HITLER once said: “Demoralize the enemy from within by surprise, terror, sabotage...” - sounds like the core values of an animal activist group to me.
The leaders of these animal rights groups are hell-bent on indoctrinating people through campaigns driven by guerrilla-style reconnaissance, hidden agendas and - when that all fails - outright lying.
Animal rights proponents say animals are not property, entitled to certain rights - that in many ways, humans and animals are equal.
I wish it stopped there, but it seems they can’t achieve their point without metaphorically getting blood on their hands: sometimes animal blood, sometimes human. But even some of their followers are starting to wake up to the one-eyed views that are often laden with fibs.
Their disdain for the men and woman who farm animals for consumption is so bitter it obliterates any compassion for farmers, families and communities.
Just last Sunday, ABC's Landline ran an investigation on how Animals Australia influenced Victorian government authorities to quickly shut down a small family-run abattoir that for 60 years had processed cattle, sheep, pigs and goats.
The cruelty allegations and consequent knee-jerk closure hit the local community hard. When facing court, the prosecutors dropped the charges - too late for the devastated abattoir owners and the local producers who relied on them.
An incident with a sledgehammmer was a primary focus of the cruelty charges. A runaway pig was killed by blows to the head with a sledgehammer - allowable under industry regulations in certain circumstances, but an abomination to the activist group.
It sounds brutal, but it was effective and legal - and was consequently the first charge dropped.
The Giles family profiled on Landline's "Overkill" program invited "Kate" into their business, and gladly showed her around. They had nothing to hide. "Kate" (activist Sarah Lynch) hid her identity and intentions. Her story for Animals Australia was rife with perjury. The Giles family have lost everything, and the closure of their business has dramatically affected several other local businesses, including a free-range pork producer.
Virtually every Australian farmer would open up his or her books and farm, but you’ll never see that sort of honesty by these animal rights groups.
These days, Facebook is a forum where people and organisations have two-way conversations. However in the case of some animal rights groups it’s one way: censored and manipulated.
Instead of using it as a place to learn, teach and be effective, it’s used to harden their stance and slag off others who don’t agree.
Last week, the Ban Live Export group posted an article that titled “GRAZING of beef cattle in central & northern Australia unsustainable & illegal”. Illegal?
Catherine Marriott, a highly regarded figure in the agriculture industry with knowledge and experience in the north, challenged the group. She posted a short comment that stated grazing was not illegal, and that the unfair claim would mislead followers.
Her comment was deleted. And she was barred from the page.
This scenario is very common. On the same post when the conversation shifted off live export on to the pros and cons of boxed beef in places like Indonesia, one women who apparently works in workplace education and training in Moonah, Hobart posted: “Frankly, I don't care if any of them in these foreign hellholes starve (they deserve to)”.
This comment wasn’t deleted. It's still there and has been “liked” by several people.
If animal rights groups are accurate and deliver a confident message, why can’t they tolerate being challenged? Comments that test or bring into question their cause are instantly deleted and users often barred, even when those comments are rational and well-mannered.
So what is their end game? Is it to reform and ensure best practices are in place? Or are they here to blindly shut down industries like live export? Even when they’re done there, they’ll find something else. Because at the core, their motivation is not what we see in their campaigns, but veganism.
Thankfully, their extremist views and guerrilla tactics are unsustainable at a global level. When 100 million wealthy Asians in the next 25 years want meat, these “first-world problem” groups will be looked back on as a speed-bump on the road to productivity in feeding and clothing billions.
I don’t know a single farmer who would tolerate animal cruelty, “wilfully, knowingly or enjoying to cause pain or distress to animals for no reason”. The word “cruel” is flung around by these groups, but what they really mean is kill. Their beef is that killing is wrong, fullstop.
Let's give credit instead to campaigns that target real animal issues, like fighting for caged bears and stopping trophy hunting in Africa. However, campaigns that wilfully destroy lives and livelihoods over misguided ideas of animal management should not be applauded. To donate to a legal fighting fund for the Giles family, visit www.mycause.com.au.