(Columbus) – Microsoft has rejected a U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance request to abandon its partnership with the nation’s leading anti-hunting organization.
Microsoft, the software giant, will make a $100,000 donation to the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and is partnering with the group on a pilot program called the i’m Initiative. Through the new program, whenever a Windows Live Messenger user has a conversation using i’m, Microsoft will give a portion of the program’s advertising revenue to one of ten organizations selected by the user. The HSUS is one of the choices, and there is no limit to the amount of money that can be donated.
The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance, the nation’s leading sportsmen’s advocacy organization, has urged Microsoft to end its support of HSUS, but the company refused. According to Microsoft representative Tara Kriese, Microsoft believes the i’m Initiative is “a great way to enable people to help causes that are important to them.”
“Microsoft is going to pour hundreds of thousands of dollars, probably more, into an organization that recently issued a manifesto that targets hunting for extinction,” said USSA President Bud Pidgeon. “If there was ever a time for sportsmen to take grassroots action, this is it.”
Sportsmen should contact Microsoft and demand that its financial support of HSUS be terminated. Contact Bill Gates, Chairman, Microsoft, 1 Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA 98052. Phone: (425) 882-8080. Fax: (425) 936-7329.
The Humane Society of the United States opposes all animal use, including trapping, hunting and fishing. It was a key player in the campaigns to outlaw dove hunting in Michigan, trapping in California, and black bear hunting in Colorado. The organization has created a hit list of hunting traditions that it hopes to dismantle, including bear hunting and hunting with hounds.
“The HSUS already has a multi-million dollar budget that it invests in legislative and ballot campaigns to ban trapping and hunting,” said Pidgeon. “The partnership that it has formed with Microsoft, the maker of the Xbox, will allow the organization to make money hand over fist, and continue to fund efforts to ban outdoor sports.”
Sportsmen can make a difference in an issue like this. Companies such as Iams, General Mills, Accor Hotels, Pet Safe, Sears, and Ace Hardware ended relationships with HSUS after thousands of sportsmen levied strong protest.
In 2002, Jeep raised the ire of sportsmen when it aired a blatantly, anti-hunting commercial called the “Deer Hunter.” After a flood of sportsmen’s contacts, Jeep pulled the commercial in three days.
The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance is a national association of sportsmen and sportsmen’s organization that protects the rights of hunters, anglers and trappers in the courts, legislatures, at the ballot, in Congress and through public education programs. For more information about the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance and its work, call (614) 888-4868 or visit its website, www.ussportsmen.org.