It all boils down to Tito's Handmade Vodka's pro-dog—and pro-animal—stance.
Tito's Vodka considers itself to be "Vodka for Dog People," and has a mission statement on its site arguing that the health and welfare of our four-legged pals is just as important as their leash-holding counterparts. It has a Dog Blog, a #vodkafordogpeople hashtag, and a partnership with Emancipet, a nonprofit that focuses on affordable veterinary care. When Tito's celebrates its 20th anniversary next month, the Texas-based distillery will be sharing the love with the Humane Society of the United States; donations to the Humane Society currently come with the chance to win tickets to Tito's anniversary party.
So what's wrong with this? Apparently everything, if you love guns.
Larry Keane, the Senior Vice President of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), is calling for a boycott of Tito's Vodka, all because the booze brand had the nerve to support HSUS, which, unsurprisingly, advocates against certain hunting practices.
"Hunters & sportsmen shld [sic] boycott Tito's for supporting anti hunting HSUS," Keane tweeted on Saturday. "See their website." He later added that he would be "pouring my bottle down the drain," and won't be purchasing any more Tito's in the future. (These tweets came after he joked that Hillary Clinton was the person who had been arrested for scaling the White House fence on Friday night).
Although his suggestion has been picked up by sites like Guns.com that cater to the handgun-happy, it doesn't seem to be catching on in any significant way. (A Twitter search for "Tito's boycott" has only a handful of results, and some of them date back to a Dan Savage-driven boycott of Russian vodkas due to the country's dismal treatment of the LGBT community. "I regret that it took a boycott of Russian vodka for me to discover [Tito's]," one user wrote.)
"There is no call for a boycott from NSSF," Mike Bazinet, a spokesperson for the group, told MUNCHIES. "The comments and views are those of the poster."
Regardless, Keane and the Cold Dead Hands brigade oppose the Humane Society due to its stance on hunting. "The advocacy group spends less than 1 percent of their funds on homeless animals while spending big bucks on legislation against traditional hunting and fishing activities," Guns.com alleges.
According to the Humane Society's 2015 Annual Report—the most recent such report available—80 percent of its expenses went to Animal Protection Programs. It further broke down that dollar amount (which added up to $152,819,600) into four spending categories: education and awareness (38 percent), direct care and service (30 percent), public policy and enforcement (25 percent), and corporate policy (7 percent).
According to its own website, the Humane Society opposes "inhumane and unfair sport hunting practices such as the use of body-gripping traps and snares; bear baiting; the hound hunting of bears, bobcats, mountain lions and wolves; contest killing events; and captive-hunting on fenced properties," live pigeon shoots, trophy hunting of rare or endangered animals and the use of lead ammunition.
"We were formed in 1954 to help all animals, not just companion animals but also wildlife and farm animals. In 2016 alone, The HSUS and our affiliates also provided direct care to nearly 300,000 animals. Nearly 80 percent of our expenses went to programmatic work, and we're also approved by the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance for all 20 standards for charity accountability," Nicole Paquette, the Vice President of Wildlife Protection for The Humane Society of the United States, told MUNCHIES. "The fact is that we take on the toughest fights for animals, and it's because of our effectiveness that groups like the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the Center for Consumer Freedom and other similar groups target us and try to create a false narrative about our work."
That's far from saying "NO GUNS FOR YOU, LARRY," but hey, if it makes you feel better to dump $30 worth of vodka down the drain, you do you, buddy.
Tito's has not yet returned MUNCHIES' request for comment on the matter