Oprah to feature convicted dog fighter, Michael Vick and HSUS

Posted: 2/17/2011

Posted By:  Kelly Nelson 

Well Oprah is at it again.  A few weeks ago on the her show, she and 378 of her staffers set out on a vegan challenge for a week.  The episode that aired Feburary 1 featured journalist and self proclaimed food expert Michael Pollen and veganist Kathy Freston as her guests along with Cargill packing plant general manager, Nicole Johnson-Hoffman . 

This week Oprah plans on hosting NFL Quarter Back and convicted dog fighting felon Michael Vick on her show.  You may be asking what does that have to do with agriculture?  On the show, it has been reported that she plans on discussing Vicks partnership with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS,) who is an animal rights organization. 

When Vick was charged with the gruesome things he did to those dogs, HSUS spoke out very much against Vick.  While speaking out against Vick, HSUS suggested all the dogs involved be killed however they were still raising money for the dogs who weren't even in their care.    HSUS soon became supportive of Vick.  You may be asking how can anyone defend this man?  Well, support from HSUS came after Vicks team, the Philadelphia Eagles, donated $50,000 to the HSUS.  

HSUS is not affiliated with your local shelters nor are they an umbrella organization for your local shelters.  The money donated to HSUS from well meaning citizens hoping to help animals in need does not trickle down to local shelters.  The lobbying organization accumulated $101.6 million dollars in 2009.  That is a good chunk of money that could go to help pets in need, like those in the Vick case.  Instead HSUS' money is directed towards six figure salaries, huge pension funds, fund raising only to raise more money and very costly legislation to restrict animal agriculture, hunting, fishing, multiple pet ownership and animal research. 

I will not jump to any conclusion of what Oprah's show involves on Thursday.  However given her recent overwhelming support of veganism, and HSUS stance on the veggie diet, it is not hard to predict where this is going.  I only hope Oprah understands the true agenda of HSUS.  That is not to help pets in our local shelters, it is a vegan agenda for everyone.  

If Oprah wants to go Veggie, by all means she and her viewers have that choice.  If she wants to support HSUS, that is her choice as well.   However, as a journalist and talk show host, I believe she has an ethical obligation to feature stories with the facts, from actual experts and tell both sides of a story. 

 I can only hope that someday Oprah will accept one of the thousand standing invites she has received, to visit a family farm to see the hard work and dedication those farm families put forth each day in providing a safe and reliable food supply for our nation and world. 


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