by Rex Runyon (WATT Ag Net)

It is no secret that there are far more animal activists organizations in the U.S. than agriculture has groups and resources to combat them. They are much better funded, with more staff, donations, and support, especially in monies, which are many millions of dollars over what agriculture has to commit.

The number of these animal welfare groups is staggering. Depending on which version you pull up on Wikipedia (I came across three different ones), you can find up to 90 such organizations. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals alone has 300 employees and boasts over two million members. Its slogan is “animals are not ours to eat, war, experiment and use for entertainment.” Its budget is over $32 million. By the way, on its website, PETA claims it is not an animal welfare group.

For some reason, Wikipedia does not even list the Humane Society of the United States on its lists of animal welfare groups. This is contrary to the group’s website. The HSUS boasts over $161 million in donations each year.

The Animal Liberation Front is an international group that engages in illegal actions to liberate animals. Among other things, they release animals from laboratories and farms, often destroying facilities. The Animal Liberation Brigade’s goal is “to destroy institutions, describing an endgame for animal abusers.” The Justice Department, formed in the U.K., attacks animal testing and research facilities, hunters and employs the use of bombs and other incendiary devises distributed by mail.

The Farm Sanctuary is a U.S. based group which promotes laws and policies that support vegetarianism. Its funding is over $5 million. United Poultry Concerns addresses treatment of chicken, ducks and turkeys. Its slogan is: “Birds are friends, not food. Turkeys are too neat to eat.”

We’ve known for years that modern agriculture certainly has had a battle on its hands. But, I call it a war. In my previous blog, I focused on the Animal Agriculture Alliance, which is doing a commendable job in standing up for agriculture.

The Alliance is the oldest and largest coalition speaking as a united voice for all of animal agriculture in the United States. The Alliance welcomes your involvement. Visit their website where you may also subscribe to the free monthly e-newsletter.

Finally, you might register for the Alliance’s upcoming Stakeholders Summit. It will be held May 2-3 in Arlington, Va. The Summit is truly a one-of-a-kind conference that is attended by a diverse group of decision makers, including representatives from farms, ranches, food processors, restaurants, grocery stores, legislators, universities and government agencies.

Why is this issue important to you? As the Alliance succinctly states, the future of modern agriculture production is in jeopardy as well as the livelihood of those who depend on it. Also at peril is the freedom for all consumers to choose the foods they want to eat.