What the meat industry fears the most

Now and then it’s quite interesting to read some stuff written by our “opposition”: the meat industry. It can be quite insightful to learn what they think about the animal rights/vegan movement and how they perceive us.

From what I have read, I feel they are the most afraid of the “moderates”. The animal abuse industry is the least at ease when our movement, our groups, our activists are smart, strategic and realistic. They are not afraid of the more “radical” part of our movement. They are afraid of the groups and activists who voice reasonable demands which the public might be open to and act on.

belly of the beast
(c) Rollingstone.com

Here’s an article from Pork Network. It’s about our movement’s outreach (especially in the US) towards religious groups, but I found this passage particularly interesting:

Activist groups realize that a simple “go vegan” message does not resonate with the average consumer. To achieve their goal, they instead “scale back” their demands – rather than pushing people to abandon eating meat altogether, animal rights activist groups portray themselves as focused on animal welfare and advocate for changes that they deem to be “more humane” in how meat and poultry are produced. Of course, the intent is to make livestock production increasingly more difficult and expensive. These groups will continue to move the goal post of what they consider to be acceptable until animal agriculture is no longer sustainable.

Of course, we are not deceiftul like the author portrays us here. Framing a message, adapting to our audience, thinking up smart baselines and campaigns are things that any movement and any commercial company have to do. And we usually are clear about our end goal – at least when people ask for it. For the rest, this analysis is I think quite on point.

Another interesting article is one about the meat industry’s infiltration (in the form of two interns) at the 2015 Animal Rights congres in Washington DC (we may safely assume they do this every year). In a similar vein as the commentary above, the author writes:

Another encouraged activists to look at every action as a stepping stone, to scale back their initial demands to something acceptable and then build on each small victory toward the end goal. (…) This strategy really hit home to me as I scanned through the report, as we’ve had a few fresh examples of its success hitting the news wires.

It seems that the meat industry itself confirms that incremental action works and is dangerous for their livelihood. Learn from them 🙂


See also: what the meat industry can do against the animal rights movement



12 thoughts on “What the meat industry fears the most

  1. Silly Tobias. Once again, you think it is important to be effective at creating change. Change is meaningless unless we get everything we want RIGHT NOW! Pure veganism OR NOTHING!

  2. Tobias:

    I was referred to your website by a vegan activist whose work I admire, and I’m so glad I now have the chance to read your thoughtful and informative posts. You are doing remarkable good for this cause–thank you!

    As it relates to today’s post, I’m heartened to see evidence that the animal ag industry recognizes (and rightly fears!) how powerful a pragmatic approach to animal advocacy can be. I do wish that all vegans could stand as a united front and not quibble about ideology and details such as the bone char in sugar. I’m sure the animal ag industry pumps its victory fist every time it sees vegans wagging fingers at one another. Let’s stick together! In the meantime, Tobias, thank you again for all you are doing.

  3. Thanks for including the links to the articles, Tobias. Like you, I also think it’s very interesting to check out what our “opposition” is thinking in response to our actions. I really hope that many other advocates will take a look at the articles, because they are not only insightful, but I found them to be very inspiring, too. Here is our opposition telling us in plain English the effects we are having on their industry and what is actually working to make that happen. It’s almost like the other team’s playbook falling right into your lap.

    Regarding the 2nd article you mentioned above, where the author references a report by “two young interns who were sent to “blend in” at the National Animal Rights Conference”, I found it very insightful that the author said this, “On the whole it was a chilling summary.” It’s inspiring for me to read that we are having a “chilling” effect! 🙂

    The author also thought this was worthy of noting from the report regarding workshops at the National Animal Rights Conference, “Another encouraged activists to look at every action as a stepping stone, to scale back their initial demands to something acceptable and then build on each small victory toward the end goal.”

    Chilling indeed! 🙂

    Do you by chance know if the report by “two young interns who were sent to “blend in” at the National Animal Rights Conference” is available online anywhere? No problem if you don’t. I’m starting to google and search for it myself, but just thought I’d ask if by chance you knew.

  4. Oh good grief…sorry, Tobias…I just realized that you noted the quote I noted in my comment.
    Do you know if your new blog will allow comments to be edited after you post them?
    I put white out on my screen here, but it’s not working… 🙂

      1. When you read it I will read your analysis. The report points in the oppossite direction of all of your theories and thinkings that I´ve read in your blog about this topic.

        According to the report the ‘realistic’ activists (they are willing to work with the system, they are not interested in radical changes, they are pragmatic, they criticize the radicals) are the perfect tool to divide and conquer the animal rights movement.

  5. I have read the three pages i see. If says continued on page 18 but i don’t have that page. So far i didn’t read in the article what you read in it. Could u maybe quote what you think contradicts my view?

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