By Hannah Thompson-Weeman
I frequently write about animal rights activists and the strategies and tactics they use to damage the reputation of animal agriculture and push consumers to stop eating meat, poultry, milk and eggs. While I hope you find value in hearing about it from me, I think it’s even more important to hear it directly from them. That’s why each year the Animal Ag Alliance releases reports from major animal rights conferences, including the Animal Rights National Conference, and each year I share some of the most alarming quotes here in this column. Keeping an eye on activist groups and informing farmers, ranchers and the industry as a whole of what may be coming next is one of the most critical roles that the Alliance plays and sharing quotes like this helps us do just that.
Without further ado, I present to you the most memorable, outlandish and startling statements from the 2019 Animal Rights National Conference.
• “There is no such thing as humane slaughter and anyone who tells you differently is simply lying.” – Michael Budkie, Stop Animal Exploitation Now!
• “We might have only 18 months to change our ways before doomsday.” – Jane Velez-Mitchell, Jane UnChained News Network, mentioning a BBC story. “Humans could go extinct; it’s a very real possibility.”
• “The word ‘swine’ seems very unkind.” – Karen Davis, United Poultry Concerns
• “Animals are people too.” – Demetria Atkinson, Redefine Your Mind
• “Chicken houses are concentration camps.” – Karen Davis, United Poultry Concerns
• “Animal farming is fundamentally about masturbating males and sexually assaulting females. Sexual assault is the basis of animal farming.” – Karen Davis, United Poultry Concerns
• “This will be the meanest card you’ll ever write.” – The Humane League staffer helping workshop participants write “birthday cards” with messages about animal welfare standards to the CEO of a large fast food company
• “In 20-25 years, meat won’t come from animals, it will come from your friendly neighborhood meat brewery.” – Bruce Friedrich, The Good Food Institute (formerly with PETA and Farm Sanctuary), discussing lab-grown meat
• “An incremental approach is used to gradually switch companies over to veganism.” – Kelly Myers, The Humane League
• “The vigils are not gonna stop, we’re just gonna do more.” – Anita Krajnc, The Save Movement
• “As animal activists we are here for one thing and one thing only, and that’s empty cages.” – Michael Budkie, Stop Animal Exploitation Now!
• “We need to say that all animal agriculture is cruel and wrong.” – Hope Bohanec, United Poultry Concerns. “It’s not the way we farm animals that we need to change, it’s our willingness to let go of it all together.”
Note: The Opinions in this commentary are expressly those of the author, Hannah Thompson-Weeman. She is the communications director at the Animal Agriculture Alliance.
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