Watch this talk by Yvette Farrell, a paid Meat and Livestock Australia spin doctor, and see how the animal industries are running scared. In the talk she carefully analyses many animal rights groups and their campaigns and tells us how the meat industry is attempting to counter these campaigns. She calls Animals Australia a “sophisticated” organisation with skilled use of social media. She says that “Voiceless is another threat to us. Voiceless sees animal law as the next great social justice movement.” And she is worried that “these groups do work together”. She uses the code word “misinformation” to mean anything that the MLA does not agree with and says that the MLA must counter this with the truth. She is suspicious of the media, claiming that they are on the animals’ side. She describes how the MLA managed to overturn the ban on live export by running a media campaign which used real farmers to appeal to the public. Their video material was sent to focus groups before release. They now are putting such a gloss on feed lots that they are convincing people “feed lots are nice and open, a healthy environment” and “they care for their animals”. They are also targeting celebrity chefs to push their spin and are pushing into schools, social media and trying to improve their search engine results. Why are they doing this? Because the vegan message is having more and more of an impact. The animal industries can see the threat to them once people understand that animals are not ours to use or exploit. We must keep the pressure on.
|This panel discussion on animal welfare at the 2012 Victorian Farmers Federation conference is an indication of how much public awareness of the cruelty involved in animal production is rising. A few years ago farmers would not be talking about “welfare”, but only about “efficiencies” and return on investment. Below are a couple of points made by the speakers in the debate.
The president of the Victorian Farmers Federation, Chris Nixon, is a beef producer, who is in the business “for profit”. He says that “we can not provide animal welfare standards if we are not paid to do it”. In other words his view is that profit comes before compassion. He says that consumers need to be more realistic: “To eat meat, something has to die and people have forgotten how animals die. It’s not a good look.” Later, he blames the cruelty to animals in Indonesian abottoirs on Animals Australia, saying that Animals Australia has plenty of resources and should have helped Meat and Livestock Australia to design better slaughterhouses!
The executive director of Animals Australia, Glenys Oogjes, explained that for 20 years her organisation was a lobbying group working on review boards and committees for codes of practice of animal welfare but that there “has not been any major, significant, meaningful advances from these”. This suggests that efforts spent trying to improve animal welfare are often wasted energy and a better way is to actively and openly promote veganism.
The head of the RSPCA in Victoria, Maria Mercurio: “we are not against the use of animals for human benefit, we are against the harming of animals for human benefit”
There was no vegan representative in the debate. The debate was not about whether animals should be used by humans, but about how best to use animals.