Farmers dump [yellow tail] in protest

Flipping through the pages of the other day, I was surprised to see that [yellow tail] has donated $100,000 to the Humane Society of the United States. Farmers are now protesting the move by dumping the wine on camera, such as the video above entitled “Yellow Tail is now yellow fail.” The farmers dislike the HSUS because the organization opposes factory farming. [yellow tail] has sold tens of millions of cases of wine around the world since being launched in 2001.

In response, a [yellow tail] representative wrote to, “now we are specifically directing our $100,000 donation to HSUS’ Animal Rescue Team, which launch on-the-ground missions to rescue animals in peril…We may not always agree with 100 percent of what an organization represents, but rescuing animals displaced from natural disasters is a cause we support.”

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23 Responses to “Farmers dump [yellow tail] in protest”

  1. I’m sure Yellow Tail don’t mind their wines being poured away as long as the farmers paid for their bottles (supporting Yellow Tail and their favoured charities in the process). Being poured away is probably the best result for such wines anyway….

    It always worries me a tad when farmers react in a violently negative manner to animal rights organisations. Sure, some of the animal rights loons have some totally bonkers ideas but the basic suggestion of treating animals well is pretty reasonable and I’d hope farmers agree with that. Indeed, when you treat animals well there is plenty of evidence that they taste better than factory-farmed animals; tasty meat is what decent farmers should be aiming to produce.

  2. Farming, like all businesses is complicated. Extensive, grass-fed beef is not always possible or even economic to produce. And what are farms of all kinds after all? Food factories.

    US farmers are generally accepted to be some of the best in the world when it comes to standards of animal welfare – whatever their particular enterprise model – for the simple economic reason that if you don’t treat your animals right then you will get less out of them.

    Like David says, I’m sure Yellow Tail – a “factory” wine producer – won’t mind until those farmers (and their supporters) don’t buy any more of their wines.

  3. I guess it’s not surprising that factory farmers don’t want money going to the Humane Society of the US or other animal welfare charities that try to improve the welfare of animals (including farm animals). Still, seems like an overreaction on their part. Good for Yellow Tail, and good for the Humane Society.

  4. So now the money is designated for the HSUS Animal Rescue Team, eh?
    I wonder whether the producers of Yellow Tail know that the HSUS is under investigation in Louisiana for the fundraising it mounted around the “work” of the Animal Recuse Team during Hurricane Katrina. Over $20 million raised for the specific cause with a result of a few dozen dogs and cats – and many chickens – rescued.
    There are so many good animal charities that are involved in hands on rescues. Why couldn’t Yellow Tail have done a bit of research rather than be taken in by the pitch of some HSUS fundraiser in an Armani suit?

  5. Family farmers won’t be supporting [Yellowtail] HSUS goal isn’t to stop factory farming, it is to end all animal agriculture. My animals’ care is my number one priority, followed by making sure your family has safe, nutritious and healthy food to eat everyday. The practices that HSUS are proposing aren’t always in the best interests of the animals or economical. They are smart people, they know that if I can’t make money I can’t stay in business. Also, I wondering what Yellowtail will be serving their wine with when HSUS has their way – tofu?

    David, I would in no way call our reaction to Yellowtail’s decision violent. We are just finally stepping up and telling our side of the story. We are tired of activist groups and the media misleading the consumer.

  6. My guess is that the farmers spent more money on Yellow Tail wine to dump it than they did before to drink it. As some well known politician once said, “Say whatever you want about me, but make sure you spell my name right.” So, that’s Y-E-L-L-O-W T-A-I-L, and H-S-U-S. The more publicity they get, positive or negative, the more they love it. And in the end, the animals they save will love it to.

    If the protesting farmers were ethical farmers, they would understand and support what HSUS is doing, i.e., reducing suffering. So by protesting as they did, they have declared themselves to be unethical, or at least uninformed, farmers.

    Time to go out and buy some Yellow Tail wine, and make a donation to HSUS.

