|By Robert Cohen Executive Director|
Two question animal rights survey
Please answer yes or no to today's two-question survey, and send back your responses via email to: email@example.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
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Dairy Education Board
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