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

Hungry?
6/02/2014 10:22:48 PM

Interestingly,Sam has not even mentioned LE in this article. I think a few above should actually bother reading the above before jumping on their high horse! Never one to miss an opertunity is the AA /vegan scaremonger campaign ! Perhaps it is the ARA cult agenda that is feeling besieged ,and rightly so.I can't for the life of me understand why anyone would even give their spitle lip service!
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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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