By Robert Cohen Executive Director Text Only

Two question animal rights survey


Please answer yes or no to today's two-question survey, and
send back your responses via email to:

notmilkman@notmilk.com

I am hoping for at least 100 responses. ;>)

*******************************************************
Background to the first question:

When their milk-producing days are over, cows are uprooted
from the only life they have ever known, the dairy farm, and
trucked to cattle auctions, then sent to slaughterhouses.
Their children (calves) are immediatley separated from
mothers at birth. Cows and calves are not the only gentle
creatures to suffer emotional and physical pain on America's
farms.

Chickens and turkeys are animals, too. Their suffering
becomes your Thanksgiving dinners and fast-food nugget
lunches. Their lives end after their throats are slashed.
The birds in American slaughterhouses are not first stunned
as they are in Europe, and they spend their entire lives
unable to flap wings, crammed tightly together inside of
wire cages.

Three champions exist to fight for avian rights by making
Americans aware of the abuses suffered by chickens and
turkeys.

Karen Davis, founder of United Poultry Concerns, was named
"Activist of the Year" at last summer's animal rights
conference. Her website:

http://www.upc-online.org

Farm Sanctuary (Gene & Lorri Bauston) actively lobbies
Congress to pass compassionate animal slaughter laws.

http://www.farmsanctuary.org

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (Ingrid Newkirk)
takes credit for inducing fast food franchises to treat
chickens more humanely, by increasing the size of their
living crates.

Together, these three organizations represent the best
effort of the animal rights movement. These three groups
invest millions of dollars each year, and thousands of
man/woman hours to publicize the plight of chickens and
turkeys.

http://www.peta.org

QUESTION NUMBER ONE:

Are animal rights activists making a difference?

Yes______________  No _______________

Comment:______________________________________

*******************************************************

Background to the second question:

In America in the year ending December 31, 2000, 8.4 billion
chickens and 268 million turkeys were slaughtered.

In America in the year ending December 31, 2001, 8.5 billion
chickens and 269 million turkeys were slaughtered.

In America in the year ending December 31, 2002, 8.7 billion
chickens and 271 million turkeys were slaughtered.

QUESTION NUMBER TWO:

Are animal rights activists making a difference?

Yes______________  No _______________

Comment:______________________________________

***********************************************************

Within 12 hours of posting the above survey, I received over
1000 letters.
______________________________________

AR Survey Responses

The Chinese have a saying, sometimes offered in a fortune
cookie: Be careful of what you wish for. It may come to
pass. I wished for 100 responses to my 2-question survey.

Most responses were either "no-no" or "yes-yes." I counted
841 no-no, 41 yes-yes, and 124 comments, as attached, for a
total of 1006 letters.

Many individuals responded with comments. What I received
was unexpected. Every person in the AR movement should read
the attached 124 comments. Your comments represent a variety
of philosophies and opinions. What follows is a microcosm of
the entire animal rights movement.

I have not edited any of the comments.

K.B. wrote:

It would help more, I think, if more people knew that eating
flesh was not only "not healthy" for them, but a mistake, by
design (physiologically). We need not only activists, but
strong PR people. Like you!

C.C. wrote:

The answer to both questions is NO. Like most of America, I
was completely unaware of factory farming or the conditions
the animals lived (and died) in. It was ONLY AFTER I started
looking into becoming a vegan (strictly for health) that I
learned about animal cruelty and factory farming. I suppose
the information is there for those who take the time and
effort to research it themselves, but with all of the money
spent on animal rights it would seem the public should have
more knowledge, right? Not so. Maybe more good would be done
if the activists would spend money on educating people
outside of the circle of vegans and vegetarians-after all,
veggies are already aware. Obviously this isn't being
done...

I am just speaking on my own experience, of course, but I
suspect there are many who learned only AFTER they looked
into being veggie themselves...

K.S. wrote:

(Q-1) It may not always seem that anyone makes a difference,
but in the long run I know they do. I started out not eating
diary or meat for my health, but my daughter doesn't eat
meat because of her love for any animal and that influenced
me in the long run.

(Q-2) I still say yes they are making a difference although
looking at those numbers it doesn't seem like it. But were
the animals slaughtered for good, or were they diseased?

D.P. wrote:

Yes, animal rights activists are making a difference.
Because of the exposure of extreme animal cruelty that PETA
provided, my 3 daughters and I became vegetarian 11 years
ago. Because of UPC and Farm Sanctuary that I was introduced
to 2 years ago by vegetarian animal rights veterinarian
friends, I began to replace dairy products with soy... and
placed the above mentioned materials in my restaurant to
inform my customers. Thanks to the NotMilkMan email
newsletter which I happened upon 4 months ago (that's YOU -
whom I also see as an animal rights warrior) we converted
with ease to a vegan (cruelty-free) lifestyle.

A.H. wrote:

David kicked Goliath's butt didn't he? Takes time to beat a
giant ...unfortunately. I met you briefly in Chicago 2 years
ago when I asked you to sign your books. You are an
inspiration to all activists and a truly special soul. (wish
I'd told you that in person)! Thank you for taking your time
and brain power to give the rest of us information and
knowledge and support to keep up the fight.

J.B. wrote:

Not Enough

M.W. wrote:

(Q-1) But not always a positive one. (Q-2) The number may
have been far worse without their efforts.

R.C. wrote:

(Q-1) NO. Too much money is involved, plus the traditional
family meal is structured by a main course of meat.

(Q-2) YES It is a slow process but the momentum is there.

J.C. wrote:

No, to both questions. As long as America is barbaric enough
to torture, kill and eat flesh and blood, there will be no
deliverance from the suffering that cows, especially pigs,
and farm birds experience. The answer is NOT in lobbying for
humane slaughter. It is NOT for bigger cages. Demonstrating
against factory farms is NOT the answer to their suffering.
I believe the answer is in educating America in a healthy
vegan diet AND the responsible respect for our fellow
creatures. God created Adam and Eve, put them in the garden,
gave them vegetables and fruits to eat, and commanded them
to take care of His creatures. He did NOT tell them to
torture and slaughter them. America is sick and dying
because of the SAD, (Standard American Diet). If we can
convince America to be healthy, I believe the animals will
benefit greatly from it also. Here is the answer:
http://www.hacres.com Thank you for the opportunity to
express my belief.

A.L. wrote:

No, No. VERY VERY SAD. God charged us (humans) with the
guardianship and caretaking of the animals he put on this
planet. It serves us right to become afflicted with
osteoporosis and arthritis, as a result of eating his
animals...

C.O. wrote:

Your stats always indicate that the figures are going up,
not down...

C.I. wrote:

I think your list of organizations that have made a major
difference should have included: FARM - Farm Animal Reform
Movement and HFA - Humane Farming Association

The increase in bird consumption reflects a reduction in cow
and pig consumption. Perhaps the most encouraging news is
the increase in the number of young vegetarians.

J.M. wrote:

They influence you and you are influencing me and I am
influencing my family, etc. Don't give up Robert. Who knows
what a difference our children who are being raised
conscientiously might make! World population is up, so I
think per capita consumption might be down.