  7. As a farmer I am deeply concerned about the efforts that HSUS has been taking against us here in Ohio. Last year the agriculture community in our state decided to step up and increase the animal welfare standards by creating a livestock care standards board. This will allow our state to move past accepted industry standards and establish a new set of superior animal standards to move forward. HSUS will not accept this as a step forward and is collecting signatures to amend our constitution once again that will put farms like this and that care deeply about their animals out of business.
    Farmers and hunters have connected with [yellow tail] wine not only because it taste so great, but also because it came from a hard working family that once held the same values as us. It is a smack in the face that the money that [yellow tail] profited from our purchases is being used to fund such a wealthy organization that is lobbying to end our livelihood.
    I am not just a farmer; I am also a strong supporter of my local animal shelter, not only by donating to them but also by volunteering to sit on one of their committees. Local shelters do a great job at investigating animal abuse cases and finding homes for abandoned pets on a limited budget. It really bothers me to see people donate to the non-affiliated HSUS after seeing pictures of puppies and kittens assuming that money will help fund their local shelter. The Law School ant University of Richmond looked at HSUS’s tax records and found that their budget is WELL over $100,000,000.00 and less that 5.4% was spent on animal care facilities Furthermore, they only donated $425 thousand to local shelters, that is less than 1/2 of 1% of their actual budget.
    I am glad that [yellow tail] wants to help end animal abuse, but next time I suggest they find an organization that actually cares about animal welfare and is working to improve it like

  8. Anyway you look at it, HSUS is anti-agriculture. If anyone here is confused about the goals of HSUS, let me provide a little clarity.


    “My goal is the abolition of all animal agriculture.” —JP Goodwin, employed at the Humane Society of the US, formerly at Coalition to Abolish the Fur Trade, as quoted on AR-Views, an animal rights Internet discussion group in 1996.

    HSUS vegan propaganda is bad enough, but they are also very deceptive about what they do with their donations and their supposed link to animal shelters. I would encourage everyone to watch this video expose that an Atlanta news station did on HSUS.

  9. As a farmer and beef producer I am all for animal welfare…our cows are quite spoiled actually. But I am NOT for animal rights. There is a difference between the 2 and that is what HSUS is pushing for. Ultimately they want to END ALL ANIMAL AGRICULTURE. And that simply does not sit well with me. We have to react so strongly to their seemingly innocent “animal welfare” ideas b/c we know what their end goal is and they are playing on the emotions of consumers so slowly reach such a goal. If more ppl understood what groups like HSUS and PETA area actually doing, they would have quite a different opinion of them.

  10. I think a careful reading of Pollan is in order. Look the animal in the eye. Respect the process as a farmer and a consumer. It is dirty, it is bloody, but that is life.

    What HSUS is after is not something 98% of foodies would support. Which is, basically, a world of tofurky. /shudder

  11. Josh-
    Pollan lives on an island. And he misses the point entirely. POPULATION. We do not have the resources to support an ever increasing human population and furthermore, farming doesn’t have to be bloody. Farm plants not animals. A whole foods plant based diet is healthier, safer, cleaner, kinder and sustainable. If you doubt me, wait and see – farmers who stay in animal agriculture will loose this economic foothold big time.

  12. I must say when the HSUS’s true agenda was brought to my attention a few months back that I was amazed. For those of you who think we all are making something out of nothing look at what they have done to the country in the last few years and the effects. I have been studying the issue every spare minute I can get. I am now at the point of feeling absolutely sick over what is happening in our country. To see so many believing bogus adds on tv (once you study the issue a bit you will see how vague they are) or getting the majority of their information from the HSUS website. Then to take that attitude out into the world and be allowed to make decisions that concern all of us by signing a petition or casting a vote. It is a scary thought. I was born and raised in mid-Mo. I have been around animal agriculture my whole life. To hear not only the things being implied by the animal rights activist but to see such a large part of american believing it hurts beyond words. What I would like to point out here is that all the farmers I know. These are family farms mind you. Just a few percent of animal agriculture is big business. That they always put the welfare of their animals first. I know farmers who never see a doctor but you can bet that the minute a animal is in need the vet is making a house call. Aniaml rights activist talk about people in agriculture getting rich off of animals. Believe me it is a labor of love. There are no 9-5 days on a farm. You can easily look up the cost of farm equipment then look at what cattle are going for and see this is not so. Please understand that we do it because we love it, it is our roots. IF it was a money thing we all would of left it long ago. I also want to combat a remark I read yesterday about farmers not being smart enough to get a real job. Please understand many of us are college educated. Many must work in town just to keep the farms going at this point. Like I said before we do it because we love the animals and love being with them. I ask that next time a animal rights supporter sits down for a meal you take a minute to think about what is on your plate and who worked so hard to get it to you. I would never think about going into someones office and telling them that I have no experience or education in your field but I am going to force you to do your job as I see fit. This is exactly what they are trying to do here. Please call vet and ask their opinion on the matter. Please do not sign blindly.

  13. You don’t see the cattle drinking it. Do you?

  14. @Pro Libertate

    First, kudos to you for living out your principals. I deeply respect your commitment to what you believe.

