(and here’s how we’ll win).
Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, a traditional “No Kill” dog and cat rescue group headquartered in Asheville, NC, has just been labeled “the most ambitious animal rescue group in the history of the world,” by animal watchdog group, Animals 24-7, formerly Animal People Magazine.
It’s an intentional mockery of Brother Wolf’s just-launched campaign, Save The Animals, Save The Earth, where Brother Wolf asks fellow animal lovers and animal rescuers to sign their petition if folks agree that “all animal rescue groups in the U.S, should now adopt a public vegan policy”.
The basis of the petition is that “global animal agriculture (to which Brother Wolf assigns the acronym, “GAAg”), is the leading cause of a mass extinction event now underway, where scientists say we’re now losing up to 200 species everyday, which is 100 – 1,000X the normal ‘background’ extinction rate.” Brother Wolf cites scientific research that identifies global deforestation, rainforest depletion and climate change as the leading causes of this extinction crisis– and further research that determines global animal agriculture (GAAg) as the leading driver of all these issues.
Brother Wolf pulls all the science together to support the core claim that it’s actually the customers of GAAg– the meat and dairy consumers– who “are driving the dual planetary crises of both climate change and mass species extinction,” and concludes, that “meat and dairy consumers are the single most destructive force on Earth.”
“Meat and Dairy Consumers are the single most destructive force on Earth.”
Ouch. But, the evidence is pretty damning. According to the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global animal agriculture now utilizes 57% of all land used by humans– to graze farmed animals and to grow feed crops for farmed animals. So it’s not much of a stretch to connect the dots and conclude that clearing all that land to feed meat and dairy consumers has completely decimated all the native wildlife populations that once lived on all those lands.
For a brief (one-page!) summary of the claims and research citations, you can review the Campaign Fact Sheet. And for a more in-depth explanation of the science and reasons why Brother Wolf launched this campaign, you can read the “Campaign Case Statement.” Both documents are available for download on the Campaign Website.
So, what is this Animals 24-7 article really saying about Brother Wolf’s campaign?
“It’s all been tried before…”
That’s basically what the Animals 24-7 article says in their sorta veiled insult of Brother Wolf’s efforts: “It’s already been tried before…animal rights activists in the 1970s claimed that species extinction was being driven by (GAAg), and that (at the very least) all the big animal welfare groups should promote a vegan policy, which they did/do not..so it didn’t work back then.., etc.”
“…and turns out, it’s really not THAT bad for wildlife…”
The article spins further: it turns out all this worry about wildlife extinctions is “just based on ‘computer modeling’” (stupid computers), and in fact, “we’re discovering more new species now than ever before, so technically biodiversity is actually on the rise!”
“but still, good on them for trying.”
“Perhaps the timing is finally right,” the writer muses, but (seriously folks), “can Brother Wolf succeed when millions of donors contributing hundreds of millions of dollars to actual vegan and vegetarian charities has not?” (Pffft..)
What’s going on here? Intentional or not, the article reinforces the basic (meticulously constructed)* mindset of most mainstream Americans about most all our problems: “yeah, things are bad, but not as bad as some claim; even so, it can’t be fixed anyway- it’s been tried; good on them for trying, but nothing to see here; move along.”
Here’s another example article with a slight variation on the formula above. See if you can spot it.
This little gem is from the masters of irony at the
IFLPropaganda! IFLScience! website who ask, “Would Everyone In The United States Going Vegan Help Prevent Climate Change?”
They set up the reader early on with, “you’d think greenhouse gasses (GHGs) would fall by at least half (right?).” But according to “research” it’s only a (lame) 28% reduction in GHGs from GAAg. (Wah wah…).
On spins the article– “without all the farm animals to eat the agricultural waste” (corn stalks, etc), “we’d probably have to burn it all…” releasing more GHGs into the air (more!). PLUS, all the crops for all the new vegans would now require even more synthetic fertilizers (aw man, more carbon and more nitrogen pollution, too?!), because we wouldn’t have all the surplus manure we now have from all the farmed animals.