D.D. wrote:

They are dangerous and destructive and committing crimes
against their neighbors based upon their own belief system
which does not coincide with the belief system of a majority
of their countrymen - throwing paint on an expensive fur
coat while being worn in public is not my idea of getting
your point across - if the did that to my wife I would track
them down and PERSONALLY break both of their hands with a
hammer. They belong to the same group of people who are
hammering large spikes into trees which then cause damage
and personal injury of loggers and lumbermen and who burn
down buildings in wild areas and cause other childish,
criminal mischief to get their point across -I would treat
the latter group in the same way -perhaps a bit harsher.

Animals don't have rights - humans have rights - inhumane
treatment to animals should NEVER be punished by
incarceration, it should be handled in civil courts with
fines as punishment. Animals are NOT humans. They do not
have rights. Should we begin prosecuting tigers and leopards
for tearing apart gazelles and eating them live?

T.E. wrote:

Most people write off animal activists as weird or odd or
just crazed in general. Some do damage to their own position
by not also supporting groups against child abuse or child
poverty. Most people don't care what sort of conditions
their dinner is kept in while it is alive. They want to eat
meat in a "guilt free" way and would rather not know.

V.E. wrote:

Do you think the activists are making a difference or do you
think that the baby boomers are wanting to eat less red
meat, that is why the chicken and turkey numbers are going
up? The reason I stopped eating chicken was because, I
started to feel the chickens pain, but it is not because of
the activists. I haven't had milk or red meat for a long
time now. Though, everytime I think about dealing with the
pain that milk causes me I think of what you have told me
and I don't  eat it. I like your newsletter and have tried
to tell others about it but they don't care because they
like the taste. One think that I learned, is that people
will change when it causes THEM pain, not others. :-( With
knowledge though, hopefully people will realize that meat
and milk is what causes their pain. Keep up the great work!

H.M. wrote:

Oh my.

L.E. wrote:

If everyone were forced to watch it on tv or to read "Fast
Food Nation" they wouldn't be able to tolerate where their
food comes from. SHOW Americans the conditions their food is
grown in.

J.F. wrote:

I believe that the answer is yes. Animal rights activists
have made a difference. Today, one can actually buy products
in any middle-America supermarket that say "Not tested on
animals", or even, "vegan". This was not the case just a few
years ago. Of course, these small signs of hope are dwarfed
by the enormity of animal suffering... animal suffering is
increasing because of the corporatization of the livestock
industries that have made bottom-line efficiency in cramming
animals in small spaces and "processing" them as fast as
possible the standard. When multi-national corporations are
making huge profits, and have control over the media, our
legislators, and most other elected and appointed government
officials, the problem of how to rein in corporate abuses,
of animals, of the environment, and of the people of the
world is an extremely intractable one. With both democrats
and republicans in the pockets of the corporations, no one
who recognizes the extreme harm being done by unchecked
corporate greed has yet figured out  how to turn the tide.
However, I feel that one of the best approaches is through
litigation, therefore I support animal rights activist
groups who use the court system to bring suit against
abusers. I also believe that public education efforts, such
as the one you are engaged in, are extremely important, and
I admire and respect you very much. However, I feel that
your attacks on others in the movement may be somewhat
oversimplifications, and that there is plenty of room for,
and need for differing approaches to our struggle. Now I
have a question for you, Robert. (May I call you Robert?) I
am a long time fan of yours, and have written you a number
of times. And you have replied occasionally. But I've
noticed that the few letters I've written that make points
disagreeing with you are never acknowledged. Is this a
coincidence, or do you not like to engage in thesis-
antithesis-synthesis dialogues? If we put our heads
together, we'll get farther than as lone Don Quixotes (I
think, but I may be wrong.) Long may you tilt!

B.B. wrote:

Until animal activists graphically expose the horrors of the
slaughterhouses to the American public, vegetarianism will
be the exception rather than the rule.  The average shopper
doesn't have a clue HOW the meat got there, nor do they
care. They do not WANT to know!

T.S. wrote:

More people are becoming aware of animal rights regardless
if they practice it or not.

P.W. wrote:

No, no, no. Many of these groups have no respect for the Law
and therefore has lost public support. You must respect the
law to get respect. They have not learned this lesson and
probably will not.

J.T. wrote:

I think the animal activists are making a difference. I also
feel we are making a difference when we teach people what
the animals are doing to their health. First we kill the
animal and then they kill us. I do not believe we have to
eat meat to be healthy. Bill and I are Health Consultants
and we teach no meat or dairy. PS-I want to thank you on the
stand you have taken on the abortion issue. All life if
precious.

R.P. wrote:

NO to both questions. I think you are right to embarrass the
so-called animal rights activists. The only way to be
compassionate to animals (and humans: the animal protein
kills) is to educate people so that they don't eat them.
However, even when people are educated to the point where
they actually know and believe the danger of eating animal
protein and the inhumane treatment of animals most continue
to eat garbage! I was real excited after becoming a
Hallelujah Acres Health Minister last Fall until it finally
dawned on me that no one wants to be well! They would rather
eat shit, be sick and die. The addiction to eating fried
animal flesh is just too strong for most people to break. I
have been spending a lot of time with my daughter and her
husband and 3 children lately and their diet is
appallingling. They eat out or take out fast food 95% of the
meals. What few meals "cooked" at home are not the least bit
healthy. Believe it or not, my son-in-law was an Anthony
Robbins Vegan for 3 months; lost 40 pounds. His father just
had a heart attack at 53!  He understands the long range
damage he is doing to himself and his children but continues
to do it. If most intelligent and educated people will not
make the right personal choice, the future is notbright.
Remember the one about the 5 frogs sitting on a log: Four
decided to jump off. How many were left? (5 as there is a
difference between deciding to do something and actually
doing it!).

I spent about a month in Brazil about 3 years ago. I saw a
lot of black people there (14 million slaves compared to our
4 million slaves) but not one of them was fat! Not a single
one. Brazilian blacks were too poor to be able to afford
meat and dairy. Here, most blacks are obese.

You made a strict vegetarian out of me 3 days after signing
up for your daily email. I don't know what the solution is.
Any help would be appreciated.

B.B. wrote:

Answer to both questions are the same. Are animal rights
activists making a difference? No. is slaughter humane?
Hardly.

S.C. wrote:

YES, even in Idaho.

A.P. wrote:

They go about it the wrong way. They do not put enough
specfic points through; sometimes its the ego that takes
over. There needs to be more fact-based-reasons, why we
never needed to eat meat or dairy products in the first
place, and not get lost in an argument over it. People still
feel they need it due to the B12 issue, which because of the
mult-billion publicity campaign given to this issue, animal
activists get lost or pushed by the way side. The public
need to know more about the corrupt companies that are
behind this issue. The public believe what they see on the
TV and read in the newspapers, it's the undoing of this.

S.B. wrote:

Yes, these organizations are making a difference, because
their mailings are what got me thinking about farm animal
abuse. I do not believe, though, that they are the solution
to our human meat-eating obsession and enslavement of
species.

