Maybe it's time to consider laws that protect farmers and people who eat meat from activist bullies, since that's a repeated tactic they use.
Maybe it's time to consider laws that protect farmers and people who eat meat from activist bullies, since that's a repeated tactic they use.

Vegan activists are skilled at making their movement appear much larger than it is. Though vegans represent about half a percent of the U.S. population, according to a survey by the Vegetarian Times, they are very good at attracting media. It’s no surprise, given the current gullibility and desire for viewers at any cost that is evident in mass-media reporting. And the tactics used by activists are often so far-fetched that consumer media outlets are drawn to them, just to see what will happen. It’s been demonstrated time and again, and most recently in two different situations.

PETA Goes After Texas A&M Vet School

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) alleges that the Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine and Biological Sciences is mistreating the animals in its care, according to a news report from NBC affiliate KAGS this week.

The activist organization says it is still waiting to “officially hear back” from Texas A&M, regarding what the organization calls the mistreatment of animals at the university's vet school. 

Texas A&M released a statement on Dec. 9 last year about its research and the care it provides its animals. The statement provided information that was left out of the video that PETA released:

“It has come to our attention that a video posted this week from our facility from several years ago was done so with no context provided.

The dogs seen drooling (with tails wagging) have a genetic condition that also affects humans – boys primarily – called Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). Affected children develop profound, progressive muscle weakness and loss resulting in a range of symptoms, including difficulty or inability to stand unassisted, along with difficulty breathing. Prognosis is poor, with death by teens or twenties. Currently there is no cure.

The dogs – who are already affected by this disease - are treated with the utmost respect and exceptional care on site by board-certified veterinarians and highly trained staff. The care team is further subject to scientific oversight by agencies such as the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Muscular Dystrophy Association, among other regulatory bodies.

The facility built for this research is state-of-the-art. Our work is shared not only nationally but globally with the goal of finding a cure for this dreadful disease, DMD, in both children and dogs worldwide. We are proud of our care team, facility and work in support of this endeavor.”

PETA doesn't care about the management practices the school has taken to care for the animals – it wants all research on animals stopped. The news report stated PETA has reached out to the funding companies as well. It wants the school to stop breeding MD dogs, release all dogs for adoption into good homes, and redirect their resources into humane research methods.

Listeners to the broadcast are lead to believe that “Dr. Alka Chandna,” the PETA representative who serves as “Laboratory Oversight Specialist,” is a veterinarian. That is not the case. According to her LinkedIn profile, her doctorate was in mathematics, from Western University in Ontario, Canada.

Butcher-Author Receives Death Threats

Meredith Leigh, author of The Ethical Meat Handbook, was scheduled to give a demonstration at a non-profit organization called Wild Abundance, later this month. She was going to show adult learners in the group’s Cycle of Life class how to humanely slaughter an older sheep, including skinning, dressing, butchery, cooking and charcuterie.

Because her participation in this class was publicized, she came under vicious attack from vegans around the world.

She writes in her blog:

“Among the letters I have received include death threats, suggestions that I should be beaten, that I have only hell awaiting me, and that I deserve the worst treatment of any vile treatments imaginable, because I obviously have no compassion. I have also received letters from individuals suggesting that “other” cultures who rely on meat for their livelihood are simply ignorant, and backward. I don’t need to point out the hypocrisy and inherent bigotry of these threats. I also don’t need to point out the fact that the existence of an organization, or a coalition of organizations just to harass individuals is not going to rid the world of meat, or of anything really.”

Readers may disagree with Ms. Leigh’s philosophies, but one cannot disagree with her disappointment and outrage over the responses she received. As a result of the attacks, she chose not to teach the class; a qualified replacement (whose name was not released) will take her place.

The vilification of meat-eaters is all too common – it’s bullying at its very worst. When will steps be taken to eliminate it, in the same way society is working to eliminate bullying in schools? It’s a cause animal agriculture should consider pursuing.