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Vegans Using A Much More Effective Strategy

I've long claimed that PETA must secretly work for the meat industry. Their radical, attention getting campaigns often seem designed to widen the rift between animal rights activists and the average person - burning effigies of Colonel Sanders, handing out Unhappy Meals full of torn up and bloodied stuffed animals, writing letters to Timothy McVeigh to convert to veganism before his execution - rather than increasing awareness of the inhumane conditions farm animals are subjected to. No reasonable person would expect to do this kind of stuff and expect anyone to be in the least interested in anything they might have to say afterwards, regardless of the truth of the message.

It's either this or they're just not very good strategists and also a bunch of freaks.

However, at long last, some shred of sense has surfaced from other groups.

Farm Sanctuary and other groups still know how to make the most of gory slaughterhouse footage from hidden cameras. The animals they call "rescued" -- some abandoned, some saved from natural disasters, some left for dead at slaughterhouses -- clearly started life as someone else's property.

But in recent years they have adopted more subtle tactics, like holding stock in major food corporations, organizing nimble political campaigns and lobbying lawmakers.


They don't demonize meat -- with the exception of foie gras and veal -- or the people who produce it. Instead, they use softer rhetoric, focusing on a campaign even committed carnivores can get behind: better conditions for farm animals.

"Instead of telling it like it is, we're learning to present things in a more moderate way," Baur said. "When it comes to this vegan ideal, that's an aspiration. Would I love everyone to be vegan? Yes. But we want to be respectful and not judgmental."

Temple Grandin, the animal science expert from Colorado State University who first led McDonald's executives on a tour of their suppliers' slaughterhouses, believes that activists had plenty of impact on changes in how farm animals are cared for.

"Activist pressure starts it because heat softens steel," she said.

Tank goff.

By min | July 25, 2007, 1:18 PM | Liberal Outrage