In order to answer question #2, you know that other data,
such as population changes, would have to be provided for a
truly accurate assessment. And, frankly, as long as the
human over-population of this planet rages on unchecked, and
even worse, UNADDRESSED by you and other more "enlightened"
souls, consumption will continue to increase because there
are simply more and more self-centered human mouths to feed.
Another "under-funded" concept, you may say... I would
disagree. The human attitude towards unlimited human
reproduction is a product of RELIGIOUS ARROGANCE, and
religion is anything BUT underfunded. Instead of hearing a
message from the pulpit that urges humans to do unto others
as they would have other humans do unto them, we should hear
the representatives of God imploring us to include all
species in that dictate. Instead, they encourage listeners
to go home to a Christmas dinner of tortured, murdered
turkey, and oh by the way keep loving thoughts of humans in
our hearts. I pray also for a lottery win; I will help you
build the glass walled slaughter house, and then help enable
you to show it to everyone via a "compassionate broadcast
network" on TV. Reality can't be censured, can it?...

J.S. wrote:

Obviously, you believe that animal rights activists are not
making a difference. I honestly don't know if they are or
not. I enjoy your column for the health aspects. I do eat
meat, but very little dairy because I am convinced it is not
good for us. When I was 12 years old (I am now a 46 year old
woman), I was a vegetarian for a year because I loved
animals. I still do,  but now I think they were put here for
us to (responsibly) use. I believe that we are to eat
animals, but I prefer to treat them humanely (no cramming,
feeding them their natural foods, using as little pain as
necessary to kill them, etc.) I try to buy organic foods
whenever possible. I greatly appreciate your new thoughts on
abortion. I think it makes you consistent. Because I believe
that humans and not animals were created in the image of
God, I believe that I am also consistent in valuing humans
higher. I hope that groups will work to improve the care of
animals, but I dislike the violent fringes of PETA, etc.
(and Christian pro-lifers who bomb abortion clinics are no
different).

D.F. wrote:

I find that there is far too much emotionalism invested into
this issue, we need more people who can actually back up
what they say with fact and reason rather than just
sensationalistic photo and rhetoric, more people like the
notmilkman for instance.

J.M. wrote:

Ten years ago, society as a whole had liittle awareness of
AR issues, and vegans were fringies of the wierdest sort.
Now thanks to PETA, Karen, the Baustons, Robert Cohen and
others, some lights shine brightly, especially among youth.
Good things are happening. Your figures are factual, and
horrific. Think of what they might be without the efforts of
AR leaders like yourself.

C.H. wrote:

Unfortunately, no matter how much they try, the activists
make little difference. The demand for meat is too high. The
average American does not care how his steak or chicken was
killed, just as long as it it within his budget to purchase
it from the grocery case.

V.L. wrote:

The answer to your question, which you already know is NO
and NO! Animal activists are just that activists, extremists
and so forth. My beliefs are do what you think is best, you
can't impose you views on others, you can only suggest.
Activists do not suggest, they impose and look like fools.

J.M. wrote:

#1 & #2- YES Animal Rights Activists are making a
difference. There may be a growing number of animals
slaughtered every year in America's slaughterhouses, but
that may be because clever corporations are finding even
faster, more "efficient" ways to kill the animals. AR
Activists plant seeds, raise awareness, and evoke change.
Statistics often lie and are not always a good indicator of
progress.

M.A. wrote:

They come off as telling people how to live.

J.C. wrote:

Animal rights activists ARE definitely making a difference,
be it ever so small, they are. Raising public awareness is a
very good method of making a difference. EVEN with the
statistics that said that more chickens and turkeys were
slaughtered. This is because although people who continue to
consume them, and even more of them, without regard to the
atrocities involved in animal food production may increase,
but those statistics did not include the people who have
abandoned eating poultry raised in that way. I am a result
of animal rights activists actions. Their making me aware of
the matter has caused MANY changes in my family's food
habits. And I do struggle to make most folks around me aware
of the issues. Sometimes it gets results, while sometimes
folks continue with no change, and other times, folks ponder
it and begin to think about the matter. Continued public
awareness is the route to go. Raising public hue and cry,
and showing people the disadvantages and the harm caused to
them, pushing the matter with those who have authority to do
something about it would likely bring positive changes. Look
at the example of the "Mad Cowboy". His information was very
valuable, and caused consumers to change for the better; and
this website's info. as well, and others like it.

A.B. wrote:

I definitely appreciate animal rights activists and what
they are trying to accomplish, but I don't think the
campaign is working very well. We need more education out to
the general public, not just at vegetarian food festivals
where people are already in tune with animal rights. We need
to get this message into every household in America. We can
try with grass root efforts, but I think we really need
money to generate the types of campaigns that will reach
America, such as radio, television, and print media.

O.C. wrote:

In answer to your questions are animal activists making any
difference...what you asked is an incomplete question... you
show an increase in the number of animals raised for food
each year for three years...but you didn't put down what was
the increase in the numbers of humans born ( population
growth) to account for the increased need for food , albeit
the wrong kind of food. Until people stop fornicating
without protection, we are going to continue to kill animals
at a record rate...it is not that the animal activists are
not making a difference...it is people reproducing their own
kind...the numbers might be much worse( animal deaths) if
the activists weren't out there working.

B.S. wrote:

Yes to questions 1 and 2. The difference may seem small but
a cow's or a chicken's life is as dear to her as mine is to
me. If even just a  small number of animals are spared then
the effort is a noble one.

T.M. wrote:

Though my response falls under the 'yes' category, I am
repeatedly astonished at the average person's indifference
to animal suffering. The anti-animal products movement is
having a positive impact on SOME parts of the world,
including North America, but in other parts of the world
(parts of the world in which animal products were never a
big part of the population's diet) the 'animal product
priviledge' is becoming more common as people move toward a
more North American life/diet style.

B.F. wrote:

#1 No. If these animals were not raised for consumption they
would not exist. Would it be better if they were not born at
all? You tell me domesticated animals have been kept since
the begining as far as I can tell and not to be used as
pets.

#2 No. But you are there is always at least two sides to
every question. You say animals can tell by scent what a
person has been eating, well any steak lover can tell can
tell a piece of beef that has been fed chicken manure. I
personally don't see anything wrong with good clean meat if
their is such a thing as I said before if you are knot going
to eat these animals why raise them? They do not make good
pets.

J.R. wrote:

Sorry to say that I think they do make headways but very
small steps over long periods of time. Their struggles are
long and hard but I certainly appreciate all they do! I am
glad they are out there fighting for animal rights.

F.F. wrote:

Comment: Obviously efforts to draw public attention to these
matters, both for questions one and two, are not showing
much effect. Numbers rise every year. As for question two, I
think it will take a long time for people to stop consuming
chicken and turkey for their thanksgiving feasts, its been a
tradition for so long. Habit breeds contentment. It takes
the average American a long time to break their lifelong bad
habits.

T.F. wrote:

Question #1-NO. It is rare to find anyone who actively
alters their diet. Most people are so entrenched with trying
to make enough money to survive on that it leaves them
little time or compassion for the suirvival of anyone OR
anything else.

Question #2-NO. What percent and raw numbers did the
population grow compared to the rate of growth for the
number of chickens and turkeys that were slaughtered. Has
per capita consumption increased based on the higher
population. My consumption of meat or fish is zero. My
concern is the way the numbers are manipulated by the food
industry to surve their agendas.

K.C. wrote:

Probably not much, difficult for the lay person to really
know whats going on.

