Animal Sellers Featured as People "Taking Action for Animals"
Among the featured speakers at a mainstream animal-protection conference in July called "Taking Action for Animals 2007" were Margaret Wittenberg of Whole Foods Market and Nicolette Hahn Niman of Niman Ranch, along with a full panel of ranchers who promoted their businesses for over an hour. Niman’s website urges customers: "Serve with pride the world's finest natural beef, pork and lamb." And i n the latest trend to restyle agribusinesses as animal-welfare entities, the Animal Welfare Institute introduced the businesspeople of Niman Ranch as “approved” purveyors of animal flesh.
Sharing the speakers’ roster, most eerily, were representatives from two farm animal sanctuaries as well as representatives of several animal-protection groups.
The week of the conference, the New York Times printed “Bringing Moos and Oinks Into the Food Debate,” which traced the growing links between rescue and agribusiness. “As Farm Sanctuary has grown, so too has its influence,” said the Times, and “[e]ggs from cage-free hens have become so popular that there is a national shortage.”
The popularity of these eggs -- and the new area of employment in agribusiness -- is due to the non-stop promotion of these little cholesterol bombs both by profiteering companies and animal advocates. Why would animal advocates do such a thing?
Farm Sanctuary’s director said, “Instead of telling it like it is, we’re learning to present things in a more moderate way” -- claiming it’s “respectful” to do this.
Campaigning that promotes eggs and other forms of agribusiness is part of what’s boosted the Humane Society’s assets to $223 million. Their acceptance of animal agribusiness ensures their “tent” is big enough to include the maximum donor base.
The article strongly suggests that agribusiness was changing its habits anyway, and that mainstream advocates are riding in the wake. The flurry of corporate animal-husbandry policies in recent years likely originated in the 1993 E. coli scare at Jack in the Box restaurants, which sickened hundreds and killed four children. Companies, says the Times, “had to get a better handle on where their meat was coming from.”
Activists’ campaigns, says Denny Lynch, a Wendy’s rep, have never “affected the company in terms of customer traffic or profitability.” People will pay more, explains Lynch, for flesh from animals whose origins can be traced from birth through processing.
The best way to deal with corporate promotions in the advocacy community is to see clearly that these are membership drives, not part of a movement for social progress.
Granted, “telling it like it is” won’t give you instant popularity. When mainstream advocacy seeks wealth and popularity at the expense of core values, those who take those values most to heart are considered inconvenient.
Here, then, is an inconvenient truth: While some advocates play footsie with Niman Ranch, the loss of the world’s free animals -- caused largely by the ranches of the world -- runs out of control. H abitats are being usurped and ruined by ranchers. Thus, t he mainstream groups are so busy claiming victories that they don’t stop to point out that ranches are the entities posing the biggest threats to free-living horses -- the subjects of their own campaign!
To make way for animal feed, forests are being cleared across North America and worldwide. Our present course is expected to lead to the extinction of half of all plant and animal species by 2100. As you read this, countless animals are being wiped out for the likes of companies such as Niman Ranch and Whole Foods Market. To sell their products, these businesses rely on the continued taste for the flesh of conscious beings whose children and parents belong to people who will have them killed in some vile, bloody slaughter site where human workers are bloodied and pressed to perform dozens of soulless acts throughout the hours of their days.
- Article by Kim Severson (25 Jul. 2007).
- Sam Reed, Washington Secretary of State, “Charitable Solicitations Program Charity Profile Report (as reviewed on 6 Aug. 2006).
- This is the prediction of Edward O. Wilson, eminent biologist at Harvard University.