"Animal-rights activists are using religious messages to recruit a segment of the millennial generation that has little doctrinal anchor, in order to advance their vegetarian agenda," said Wes Jamison, an ordained Baptist minister and associate professor of communications at Palm Beach Atlantic University, addressing participants at the Animal Agriculture Alliance's 8th Annual Stakeholders Summit, held this week in Alexandria, Va.
Jamison explained that two major factors are driving animal-rights groups' attempts to engage people of faith. The first is that people motivated by religion tend to give generously, which is an important factor to the $400 million-a-year animal-rights industry. The second reason is that people motivated by religious zeal tend to have sustained intensity over time. This is a critical feature lacking from the current animal-rights movement, since many vegans and vegetarians tend to eventually return to an omnivorous diet.
He indicated that animal-rights groups are carefully selecting religious passages that appeal to targeted individuals' sense of compassion, self-denial and guilt. He then pointed to biblical stories that directly refute the messages and went on to label animal-rights groups engaging in this tactic as "meaning entrepreneurs."
"We caution people against buying into such messages and encourage people to do their own review of biblical scripture and literature," said Kay Johnson Smith, executive vice president of the Animal Agriculture Alliance. "Farmers and ranchers are among the most compassionate people in the world and are committed to the care of their animals as a top priority."
Source: Animal Agriculture Alliance