G.D. wrote:

Unfortunately the most publicized areas of animal activism,
viewed by the general American population, is towards the
outlandish. Fouling up runways with models on them, throwing
paint on fur wearers. While I am not judging this end of
activism and agree that shock value is sometimes needed, I
believe the general public that are meat eaters find this as
an easy excuse to say, look at the freaks. I told you they
were crazy. This is my own opinion. Sort of the same when
people find out one does not eat animal products. They ask
first thing if I am ill. Or have medical problems. Then,
they go from there to saying I am not getting the right
nutrients and vitamins. I believe some even feel sorry for
me. Not everyone has access to, or information about the
cruelty that goes on or how bad it is for your body to eat
it. The average American does not seek out this information
and it is not readily available unless something happens
such as Madcow or a recall on infected meat. They only see
the things that make the world news.

I still think they make a difference. Especially with the
younger generation of today. However it is my belief that
chicken, turkey consumption has gone up because of the
negative publicity of beef. For ones health, because of
clogged arteries, E. Coli and MadCow disease. We need more
publicity on the negative effects of animals products in our
body and then for the animals themselves (Cruelty.)  But the
human body first. Because, we put ourselves first (the
American public in general). We can only think of animals as
second. If it is found to be terrible for the first, it then
saves the second.  I am not saying that is right nor wrong.
Just my opinion. Many of us grew up not questioning much of
anything. It's just the way things are. Some of us have had
the opportunity to have a door open and realize it is good
to question and wonder and change. Some do not want the door
to open. Out of fear? Change? The realization that it leads
to many more questions? I do not know. But many will listen
to facts if they believe it comes from a reputable source.

K.G. wrote:

In answer to your question, it would look like they are not
due to the increased numbers of animals slaughtered! I do
not think they are approaching it right. Yeah, it is nice
that the animals are treated better Before they are killed,
la-dee-dah, but, what does it really matter in the grand
scheme of things, if more are ultimately being killed!

J.N. wrote:

Are animal rights activists making a difference? Yes ! Our
work is essential to human survival as well as for animal
welfare.  In fact, the survival of the planet Earth depends
on our  cooperative system of living on it. They are selling
more and more to international markets (both within and
without the USA.) Meanwhile, more and more people are
becoming informed, and are actually taking the next
step...which is to act on good information.  Not only has
the number of vegetarians and vegans increased in the last
50 years, along with people who at least eschew dairy
products and veal, but there is more visibility about it now
with overall less stigma. But then, I'm an optimist who in
spite of the overwhelming evidence and the weight of eons of
history, still believes in the humanity of humans. Keep up
the great work, Robert! By the way, your name pronounced in
French makes you sound even more handsome and courageous:
Roh-BAIR, accent on the second syllable. And the French "r"
is unique in modern languages, pronounced by women as a kind
of purr, and by men almost as a short growl. Amour et
musique, toujours !

G.R. wrote:

We buy eggs that are laid by chickens that are "free range"
that are not cooped up in a giant barn somewhere. We try to
buy "organic" meat when we buy it -- where animals are
treated in a more humane way. If we are going to eat meat, a
little, that is, then the animals should be treated in a
humane way. Preferably on a small farm where they are not
fed a lot of steroids. Without the movement--as imperfect as
it may be--I think a lot of people would not be changing
their diets... Harvey's [in Canada] have veggie burgers that
taste EXACTLY like "real" hamburgers...AR activists do not
go about the problem in the right way. They come across like
feminazis---rather than as intelligent focusssed people who
have a legitimate alternative point of view. I personally
feel that we eat way too much meat [Americans/Canadians]--
that "in the old days" eating the fatted calf was for VERY
special occasions. They did not eat hamburger helper every
night of the week. My brother has friends who are
vegetarians who he says look terrible and are always having
health problems. According to him we are carnivores [a
logical equivalent to our supposed ascent from the animal
kingdom]. I beg to differ with him--I think we are meant to
eat vegetables, fruits, and a little bit of meat.

R.S. wrote:

I would answer NO to both questions--Making the animals more
comfortable before slaughtering them does not reduce their
pain and suffering--in fact it probably makes it worse.

I find it absurd to think of ways we can treat animals "more
lovingly" before we slaughter them.  This sick and perverted
behaviour is best compared to S & M.  If animal rights
activists don't have the balls to fight for zero death, they
need to go home.  I'd gladly fill in.  There is zero need to
eat animal products in the year 2003.

A.C. wrote:

WOW, that is interesting!...Yes, they are bringing
AWARENESS, but may not have had the impact they were hoping
for at the production levels. I believe that the activists
tactics are sometimes so extreme (Peta) that it turns people
off, which leads to "compassion fatigue", as it is so
called.  This country is also slow to move when it comes to
adopting healthier approaches to their diet. However, I feel
that Americans are still simply cutting back on beef intake
and substituting it with chicken & turkey.....the result of
a successful PR campaign for several years now.

V.P. wrote:

QUESTION #1. YES!!

QUESTION #2. YES!!

Animal advocates and activists are making a difference
because the suffering of animals is being kept in people's
consciousness, and people are changing their behavior
because of what they are learning.

People cannot ignore the suffering of animals because all
these groups in their way and for their specific species are
keeping the issue in the forefront.

Articles are written in newspapers, interviews are heard on
radio and seen on TV, billboards are seen, documentaries are
screened, books are written and promoted, controversial
advertisements get more publicity than was paid for, etc. A
two-page list of Universities and Teaching Hospitals no
longer experiment on animals, cruelty-free cosmetics is a
household expression and many people shop for them who
aren't otherwise activists. Children in school can often now
choose not to dissect animals. Many communities and an
entire state have passed laws banning circuses and traveling
animal acts. Polar Bears were rescued from a circus in the
Caribbean.

More and more television shows, dramas, situation comedies
and cartoons, are having animal rights and suffering issue
plots and scenes, and are making supportive comments by
characters with whom people and children identify.

So many victories have been won; which continues to indicate
to people that nonhuman animals are deserving of life,
liberty and the pursuit of happiness as much as human
animals.

Even hunting of animals, thought by most to be on the other
side of animal activism, is highly regulated so animals
cannot be hunted to extinction and to give the animals a
fighting chance to survive and thrive.

A spay/neuter stamp was published this year, and rescuing
animals from shelters rather than buying them from pet
stores has become very popular. No-kill shelters and
communities are increasing in number and popularity. Many
pet store chains won't sell animals anymore, and only allow
animals to be adopted from their locations with local
shelters and rescue groups providing the expertise. Humane
Societies are well-funded and well-known. Breed rescue
groups are ubiquitous.

Many Symposiums and Conferences are held each year, which
make it possible for people to hear leaders in the movement
talk about the issues and invigorate new people to join the
movement and change to living a compassionate and cruelty-
free life style.

Every year the number of vegetarians and vegans increases.
Every year more people adopt a more compassionate life
style. Locally-produced and organically-produced meat is
becoming more popular and is even being sold in mainline
grocery stores, thus indicating it is becoming more
mainstream and sought by a much larger section of society
than just those who shop at Health Food Stores or Farmer's
markets.

All of these things are advancing the protection and
ultimately the improvement of nonhuman animals' place in our
society.

All of these things prove that animal rights advocates and
activists are having an impact on society, and that their
work and effort is worthwhile and successful. If we each
change the minds of one or two people, and they each change
one or two minds, and so on, then, if you do the math you
will see, that the impact will be that in 12 years, every
mind in the entire world will be changed.

