Weeding through the anti-agriculture agendas
Traci Eatherton for Tri-State Livestock News
May 17, 2017
Radical activist groups, some with very deep pockets and huge backers, are waging a war against agriculture, leading the charge to grant animals the same legal rights as humans, eliminate the consumption and even ownership of animals, and even trying to control production farming through legislation. They often pose as "do-gooders" with a different agenda. While the most notable example is the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), with a $130 million budget, and sad puppy television commercials, there are many more with equally disturbing anti-ag agendas.
The Center for Organizational Research and Education (CORE) has analyzed articles, statements and government documents to come up with a database of these groups with shady agendas. They are tax-exempt nonprofits, promoting false science and scare tactics, with some even going as far as breaking the law, and most have a vegan mission.
The Animal Agriculture Alliance is another group that monitors the activities of these anti-ag groups and proactively engages in the same areas they target to correct misinformation and tell the true story of agriculture.
"Consumer demand is powerful. It can be the champion of a company's success or the culprit of their failure. What I find even more interesting is how consumer demand is defined. Does a group of people with no intention of ever buying a restaurant's product qualify as their consumer? With the avalanche of recent restaurant and retail pledges caving to pressure from animal rights organizations, it seems so," blogged Casey Whitaker, the groups Communications Coordinator.
"At the Animal Agriculture Alliance's recent Stakeholders Summit, speakers offered insights about consumer demand – suggesting consumers aren't the ones demanding restaurants and grocery stores to change their supply chain policies at all. Dr. Dan Thomson of Kansas State University stated, "activists today are masquerading as the consumers."
So how do we weed out the top anti-ag contenders and who are they? Knowledge has always been a key to power, so here are a few to keep an eye on.
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PRCM): This group filed two lawsuits in April, targeting California's school lunch program, for serving hot dogs, bacon, bologna, and all other processed meats. "The World Health Organization recently released a report announcing that processed meats are "carcinogenic to humans," the group wrote in a press release. PRCM, with an anti-meat/dairy agenda, is tied to a number of other organizations, including PETA and the Animal Liberation Front.
"The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) is a wolf in sheep's clothing. PCRM is a fanatical animal rights group that seeks to remove eggs, milk, meat, and seafood from the American diet, and to eliminate the use of animals in scientific research. Despite its operational and financial ties to other animal activist groups and its close relationship with violent zealots, PCRM has successfully duped the media and much of the general public into believing that its pronouncements about the superiority of vegetarian-only diets represent the opinion of the medical community," Newsweek wrote in an article in February 2004, and at that time, according to reports, the group had less than 5 percent of its members as physicians. The group boosts a .org website, and last reported annual income of $14,565,92. How's that for "non-profit?"
Waterkeeper Alliance: This groups' recent lawsuit against producers with confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), http://www.tsln.com/news/asdasda-126/, set the stage for this article. The lawsuit they brought against CAFOs has the potential to wreak havoc on small producers. With its latest annual income reported at $10,389,790, and big backers, including Toyota, ironically, the group has the deep pockets it claims to be saving its members from.
"Proposed bill H.R. 1179 [Discouraging Frivolous Lawsuit Act] would make it so that anytime someone brings a citizen suit and loses the case for any reason (including procedural mistakes or technicalities), they are required to pay the legal costs of the defendant. Considering that illegal polluters are often companies with deep pockets that can afford to hire expensive law firms, their massive legal costs can be high enough to bankrupt an individual or nonprofit. If H.R. 1179 becomes law, individuals and nonprofits would risk financial ruin anytime they want to take an illegal polluter to court," the group writes in a press release.
With Robert F. Kennedy Jr., at the helm, the group is really a "coalition of more than 160 watch programs for America's rivers, bays, and shorelines, but this is thin political cover for trial lawyers who see big-money payouts from ruining families who have farmed for generations," according to CORE. The group is also credited for teaming up with another group and promoting the misinformation that childhood vaccines cause autism.
Center for Food Safety (CFS) ...
Farm Sanctuary ...
Food & Water Watch ...
Western Watersheds ...