Activists' new recruits

Companies targeting children is something we’re all too familiar with in western society

EVER heard of a nagev? I hadn’t either till recently.

Apparently a nagev is defined as:

Nagev noun 1. vegan spelt backwards; a term for someone who primarily eats meat while avoiding fruits, vegetables, and other products that come from plants. Example: Stephanie, being a strict nagev will eat a beef burger patty with cheese and no bun, sauce or lettuce, etc. Her clothes are either wool or leather, never cotton.

If they exist, nagevs must be very few and far between, only marginally outnumbered by vegans it would seem as vegans don’t quite make up 1 per cent of Australia’s population. A mere pimple of sorts that often attempts to blemish the skin of Australian agriculture.

Prior to Santa’s visit, the vegan group Animals Australia were jumping up and down about the traditional ham we serve at Christmas. Their half-baked campaign, Pardon a Pig reportedly pardoned 45,829 pigs this Christmas. With no asterisk next to the number, it’s a bold claim to make just days after the 25th to advertise. Vague claims are also served up at Christmas it seems.

If Pardon a Pig sounds familiar, you may remember PETA pushing Pardon a Turkey for Thanksgiving in the US, and where PETA goes, Animals Australia apparently must follow.

PETA’s slogan “If you wouldn’t eat your dog, why eat a turkey? Go Vegan” sat next to a picture of a turkey with a dog’s head. It was an image really only amusing to children, but that was the point. This ad was hosted by billboards around schools across North America.

"Children have a natural compassion for animals," said project manager Alicia Woempner. What a thing to capitalise on, PETAkids.com is in full swing.

Companies targeting children is something we’re all too familiar with in western society. McDonalds mastered it in the ‘80s and ‘90s with Ronald McDonald, Grimace, Birdie and the Hamburglar.

On a different level and with the positive intention of encouraging children to start saving and understand the value of money, banks also use targeted campaigns and kid-friendly characters in promotions.

So it’s perhaps no surprise that Animals Australia developed its Unleashed website aimed at young people.

This carrot (not cheese of course) is dangled in the hope of not just stopping younger generations from eating meat, eggs, dairy and wearing leather but laying the foundations for activism. When I say activism, I’m not on some anti-vegan hate-train. They say it themselves - “Join the Activist challenge”, “Take action” and “Become a Super-Activist”. You can even sign up and receive an “Activist pack”, complete with leaflets, techniques and a list of tasks or “to do list” for setting up your own stall, street campaign or online attack.

The website is packaged as well as any other “youth” site you’ll find. It has a list of celebrities that “lead the movement” and you can order free stickers with cute eye-catching cartoons of animals with slogans like “kicking ass for animals” (I presume they’re not talking about donkeys), “I’m NOT shoes – give leather the boot” and “Why love one and eat another”.

Unleashed is no doubt a valued tool for vegan adults with children. It reassures kids, at an age when they’re searching for identity, that being vegan is cool and there’s a strong support network of like-minded people.

Most of the kids that log onto to Unleashed are encouraged to endlessly judge and harass others with their self-righteous fluff about the evils of animal products.

Of course, not all vegans are flag-waving activists with a love for megaphones. Some are in fact hushed herbivores that just get on with it.

But it’s alarming when a website like Unleashed sets out to condition the malleable and innocent minds of children. These juveniles will go onto to rattle their cans for donations, live and breathe the cause and resent anyone who doesn’t agree.

Thankfully this pimple of sorts is half the size they think it is on Australian agriculture, and it’s not just about their antics affecting the incomes, livelihoods and families in agriculture, but the questioning of our right to farm at all.

Town or country, we must continue to be vigilant about what “messages” our children absorb, as the reconnaissance these groups are on seems to know no moral bounds.

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FarmOnline
Sam Trethewey

Sam Trethewey

grew up farming down south and now commentates on agriculture across Australia
Date: Newest first | Oldest first

READER COMMENTS

a GRAZIER
31/12/2013 10:59:54 AM

Agree with Rohan Williams. Animals Australia is nothing more than an animal rights group with an underlying vegan element desperate to stop meat production. They are attempting to achieve this object by misleading the public with unsubstantiated horrendously gory footage that is paraded triumphantly through the media, implying that all exported animals, intensively farmed animals, & indeed most livestock, are treated in this manner, whilst painting animal producers as evil torturers & murderers. Then rattling their money tins for donations under the banner of "animal welfare". Simple as that.
rgovett
31/12/2013 12:18:06 PM

And there we have it. Your response to my comment just proves my point daw. Thanks for the confirmation and the perfect example about name calling and not listening.
sceptic
31/12/2013 12:58:31 PM

What a load of rubbish! Perhaps the author should speak to the real people who make up the numbers in AA. I am not a vegan, in fact I am a meat eater and have farmed for many years, but I hate to see the cruelty that is Live Export. What exactly do AA hope to achieve by stopping LE other than saving millions of animals from the butchery of overseas slaughter houses???
Suzanne Cass
31/12/2013 1:39:17 PM

It speaks volumes that you people are so threatened by that.
Barker
31/12/2013 2:24:58 PM

Cruel heartless people. Seems that those who export these unfortunate animals are just as uncaring as those who import them. Live ex is needless animal cruelty.
ben jensen
31/12/2013 5:57:51 PM

VivKay, when are you animal activists going to grow out of your childhood state? Then you might come to realise animals were put on earth for food and fibre. Cattle, sheep and many other animals are bred to be slaughtered for human consumption. Get used to it and spare the majority of humanity the pointlessness and immaturity of your opposition to what is natural and meant to be. Discover the real purpose of existence.
argis
31/12/2013 6:04:35 PM

If any of the animal activist groups wish to protest, that is fine by me. Not that I will bother too much about their ridiculous opposition to the slaughter of animals for human consumption. What I am totally opposed to, is them getting one cent or more of taxpayers money to help them. I will campaign against any Government foolish enough to waste one cent on them. If they want to protest do it in your own time and with your own money. I have had a gutful of handouts to protest and lobby groups, who produce nothing for our economy, or destroy good parts of it.
Sheepo
31/12/2013 7:55:29 PM

Never give an inch to the various agroterrorist vegan protest companies.If they get their way on live ex(obviously they won't)they'll start on Aus slaughter.The gov is going to slowly strangle their free ride they've had under the greens/labor.The empty heads in the inner city and loser uni students will move onto their next fad.There will always be the diehards who will want us all to eat Lucerne though.Balls to them.I haven't spent a million years evolving to the top of the food chain to eat nuts and grass thanks.
Mary Vegan
1/01/2014 5:31:50 AM

We need Animals Australia. Human populations have soared over recent decades, and so has the demand for meat, milk and eggs. The pressure is on animals to produce more, live shorter and more "productive" lives, and live in confined spaces. Food security is a global issue, that these pressures mean that animals have shorter lifecycles and are under factory-style pressure to produce more and more outputs. Land is being grabbed for grazing and crops to feed the animals in factory farms, largely for developed countries. Animals are bearing the brunt in this rush to feed a hungry planet.
Rohan Williams
1/01/2014 12:57:26 PM

Sceptic. It is comments like that from people like you that feed the untrustworthy monster that are animal rights groups. If you have farmed for many years and still truly believe that Australian livestock are intentionally sent into grievously horrid abattoirs habitually, then you need to take stock. Just have a serious think about it.
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Get MuddyTo think clearly in farming and about farming, you need to get muddy - commit, roll up your sleeves and get involved. SAM TRETHEWEY gets stuck into some of the issues facing those on the land.

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