Another year is underway and it hasn’t taken long for the orchestrated attempts to attack animal agriculture to be ratcheted up. Two weeks ago for example the Virginia State legislature was presented a resolution requested by the group Compassion Over Killing that would designate the last week in April each year as VegWeek throughout Virginia. The resolution went down to unanimous defeat, but it’s another example of what groups like the Animal Agriculture Alliance are fighting.
“In 1987 when we started the animal rights movement had just been in the United States for less than a decade and the focus prior to that had been on research animals. In the early 80’s we started seeing a real shift to farm animals and I would say farm animals are now the number 1 target of the animal rights movement.”
Kay Johnson Smith is the Animal Agriculture Alliance President and CEO. Her nonprofit organization tries to counter the misinformation inundating the non-farm public, including that of one group that raises over $100 million annually.
“Many of the groups and in particular groups like the Humane Society of the US portray themselves as being animal protection organizations, animal welfare organizations,” Johnson Smith said. “They fundraise on dogs and cats and most of their members think that that’s where they’re spending their money. Nothing could be further from the truth. HSUS in particular spends more money on legislative action and litigation against farmers and ranchers all across the country than they do on any sort of care for pets. Less than 1% of its funding goes toward any sort of direct animal care.”
The Animal Agriculture Alliance is a coalition of farmers, producer organizations, veterinarians, scientists, suppliers, packer-processors, private industry and retailers with a mission to communicate the important role of animal agriculture in the U.S. They offer many resources to help producers in their own communications, and much of the available material is free.
“We have everything from talking points on all these hot button issues, whether it’s animal welfare or the use of antibiotics, nutrition and the environment, all of the issues that get raised by activist groups. We have a lot of resources to help farmers and ranchers talk about these issues more succinctly.”
Those resources are at animalagalliance.org.[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2013/01/Animal-Ag-Alliance.mp3|titles=Animal Ag Alliance]Listen here for the full HAT interview with Kay Johnson Smith:[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2013/01/Kay-Johnson-Smith.mp3|titles=Kay Johnson Smith]