N.N. wrote:

People dont just stop eating animal products without
becoming 'aware'. They become aware by animal rights
activists, whether it be these 3 or just the knowlwgable
lady down the road. Imagine those figures WITHOUT the work
the dedicated people and websites have done. We are fighting
multi-million dollar advertising budgets, from chicken
brands to the likes of McDs and KFC. The huge uprise in
chicken and turkey slaughter numbers might be because of a
fall in the consumption of red meat because of mad cow and
the foot in mouth drama in the UK, and those people who
think you can be a vegetarian and still eat white meat. It
could mark the dramatic downfall in the consumption of red
meat which is a great start. So yes the animal rights
activists are still making a diference. Thank you for your
newsletter!

A.K. wrote:

While the number of non-human animals being muerdered
increses, also the number of people going vegetarian and
vegan increases. These could be because not necesarily more
people are eating dead animals but, possibly the same people
are consuming greater quantities of dead flesh, which is why
we have higher numbers of obesity, diabetes, heart disease,
strokes and cancers. Finally, the media and corporate evil
influencing/brain washing people to consume dead bodies is
quick while activism influence is slower to digest. One can
argue that number wise, the evil influence so far is
winning, but I wonder if this is sustainable for long term.
We already see changes in young people's thinking about not
eating animals. It is a strugle between very powerful and
manipulative influences and concious, critical objective
thinkers. At the end, reson and compassion should prevail
over greed, gimmicks and non-sense. More and more people are
staying away from fast foods, McDonalds reported recently
that it will shot down over 700 McMurder restaurants while
their stock plunges to a historic low. Young women, 1 out of
4, 25% don't eat meat. That is very encouraging. The animal
rights movement was hardly noticed or even known 20-30 years
ago. Now, there are literally thousands of organizations
world wide and just about everyone knows about animal
rights. Imagine another 20-30 years from now how far will
this movement go? Despite everything, even if nothing
changed, doing nothing would alligne one self with evil. My
conscience would not permit me, or any consciencious
individual to just stand by.

D.V. wrote:

Yes - Activists ARE making a difference. Another influence
in a positive change is - a wider range of "meatless"
alternatives. Gardenburger, Boca, Morningstar - all put
coupons in the newspaper and I have seen a few people in the
supermaket buying and TRYING the products. Once they realize
that they are TASTY alternatives, they will be regular
customers...as I. Years ago, substitutes were horrible! When
I invite people to my house for a breakfast or a lunch, I
introduce them to a "tasty meatless" sandwich or meal. One
of the items that I make is - substitute "chicken cutlets"
(about 4) on a whole wheat roll...both sides with tomato
sauce, topped with substitute (mozz.shredded "cheese")...I
call it "Pickin' Charmasian"...that way, I also get away
from the animal name for the sandwich. I think that all of
these little 'tricks' help make a dietary change. Everybody
always comments how really good the taste is!

S.J. wrote:

Yes to both questions. Wish I could help, but I am involved
with world wide peace efforts, which I consider more
pressing at this critical moment! Keep up your good work!

H.C. wrote:

(Q-1) Are animal rights activists making a difference? YES.
By encouraging some to become vegetarian or vegan and by
helping to enact improved conditions for some animals they
have made a difference. (Q-2) Are animal rights activists
making a difference? NO, not enough. The big problem, as I
see it, is that most people don't want to even hear about
the truth of modern factory farming and slaughterhouses. If
you try to initiate a discussion they will say - "Don't tell
me, I don't want to know. You'll spoil my appetite." I think
that on some level most people know that if they had to hunt
their own meat they couldn't. That if they acknowledged the
cruelty that exists they would have to make changes and they
don't want to be bothered. They like their meat and simply
don't want to be confronted with the ugly truth. They don't
want to face the reality and have to put forth the effort to
make changes. They are comfortable in their denial. Too many
are still unaware of the facts of modern agibusiness. Its
not like there are graphic images being seen on the nightly
news. Its still a hidden world to most people, and that's
the way that the meat and dairy industries want to keep it.
The government prefers to look at the economic costs rather
than the cost to the health of its people and the plight of
its animals. Sad.

K.B. wrote:

I loved the article about "animals not needing rights but
compassion!" It was a great idea to develop.

Yes, they have increased awareness but I'm not sure it's as
significant as it needs to be. Animals are supposed to be
slaughtered and eaten.it's the way in which this is done
that I have a problem with. I loved the article about
"animals not needing rights but compassion!" It was a great
idea to develop.

T.S. wrote:

The answer is yes to both questions but their influence is
limited. The vast majority of Americans are addicted to
eating animal protein and until great numbers of people
decide to change their eating habits, the slaughter of
animals and poultry will continue.  If more money was spent
on commercials to counter the propaganda of the dairy
industry and other animal protein organizations, then
perhaps less people will believe in their propaganda.
However, eating vegetarian food alone does not guarantee
good health. This is because the vast majority of
vegetarians eat their food "cooked" when they should eat
mostly "raw." When you cook food you lose all the nutrients.


P.M. wrote:

Define "difference" as Bill Clinton would say. The progress
in animal rights is minimal at best. The suffering (pain and
torture) continues twenty four hours a day, seven days a
week. The rate of intense suffering increases. The buildup
of BAD KARMA continues. How can anyone think clearly with so
much blood going down their throat?

R.S. wrote:

These groups, and you, and many other animal rights and
vegetarian groups deserve much credit for dedicated efforts,
although, of course, much more needs to be done. Given
population increases and the billions spent by the beef,
poultry, dairy, and egg industries, things could be even
worse without the efforts of animal rights and vegetarian
groups. However, there certainly is a need to consider
better methods, as is done at the annual FARM AR
conferences.

D.S. wrote:

It is the way a animal rights person goes about making a
difference, shoving it down a meat eater's throat doesn't
make them listen. I teach by the way I live my life, &
answer quesions when asked. My now husbend wasn't a vegan
when we met, & he made fun of me,(we weren't merried then,
LOL). I cooked meals, & he tried them, & I told him what I
wanted in a husband, same faith, & life style (vegan). He
changed his ways,,& learned how to cook vegan.

It's the way you go about it,meat eating is a way of life
from birth, & to some to reject doing so, is to reject the
family values their mothers & fathers taught them, like the
so called rights of manhood,(hunting & fishing), it's very
hard for a person to reject eating dead animals. Holidays
are the hardest. The first year a person makes the change,
family & friends will make fun of you, & sometimes saying
anything only makes it worse. I have many people who have
changed to vegan or working on going that way, but it is a
slow step for some, but the biggest then to achieve their
goal is support from us vegans (ready to answer quesions,
not making fun of them) & last but not lest, RESPECT for
each others feeling.

A.H. wrote:

It would appear as if maybe they are not making a
difference.

B.B. wrote:

Until animal activists graphically expose the horrors of the
slaughterhouses to the American public, vegetarianism will
be the exception rather than the rule. The average shopper
doesn't have a clue HOW the meat got there, nor do they
care.

M.T. wrote:

WE'RE stalled in some areas, and progressing in others. You
have identified PETA as one of the three main activist
groups; just check with them and they will provide a review
of successes over the years in the broad work of Animal
Rightists.