Of course, the folks at IFLScience! are leaving out some really critical bits of, er, science, namely: (1) they neglect to reveal that the sole “research” they cite is produced by GAAg industry insiders, but you probably already guessed that, right? And (2) we wouldn’t have to burn all the corn husks, etc. – not really. For example, we could use the “agricultural waste” as “compost” for veganic agriculture. Sorta like the rainforests do, which are the lushest vegetation in the world…
If you really FL science you could go even further and infer that (3) going vegan would actually greatly reduce the use of synthetic fertilizers, as well as virtually eliminate the 335 MILLION TONS of manure (pun intended) from farmed animals every year. This would pretty much end such ocean dead zones as the record dead zone now in the Gulf of Mexico caused almost entirely by GAAg.
And if you really, really FL science you could (4) make the next leap that “probably” the GAAg-sponsored “research” has conveniently ignored all the GHG contributions of all the imported meat and feed crops the U.S. currently imports from other nations. It’s a bunch, and those savings should also be counted in the vegan scenario. So, including all the imports then, “you’d think GHG emissions would fall by at least half (right?).” Yeah, indeed they probably would, and more.
Instead, the IFLScience! folks triple-down on their full endorsement of the GAAg-industry propaganda, quoting the researchers’ claim that with a transition to the vegan diet, new vegan consumers would soon be deficient “in key nutrients such as calcium, vitamins A and B12, and some fatty acids.”
Of course, (5) they ignore some important sciencey best practices here such as the fact that GAAg industry researchers are not experts in human nutrition. Not to mention the fact that (6) the American Dietetic Association has long since declared the vegan diet as “appropriate for all stages of the human life-cycle including during pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence.”
Finally, at the end of their article, after completely avoiding any real science (or journalism), the IFLScience! folks dutifully deliver the final dose of doubt that GAAg so desperately wants held in the mindset of mainstream Americans, basically this: “Yeah, meat may be bad for the environment, but it’s not THAT bad because going vegan is not as good as vegans “would like to believe”; sure it has some environmental benefits- but vegans aren’t very healthy, so… nothing to see here; move along.”
This sort of pseudoscience propaganda by GAAg is now ubiquitous in most all mainstream reporting and research on GAAg impacts to the environment, especially regarding climate change impacts.
Such conflating of half-truths only serve to perpetuate the one big ongoing lie that GAAg wants us consumers to believe: that meat ain’t so bad because going vegan ain’t so good.
Here’s all we’re saying: the world’s leading, science-based analysis on wildlife biodiversity proves that wildlife populations have declined by about 70% since 1970. That we’re now losing up to 200 species every day, and that by all indications, those trends will continue unabated at least for the near-term and lead to catastrophic losses in Earth’s wildlife populations (>90%) by 2025. That’s less than 10 years away.
We’re acknowledging that the energy sector most definitely needs to keep working toward renewable energies to mitigate long-term carbon emissions, but we’re saying that solar panels and windmills will not save our wildlife and oceans now.
We’re saying we cannot depend on government or GAAg to lead the way. Nor can we depend on mainstream media to challenge their leadership and corruption.
We’re saying that the change needed now must come from a grassroots consumer movement. That the transition to a vegan diet is the single most effective change an individual can make to help forestall mass species extinctions and help mitigate climate change near-term.
And long-term, we’re saying that if just half the folks who now eat meat and dairy would transition to a vegan diet, it would pave the way to reforest enough land to sequester more CO2 than humans have put into the atmosphere in the past 200 years.
We’re saying that this is the single most urgent issue in the history of the animal welfare movement. And we’re also acknowledging that it’s a crisis of leadership for our movement, because the #1 cause of this tragedy is the +90% of our donor base who are meat and dairy consumers.
However, we’re acknowledging that 85% of Americans agree that the cause most favorable to Americans is animal welfare. And, we’re saying that this presents an unprecedented leadership opportunity for our movement.
We’re saying that the big national animal welfare groups like HSUS, ASPCA, MFA, and Best Friends Animal Society must now step up and lead our movement to encourage all animal welfare groups to adopt a public vegan policy at this most urgent moment in human history.
We’re not saying everyone has to go vegan overnight. We’re acknowledging that social change research proves we only need a committed vocal minority of just 10% of the population to rapidly reverse prevailing majority opinion among meat and dairy consumers.
We’re saying that if the leadership in our movement will step up and lead on this urgent opportunity, our colleagues and our donors will follow– that’s how we win this for the animals, for the Earth, and for us.
That’s all we’re saying.
If you haven’t yet signed our petition to encourage all animal welfare groups to adopt a public vegan policy, please click here, sign and share the petition, and work it like there’s no tomorrow. Thank you.