Monday, February 8, 2010

The Power of Words

By now, if you're up on current events in agriculture or even animal rights, you already know about the massive uproar that Yellow Tail Wines has created with its decision to donate $100,000 to the Humane $ociety of the United $tates.  Over the course of the last week and continuing on into this week, the front lines of the battle have been waged over the internet on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook.  Scanning the social media beat on Thursday, I caught wind of the brewing storm YellowTail had created and I decided to weigh in. I promptly asked "I wonder if YellowTail realizes that out of $100,000, only $4,000 will actually help animals".  Who knew that a couple lines on twitter could stumble me on to a new project?

If you're not in the loop about the recent YellowTail news, here are some helpful links for you to catch up on all of the hoopla concerning this issue. [Tails] for Tails, Google News Results. Possibly you're an urban resident like myself and your daily routine operates well outside the battle lines between livestock agriculture and animal rights groups. In fact, you may ask yourself what the big deal is, especially after taking in all the cute and cuddly animals adorning the front page of the H$U$ website, all their cute and cuddly celebrity spokespeople or their widely publicized political campaigns.  Well, the problem is that they simply don't do much to help animals, they continually push their extreme vegetarian views on the American public and basically want to see animal agriculture cease to exist.  The bottom line is that they want you out of business if you're a livestock producer. Furthermore,  they tout their great efforts to stop suffering of animals, yet only contribute a very small portion of their multi-million dollar budget to actually funding shelters or helping in any way.  You can read here to find out more of their deceptive front as an animal welfare organization.

As fate would have it, another fellow agricultural "tweep", Jenny Gambill, caught my comment and called me out on the floor.  Immediately, we started generating ideas about how a simple grass roots idea could make an "equal" contribution to help animals in a meaningful way.  So,  here's our pitch: we simply want you to join our Facebook group called "Going Local" and help us raise an initial $4,000 (hopefully more!) to help local animal charities with a direct donation to your favorite one.  The best part is, we don't want to complicate the issue by processing donations or making some extra bureaucracy, we simply want to make a totally transparent effort to help. To do so, we'd like you to pledge a dollar amount on the Facebook page and provide an accompanying validation picture of you completing an online donation, personally delivering or mailing a check to your animal charity of choice.

By raising $4,000, we can make a simple statement to YellowTail and H$U$ that a couple of everyday people can create the same or even greater direct impact in the lives of local animals without the need of a corporate marketing and publicity stunt like [Tails] for Tails.

Now, how 'bout a little inspiration to get 'er kicked off...