K.J. wrote:

I didn't think so before I read the background info!

R.E. wrote:

We have a longgggggg way to go to really make a significant
difference. A barely perceptible difference in the over all
picture, but better than nothing.  We all have a long, long
road ahead to arrive at a meaningful solution to the
indifference and greed and ignorance of all concerned.

F.B. wrote:

Thanks for notmilk. It has changed my life. My nswer to both
questions is NO. My comment for both is that these animals
could be helped if people became convinced that their health
would be better if they eliminated all animal products from
their diet, not just dairy products.

T.F. wrote:

Glad the birds have a voice. If people want to consume any
sort of animals, they should live in nature and live as they
were intended to while they are alive. If people want to eat
them, there should be stringent guidlelines for the animals
sake and their own health.

I.B. wrote:

I believe that they are making a difference.

R.M. wrote:

Not nearly as huge as some of us want and they (the animals)
need. Unfortunately ALL animal compassion is still viewed as
extremist. Considering the population growth in two years,
although the numbers are about the same, I believe there is
some decrease in the amount of meat consumed. If any, the
difference is marginal. Unfortunately, nobody can teach
compassion and awareness, it comes from within. Most people
associate their love for animals with pets, the rest are...
comodities that we just have. FYI, I am a vegetarian.

T.W. wrote:

Most people write off animal activists as weird or odd or
just crazed in general.  Some do damage to their own
position by not also supporting groups against child abuse
or child poverty. Most people don't care what sort of
conditions their dinner is kept in while it is alive. They
want to eat meat in a "guilt free" way and would rather not
know.

D.A. wrote:

Unfortunately the difference is still not being made in this
area due to the belief that most consumers do not feel guilt
eating that which is considered unintelligent and
emotionless. It is also a long held belief that poultry
contains a leaner form of animal proteins- therefore more
appealing to meat eaters who are "health conscious" than the
consumption of beef or pork. I do not think consumers are
going to be reached with the animal rights movement to
actually stop eating these creatures instead, I believe that
compassionate slaughter is going to be a better first call.

T.F. wrote:

Glad the animals have a voice. Glad the birds have a voice.
If people want to consume any sort of animals, they should
live in nature and live as they were intended to while they
are alive. If people want to eat them, there should be
stringent guidelines for the animals sake and their own
health.

C.S. wrote:

I see where you're going with these questions. My answer is
YES animal righs activists are making a difference. What the
statistics you use fail to take into account is population
increase. You really need statistics that use a per capita
ratio. Now to be totally realistic the gains made are almost
infinitesimal. The work being done now will take decades to
come to fruition. The consumption of animal is a run away
freight train. We are no where near turning it around just
"starting" to slow it down. It reminds me of one of your
favorite quotes. "Truth has three stages. First it is
violently opposed, then it is ridiculed and finally accepted
as self evident." I think we are somewhere between violent
opposition and ridicule.

F.K. wrote:

God made animals to be eaten for nourishment of men. Meat is
good.

Y.C. wrote:

Several major newspapers have printed stories on the plight
of animals. Several laws have passed or been introduced that
have a postive influence such as Admendment 10 here in
Florida (banning of gestation crates). It was a huge
victory. And the New Jersey Veal Bill is pushing ahead. AR
has finally figured out that politics is the way to go. You
have to change the laws. On the other hand, some real stupid
issues have made more news than the good stuff. The chicken
tic-tac-toe thing, supporting the gross BK veggie burger,
protesting on half of whoever that vegan person was in jail,
and telling college students to drink beer instead of milk.
The list goes on. These are the things that stick in peoples
head. Not that I disagree with any of them. Well, the beer
thing. And I haven't quite forgotten the awful taste of the
'tastey' BK Veggie. I would hope AR wants images of calves
being crying for their mothers. Or last year when I went to
rescue some chickens, all we saw were whole legs left in
every other cage (we were too late, obviously). At another
farm we were faced with a wheel barrow full of gassed
chickens falling into a dump truck. This is what we should
etch in peoples minds. This is when I finaly went vegan.

Poultry consumption is going up, and the other white meat
down. Not necessarily because they (consumers) care, but the
US is trying to be healthier. And the USDA, nutritionists,
and doctors are saying poultry is less fat and cholesterol.
Surprisingly, a lot of people do not realize that you only
get cholesterol from animal products. This is never
mentioned. Even, my grandad who is half dead thinks I am
making it up! Because his doctor said...I think we need more
groups like UPC, Farm Sanctuary, Vegan Outreach, ect. to
spread the word to a broader base. UPC is by far the most
successful in my book. Instead of whining about they only
have a sheet of paper to stand on, we should be talking
about the other cruelties. The by-products of the industry
(killing of male chicks). How poultry is not so healthy.
And, how they are not stupid. Turkeys do NOT drown in the
rain. They are wonderful companions. They learn 'tricks'.
They know how to love, feel pain, and they definitely are
fearful little guys. Education and Legislation...that is the
only way.

M.M. wrote: I wouldn't want to imagine what
'detention'conditions would be like for these chickens and
turkeys if no activists were reminding the producer that
their produce is based on taking lives, in an unhealthy way!
I believe the figure would be a lot higher if no public
awareness was made about the living conditions of these
animals, and the impact consuming their flesh and by-product
has on ours. Animal activists do help, but vegetarian-
oriented groups help a lot too.

A.S. wrote:

They help numb the sick feeling that people are inclined to
have, knowing that they are killing [albeit through a proxy]
and eating something that would prefer not to be killed and
eaten.

A.B. wrote:

I think your questions are impossible to answer on the basis
of the information you have given. The number of animals
slaughtered is increasing but what is important is not so
much an increase in the number of animals slaughtered but
HOW they are slaughtered, which I can't answer. I do think
that the milk industry is suffering because if it wasn't the
massive ad campaign wouldn't be necessary. I moved to New
Mexico from Minnesota and there are many dairies in this
counties and they are so disgusting that you couldn't get me
to drink milk. The cows are nothing but milk producing
machines. They live in their urine and feces and can't walk
very far. Over the border in Texas are several large
feedlots and their lot in life is about the same. I eat some
meat (my husband is a meat eater and it's just easier to eat
some now and then) but I try to buy meat that has been
organically raised and humanely slaughtered. I believe God
gave us cows and chickens and pigs to provide food for us.
They are gifts from Him and when we are cruel to them we
slap God in the face. The same goes for pets.

C.P. wrote:

My response is not really, and not really. Based on my
experiences, (volunteering @ world Veg day, talking
w/varoius people, etc.) I feel that animal rights activists
need to join together and stop competing with one another
for funds! Unfortunately, not enough $ is put towards animal
rights, and if organizations would work together instead of
squabbling over funds, perhaps more could be accomplished. I
think education, especially of children, of the HUGE
benifits of veganism is most effective! Almost all of my
friends have turned vegetarian in the past few years after
hearing what I had to say about veganism and sampling my
BOMB VEGAN COOKING! Education is the key!

G.S. wrote:

Thanks for this great perception. You've really made me
think! It is a miracle day!

