Today -when I read about the 60 million dollar revenue stream being
disbursed to the special interests of the pork industry- I was shocked and dismayed. This
was brought to light by the case HSUS recently brought to court.
I have been reading about concerns that because the Baby Boomer Generation
had not had as many children as previous generations- that less money has been
added into the payroll tax deductions which funds Social Security. There is real concern
that by 2030 there won't be enough money to pay Social Security benefits to retirees
then. Instead of subsidizing the pork industry, those millions of dollars would be better
set aside in Social
Security coffers to offset this dire prediction of a short fall in 2030.
But this is truly a joke too- when just this morning I read that we are close to 17 trillion dollars
in debt. Did I read right? If so, there is NO money to be set aside for this purpose.
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But of course -even more importantly -why are we disbursing millions of
dollars to the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) in the first place? Pacelle notes
that "Even in Washington, where millions of dollars are disbursed to influence public
policy, ....the schemes of the pork industry to divert public money to special interest
lobbying efforts may be unequaled."
And perhaps which is even more disheartening -- these funds are not being
used to better the lives of these poor pigs incarcerated in the cruel CAFOs. The mother
pigs especially suffer and are held prisoners in tight gestation crates where they can't
even turn around. The funds should have been used to find ways to free them from this
cruelty, but instead were being used to monetarily enrich themselves at the expense of these
The HSUS has provided us with background information re the pork industry's
misuse of public money:
"Under federal law, farmers of certain commodities (including pork, beef,
and eggs) are required to pay a percentage of their sales into a check-off fund. These
funds are intended to be used to promote the sale of farm products, and the National Pork
Board is the group created to be the custodian of the money." (Isn't this so like appointing
the wolf to guard
the hen house?)
It turns out that this determination resulted in the misuse of public money
to promote pork. More specifically, the HSUS notes that it is bad enough that farmers are
forced to pay dues even if they don't want to participate, but then have their own money being
used against them -- promoting Big Ag at their expense. As a result, our government is
enabling the industry to spend millions of dollars each year to promote their products,
and sadly,- precious few of them promoting the buying of fruits and vegetables.
Finally, there is hope because of the HSUS lawsuit that these small farmers
may experience some justice at last. The misdirection of millions of dollars to promote
the NPPC will now be hopefully stopped. And as the HSUS notes, that if this happens- we will
have succeeded in halting corruption and the sweetheart deal to Big Pork. This misuse of the public
taxpayer funds should never have happened in the first place. And it is also sad to me that not
Congress but the HSUS and others had to sue to secure this hopefully favorable outcome.
I foolishly thought that this is what Congress is suppose to do --protect
small farmers and consumers alike against corruption and misuse of public tax money.
However, in their defense, viewing the daily work load of Congress through Vox Populi, I guess some
things do slip through
the cracks. However, this was a pretty expensive and big crack -- a yearly
$60 million dollar disbursement to a private interest -- the Pork industry.
I and others who are vegan feel especially violated. We don't want our
taxes used in such a cruel and unnecessary way.