her donation to the HSUS was for spaying and neutering pets"
- Recent reports were that less than 0.8% of HSUS funds go towards shelters, and regardless, any donation to the HSUS is going towards their lobbying against agriculture, i.e.. Ag-Gag, more regulations, etc. Even if, hypothetically, the oversized check said spaying and neutering only, it would be like giving a homeless person $5 and saying, "don't spend it on booze". They're still going to buy booze, now they just may buy a hamburger as well... they have an extra $5... that's going to booze. Money towards Spaying and Neutering just frees up more money for lobbying.
Carrie Underwood Fan Talking Point #2) "Carrie says she's not against Hunting and Rodeo! See this blog: http://www.nashvillegab..."
From the blog: “Has anybody ever heard Carrie say that she wants rodeo and hunting stopped? A girl commented on a local radio station post on Facebook saying that she lost respect when she heard Carrie wanted rodeo and hunting stopped. That girl has posted something like that before not too long ago. I have never heard that, and I was wondering if any of you have.”
.... no. That doesn't. That doesn't state her stance. It doesn't answer the question posed. It just says she knows people that do those things. We all know people that do things... like drugs for example... do we do drugs? Do we like drugs? Well, I went to high school with people that do, I argue with people on twitter that seem to... It's classic question evading. (no, I don't. An answer contains 'Yes' or 'No", or an understanding of either one)
Carrie Underwood Fan Talking Point #3) "Cite real proof of this! Blogs don't count!!" (though the above link is technically a blog as part of their arsenal)
- well, we could just look to the HSUS's website and see an oversized check with her name on it, signed by her, and even her in the picture... so, it's fair to believe she at least made that donation.
Carrie Underwood Fan Talking Point #4) "She isn't against farmers! Prove it!"
- She spoke out on Twitter on HSUS's sponsored Ag-Gag bill in Tennessee "Shame on TN lawmakers for passing the Ag Gag bill. If Gov. Bill Haslam signs this, he needs to expect me at his front door. Who's with me" . A bill that the proponents for were the actual governing bodies of.... the farmers. I'm not going to speak on Ag-Gag politics, but I feel that those that should write regulation for Industry, should be the ones in the Industry. Those that should govern the Industry... should be the Industry. Yes, legislation should be written with public (lobbying) opinion... but at the end of the day, Chicken Farmers should be able to decide how to manage Chicken Farmers (hence why Ag-Gag Bills have Farmer and Agricultural Associations on one side and the HSUS on the other). Add to this... this is also out of the "Spay and Neuter" department....
Carrie Underwood Fan Talking Point #5) "She doesn't ban rodeos!" (meaning: refuses to perform at them, though I was told that the verbiage was 'correct')
- Carrie Underwood showed up on "Rodeo Radar" after cancelling last minute due to "personal reasons" from the 2006 Cheyenne Frontier Days (rodeo). An animal activist group claimed the victory, though no statement confirming that relationship came out by Carrie Underwood or her agency. And after an abundance of searching, we have not been able to source a rodeo she has been scheduled to perform at since.
Carrie Underwood Fan Talking Point #6) "She doesn't support PETA, they used her image against her will"
- Carrie Underwood was featured on some Vegan Campaigns for PETA and has released statements on not approving of the use of her likeness - according to Carrie Underwood Fans on Twitter. The issue raised (the HSUS Donation) had nothing to do with PETA. There may be confusion as PETA posts any animal-related statements CU makes, and has voted her twice as "World's Sexiest Vegetarian" (2007, 2009)... but she isn't a spokesperson for them.
Carrie Underwood Fan Talking Point #7) "She donated $1-Million to Red Cross, She's Building a No-Kill Shelter"
- no "beefs" with her charity efforts, in-fact, commendable; aside from enabling the HSUS to do more lobbying and protesting by donating and speaking politically in their favour.
After twitter and facebook debates, I believe these to be the top-7 comments. There are others... like "leave Carrie alone", or "it's like not liking Barbara Streisand because she has a big nose"
The disdain has always been about her financial, moral and political support of the HSUS, compounded by the hypocritical element of her genre of music and lyrics being targeted to the Rural Lifestyle... yet financially and politically supporting one of the Rural Lifestyle's biggest enemies. Any support is further enabling.
This is the free-world. She has free-will to support what she wants and play where she wants. But it's the same free-will I have to share my beliefs that she is anti-Rodeo, Livestock-Agriculture, etc.; to excercise my right to not attend her concerts, buy her music, play it at events, etc.; and share these views with those that will hear them.
Until she directly answers the questions regarding rodeo, and discontinues supporting animal activist organizations that are out to cripple agriculture (HSUS’s ultimate goal for animal agriculture, in one former VP’s words, is to “get rid of the industry”), the story of the hypocrisy will continue to be shared.