J.C. wrote:

No, Animal rights groups are not making a difference. They
are an affinity group with a preset sector of the population
that is susceptible to the ideologies. Although some can be
converted to the cause, probably a corresponding number
galvanizes in their opposition and mockery of the movement,
when true believers speak. The problem is at the very base
of our values and upbringing, and requires a reeducation
from day 1 that immerses children in the ecological and
spiritual interconnectedness first within the cultures of
our species, then among all life. It requires an overhaul of
the bought-and-paid-for notions that fill our minds like the
supposed directionality of evolution and the misapprehension
that "natural selection" means "the strongest survive by
beating all the others".

T.B. wrote:

It is sanctimonious, but it makes the little life they have
more bearable...Not for the slaughtering figures, but for
the slowly growing awareness of people.

Comment  They are at least doing what the Pro-Life groups
do.  Since they cannot achieve their ultimate goal, they
make small accomplishments towards the goal.  I think that
Farm Sanctuary has the best chance of the three, because a
number of celebrities back the cause and they do not create
as much negative reaction as Poultry Concerns, and
especially PETA.  I think the work you do makes a
difference, too, but I know you are for animal welfare vs.
animal rights.

M.G. wrote:

They could be making more of a difference, but without their
efforts, I think the killing would be growing exponentially.
I understand your fervor for animal welfare vs. animal
rights.

J.D. wrote:

The answer to both questions is yes. In my experience, there
are more people who don't eat meat today, including poultry,
than let's say 10 years ago. This could very well be due to
the group effort to get the message out. While I don't
suppose the few extra inches in the cages makes much of a
difference to the quality of life these creatures
experience, at least there is more public awareness of their
suffering.

Of course, some choose to ignore the facts & continue eating
animals despite being made aware of the torture. I believe
the advice from the medical community that pushes poultry as
being the healthier alternative to red meat contributes
greatly to the increase in the amount being consumed. This
is certainly the case with members of my own family. I don't
know the statistics on red meat, but if they too are higher,
my feeling is it's because of the fast food industry. So
many people seem to be eating most of their meals at these
franchises.

Getting back to poultry, if you had asked if the net result
in benefits to chickens & turkeys was consistent with the
effort, money & time spent, I'd have to say no. I think the
animal rights movement is very disorganized with each group
doing it's own thing. This scattered approach is wasteful &
inefficient, yet I realize it would be difficult to change.
We see the same type of thing in the way research on various
diseases is conducted & even in the way our own government
gathers intelligence. For many years, I was a dues paying
member of PETA, Farm Sanctuary, HSUS & a few other groups.
Not so anymore. While educating the public is important, so
is actual rescue work. Today, I donate to local groups doing
hands-on rescue that I can see. I'm also personally involved
in feral cat & kitten rescue. I'd really like to see some
talented organizational type get the activists working
together in a more unified manner. Their resources (human &
financial) would go so much further & the animals would
benefit.

C.J. wrote:

This is not Rights, it is Welfare and will never work. Stick
a band-aid on a severed artery and you'll see what I mean.
Vegan is the only way. If people don't care about animals,
they care about themselves and their children. Push the
health angle. People are fundamentally selfish. A good taste
in their mouths is worth a cow's agonising death, but is
less likely to be worth a good dose of bowel cancer

B.C. wrote:

Only amongst people who are already sensible to the
subject....not in quantity but quality - only a certain
number of animals lives better/longer/doesn't get
slaughtered but this number is almost irrevelant on a
statistical scale compared to the volume of animals destined
for human's food.

A.J. wrote:

Not much, unfortunately.

R.C. wrote:

Too much money is involved, plus the traditional family meal
is structured  by a main course of meat. It is a slow
process but the momentum is there.

J.G. wrote:

The human population is growing so the numbers of animals
eaten are too. But  people are becoming educated, animal
rights law is a growing field and humane slaughter laws are
being passed. The road to veganism is travelled by taking
small steps from diffrent directions and we cannot ignore
the plight of the animal until they are no longer being
eaten. Besides, it's not about "smaller cages", it's about
one less animal being skinned alive, one less animal being
tortured from mutilation or starved to death. These
organizations are making a huge difference.

A.C. wrote:

Peoples stomachs will still make the decisions. Its very
hard to convince anyone to change their habbits when even
you're living with someone and you tell them what happens.
It must be a thousand times harder to convice someone
through newspaper ads. I think its the one on one contact
that makes more of a difference, or when people seek out the
information themselves.

G.D. wrote:

Are animal rights activists making a difference? Only to the
misinformed. Most of them should be shot!

M.L. wrote:

Read Slaughterhouse by Gail Eisnitz.

W.M. wrote:

Only by us all being vegan can we ever truly make a
difference in the lives and suffering of these farm animals.
Fruits and Veggies forever.

J.R. wrote:

People believe that activists are NUTs and don't pay any
attention to their quest. This would also apply to an
activist that wants to banish milk consumption in america. I
make this comment knowing that milk is not good for human
intake.

R.K. wrote:

If only one animal were to receive compassion and spared
then I would say that they do make a difference. It is a
shame that it's only a drop in the ocean.

T.O. wrote:

Most consider them as radicals, building burners, violent,
extreme, on the fringe, law-breakers, innefective, wrong-
thinking.

B.D. wrote:

The only thing that will make a difference is eating a vegan
diet.

S.M. wrote:

Social costs are high from this activism which affects the
bottom line of producers and slaughterhouses, but you can't
change the ignorant nasty habits of meat eaters. They don't
care how animals are treated as long as their bellies are
full and taste buds are satisfied.

M.K. wrote:

They are trying. They are getting the public's attention,
little by little. They may not be 100% correct in their
methods or even premises, but they do get on national news;
they do get into some schools, and they do get attention
paid to issues which otherwise, might never come to the
attention of very many people.

B.L. wrote:

Yes to both questions. It has made a differnce to me
although I still eat some meat. The big difference to come
will ironically not come from human compassion but from the
realization that food from these sources cause a huge
abundance of disease and sickness. thanks for your wonderful
site and all of your magnificent effort. P.S. I am today
planting some early russian tomato seed. I can put them
outside about May 1, which is early up here the kootenays of
B.C. Canada.  Loved your eggplant pictures.

P.C. wrote:

This is my first eye opening experience and I still have a
hard time thinking about it. I tend to look at chicken as my
dinner and not all the horror that it took to get it to the
supermarket. I would buy my chicken at bread and circus free
range chickens but I just can't afford and I think that is
what american thinks. I do anyway but beef freaks me out.

A.K. wrote:

The slaughter is on the increase,and the treatment is the
same--"Savage"...The cage size increase is laughable. How
can they be effective when no decrease of slaughter is
evident?

G.G. wrote:

I am a vegan, and I appreciate all of their work and
especially YOURS.

B.A. wrote:

Much more could be done but we are a nation that kills each
other as well as animals and it all is growing worse. I find
it all quite disgusting.

J.N. wrote:

I don't know anyone who has stopped eating meat products or
is at least thinking about not eating as much meat. Well, I
guess that evidence proves it.

S.R. wrote:

We need our own MEDIA. I still eat animal products, but
might change.

N.J. wrote:

People will continue to eat whatever they want when they
want it. I think the only way it will change is by impacting
the money people spend.