    That said, Malthusian predictions of population bomb apocalypse sway me very little. With every new person born on the planet, wether poor or rich, there is a chance for another generational genius that will lead us to new ways to transform and make use of our scarce resources. Logically, there is certainly a point where the “carrying capacity” of the earth is met, but we honestly have no idea where that threshold lies because we just can’t predict the future or the path of innovation.

    Also, I love meat.


  15. You read

  16. @Pro Libertate – I would agree that sustainability is an urgent issue… But beyond that – as you pointed out by linking to – The treatment of animals is certainly an ethical factor as well.

    I’m certain most in animal agriculture think they are treating their animals with “care”… But if we don’t “need” to breed and slaughter them (which we don’t) – All the “care” in the world makes for spit.

    I once didn’t get it either… Till I asked myself one critical question: What is the difference between a pig and a dog? Of course there is no difference in anything that truly matters. So “using” these “food animals” really becomes frivolous and totally unacceptable to most, who dare ask and answer this query. It takes some courage to do this… I have confidence that our species will make the right choice in the end.
    Go Vegan

  17. Bea Elliot,many of us have considered the things you bring up and have decided to continue eating meat. So why is it you consider your moral paradigms to be superior?

    Obtaining adequate nutrition via a vegan diet is very difficult since plant based foods are not as nutrient dense as is meat. And the usual vegan demand that food be local and organic results in much higher costs. So a vegan lifestyle results in undue economic stress.

    On top of all of that, most all vegans are pagans. So again, why do you consider your self so morally superior?

  18. The video brought back memories of the old Bartels & Jaymes commercials. That said I’ll continue to support any group that fights HSUS (and PETA).

  19. Below is a direct quote from a veterinarian who is involved in veterinary ethics.
    “I’m not surprised at the negative feedback regarding the donation. HSUS has been hedging towards abolition of animals for food and has been labelled an animal rights group and very powerful in their lobbies against agricultural practices.

    Although HSUS might deserve some of the negative press, I wish the agricultural groups would have a good look in the mirror. The only reason they have (slowly) started to change some on their atrocious practices is due to pressure by groups like PETA and HSUS”

  20. Mike wrote ” Last year the agriculture community in our state [Ohio] decided to step up and increase the animal welfare standards by creating a livestock care standards board. This will allow our state to move past accepted industry standards and establish a new set of superior animal standards to move forward.”
    While Ohio voters may have been misled to believe that a vote for this Livestock Care Standards Board would actually help animals, the sad fact is that this board should not be part of our constitution. Most Ohioans didn’t know that Issue 2 was mainly financed by big, out-of-state agribusiness industries. These agribusiness industries support extreme confinement measures under the guise of “excellent animal care.” Therefore, it’s highly unlikely that this board will result in true livestock-care best practices.
    I think when the truth comes out – there will be many family farmers who are outraged that they will be forced to pay for this bogus board and there will be many other citizens who will be grateful that the HSUS will help phase out the extreme cages and crates used by factory farms in our state.

  21. Vickie,
    I disagree with your statements that issue 2 is all about big ag. I personally, along with several other farm families in my area invested time and money speaking up for need for an Ohio Livestock care board last fall. It was a very familiar scene last fall to see farmers across rural Ohio share their stories on why this would be a good thing for their family farm. I am sure that there where supporters from out of state as well, but locally I saw support from my local farm co-ops, restaurants, groceries, and even my local human society.

    Farmers large and small care about the health and well-being of their livestock. There is nobody that is more outraged than fellow farmers when they see or hear about abuse that occurred on another farm. There is no excuse for abuse. The assumption large livestock farmers are less than responsible is using a broad brush to paint dim light on numerous great farm families. Farmers today do use modern efficiencies to make sure that each animal receives the proper care that it deserves. If abuse occurs its because of poor management, this can happen on small farms just as easy as large. This farmer explains his approach to some of the different choices that may be better suited to different farms quite well:

    Thanks, Mike Haley

  22. All:

    This is a worthy discussion. In addition, just how is it that Yellow Tail and Charles Shaw (Two Buck Chuck)can source, produce and seel wine for little? It isn’t just scale efficiency. A significant portion of their product is purchased from growers and wine producers on the edge of going out of business. They are desperate, in foreclosure and will sell their grapes and wine for cents on the dollar. Cheap wine is made at somebody’s expense. Like cheap food.

    Thanks, Larry Perrine

  23. Way to go Yellow tail wine! I will go out tomorrow to buy a couple of bottles exported by Yellow Tail Wine even though I usually don’t drink wine.


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