A.M. wrote:

Yes to both questions...My humble opinion is: More animals
are being tortured and slaughtered because we are growing as
a population. If the population would remain at a constant
number (everyone stopped popping out babies) I feel that the
number of animals tortured and slaughtered would fall. More
and more meat eaters and dairy consumers are becoming aware
of the cruelty and the attacks on their own health. I
personnally know people who may not have become vegetarians
or vegans but have reduced their consumption. With the
population explosion out of control...we can't reasonably
make sense of the numbers of slaughtered animals. We can
only continue to educate. The proper education by animal
rights activists (I am not agreeable to the violence or
nonsense by some) can make a difference and it is.

W.H. wrote:

They are making a difference in the sense that without them
things would be even worse. Now if we could get them to
consider the feeding of rendered feed (animal parts) to cows
and other non carniverous farm animals, and to protest it
and monitor it; we might be able to go back to enjoying our
animal protein dinners. Treating the animals badly, small
cages, the wrong type of feed, stress, fear (hard to avoid
completely, they knew when I was coming to fetch one of them
for dinner) and torture before killing them all contribute
to a negative change in the chemistry of the meat. Which is
not good for humans when we eat them. And just plain not
necessary. I know, you would probably call me an Animal-
Nazi. Be it as it may; I need to avoid food that is high in
sugar and carbohydrates. I do best on vegetables and beef,
chicken, turkey, fish etc. What I do NOT understand is
people fishing for sport and then throwing it back. If they
aren't going to eat it then leave it alone. I'm allergic to
milk, probably have been for the last 9 years and possibly
since early childhood. And, you'll love this, if I have
inherited my parents rogue genes, I'll probably end up
allergic to beef. Maybe I'll be forced to give up beef
before I get prions on the brain. I do not believe that my
genes are trying to protect the animals, but rather that the
genes are protecting me from what the (mega, corporate)
farmers are doing to the animals.

H.A. wrote:

According to the figures-NO. Too much political in-fighting.
It's all so disgusting and horrifying in its evil and
brutality, it turns my stomach, keeps me very depressed and
in loathe of other people...

B.S. wrote:

I am hearing about these movements...If they had not been
started I and no one else would have been aware of what is
happening.

F.H. wrote:

If we compare the number of animal rights activists with the
number of people that are aware of the atrocities, we know
that the voices of compassion are being heard, even though
they are not wholly being listened to. Change does not occur
over night. It takes time. It took Mary and me over 10 years
after we first heard the message to become vegan, and we've
been vegan more than 15 years. We need to keep a positive
attitude and keep telling the truth.

The number of dead chickens and turkeys are a tragedy, but
they don't tell the whole story. Perhaps if we look at the
slavery issue for comparison it will help, and we should
remember that not everyone was holding slaves to the extent
that they eat meat. The immorality of enslaving a fellow
human being eventually brought an end to slavery in the
western world. One day we will see the same thing happen
with farmed animals. There are two distinct and interrelated
aspects of flesh eating working to bringing it to an end:
the moral issue and the health issue. Just as the health
issue made a dramatic impact with smoking, it will
eventually happen with animal derived foods. We just need to
keep telling the truth.

D.A. wrote:

They make a little bit of a difference in making people
aware of animal abuse in the meat-, dairy- and fur
industries, but ultimately most people are not persuaded to
change their eating habits or lifestyle. Also, organisations
like PETA tend to turn people off with their sometimes
outrageous antics.

B.A. wrote:

I think they should keep trying. Finding your website has
made me stop drinking milk and trying to not eat turkey and
chicken...I really want to be a vegetarian,but it does take
time, like trying to quit smoking. Keep up the good work.

G.U. wrote:

G'Day Robert (Yes - I'm in Australia!) Animal rights
activists are making a difference. As people become more
aware of animal suffering they are more likely to act on it.
I, for example, went vego in 1967 but kept consuming dairy
products until I realised that they caused the same cruelty
as the meat industry. Education is the answer and that is
the aim of groups such as the Vegetarian/Vegan Society of
Queensland of which I am a member. I really appreciate your
work but I don't see the point of putting so many people
offside with your negative comments on AR people. How many
people, for example, have gone vego as a result of PETA's
work. Come on Robert - we're all on the same train/bus boat.


M.K. wrote:

God gaves charge to subdue the earth and use the things He
created that is kosher. Was not a lamb slain and the blood
applied to the door post? Were not the Priest allowed part
of the sacrafices for their food? The activist may be better
off doing something more meaningfull and productive.

S.C. wrote:

Are animal rights activists making a difference? Probably
not, unfortunately. Given these numbers, is this really a
question?

S.B. wrote:

I'm letting go of the meat and dairy diet for health reason,
not mainly because of the animal rights movement. I'm a part
of the baby boomer generation. I grew up on a farm, there
were quite a few animals. However I feel that those animals
were different than they are today, healthier. Our animals
had much open space in which to live their lives and to
grow. They had a life. The way that animals are treated
these days is not healthy for animals nor humans. When I see
cows in feedlots with no space to move and chickens
basically living on top of each other, I know it cannot be
healthy. At this point I've taken dairy and beef out of my
diet and hoping to go completely vegetarian by the end of
the year.

C.N. wrote:

They are making a difference - but just not as much as we
would like...The figures given, while quite depressing,
could have perhaps been worse if it wasn't for the work of
these groups. Also, the conditions in which these poor
creatures lived & died are slowly improving in some cases,
which those  figures alone do not show...Be interesting to
see what other's reckon...Keep up the great work!

K.T. wrote:

It appears that animal rights organizations are educating
people and possibly making some difference. I have noticed
that more high school and younger age children are
interested in animal rights and becoming a vegetarian than
when I was growing up.

When you look at the numbers, it just does not look like
they have made an impact. Perhaps the numbers would be even
higher if it were not for their efforts? Who knows. I will
say that most people who live in my part of the country
(lower midwest/bordering the south) people have a VERY
negative views of all but the most conservative of animal
welfare organizations. Some people support the local Humane
Society but that is usually the extent of it. "Kentucky
folks don't like them vegetarians and crazy animal
activists!"

J.M. wrote:

Everything seems to be about the almighty dollar. The
cheaper it is, the "better". The majority of America are
ignorant, unevolved, unaware gluttons. I'm glad to not be a
part of that!

J.O. wrote:

I think animal rights activists make a difference to some
people, and those either eat a lot less or no more, but
those that eat the huge quantities dilute the abstenence of
the others. In other words, I think the consumption went up
on the one's that won't open their minds, and negated the
strides of the others, the minority. Educating the public to
the alternatives is the answer! And getting them young.

That's it! Was my survey biased? Of course it was. I admit
it. This was more editorial than survey. I was shocked when
I saw USDA'a numbers, and realized that we are losing the
battle, big-time.

Many people wanted to know how much the American population
grew as chicken consumption increased. Fair comment. From
2002 through 2003, there were approximately 4 million births
in America, and 2.4 million deaths, for a net increase in
the population of 1.6 million persons. Last year, nearly 150
million more chickens were slaughtered in federally
inspected slaughterhouses than the previous year. USDA's
December poultry slaughter summary data was published
online.

 Page Source


Robert Cohen, author of:   MILK A-Z
(201-871-5871)
Executive Director (notmilkman@notmilk.com)
Dairy Education Board
http://www.notmilk.com


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