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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Sam Trethewey

Sam Trethewey

grew up farming down south and now commentates on agriculture across Australia
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READER COMMENTS

Farmer Brown
31/12/2013 2:54:06 AM

Nagev = Carnivore but not quite so catchy I suppose.
VivKay
31/12/2013 5:36:25 AM

Animals Australia are not a vegan group. That's what Animal Liberation would be, abolitionists. Animals Australia is a peak animal welfare group trying to negotiate with governments to bring an end to the horrific treatment to livestock, exposing live exports and factory farming. While a lot of their members would be vegan and vegetarian, their job is not to close down livestock industries, but to be the watchdog and ensure high standards of welfare.
Territory Paul
31/12/2013 6:46:50 AM

VivKay your comment above is not true, Ainimals Australia put a great amount of pressure on the weak Federal Government of the day to ban live export of cattle to Indonesia after a poorly researched second rate program on 4 corners. There is absolutely no evidence of horrific illtreatment of livestock to any of our markets and the slaughtering process is generally of a very high standard
THE FARMER
31/12/2013 7:41:46 AM

AA is full of the meat is murder brigade .Zealots with megaphones , spare us please . It's worse then the god botherers .
Rohan Williams
31/12/2013 7:59:25 AM

VivKay, Numerous times I have seen clear messages from Animals Australia promoting veganism. Therefore, in my opinion, they are simply another vegan group. As far as a peak group, Animals Australia are far from it although of course they claim to be some sort of authority on animal welfare. Self proclamation does not designate any level of authority or "peak" status. Animals Australia has a clear objective to shut down animal industries Australia wide. Many of their ill conceived campaigns can only have this as their primary focus.
animal activist
31/12/2013 8:07:45 AM

of course this whole 'debate' is all about one thing, destroying demand for meat both passively and through direct govt manipulation of the economic of meat production. meat farmers beware. your profitability is in our sights and we have a very good aim these days
rgovett
31/12/2013 8:21:09 AM

Seriously, news must be slow today. You may be surprised at the amount of everyday people who oppose the ongoing cruelty associated with the meat industry, people of various lifestyle and eating choices.This attempt to lay all opposition at the feet of AA is simply ludicrous, transparent and outright uninformed. They are not your enemy, your practices and unwillingness to change are. You wont scare everyday people away from questioning cruel practices by treating them as extremists, you only alienate them more. Get smart, make changes, acknowledge that change needs to happen. Simple as that.
Jen from the Bush
31/12/2013 9:12:58 AM

Vivkay etc you are a bunch of hypocrites. How dare you point finger at farmers when your own history is full of horrific treatment to pets. 70,000 pets are killed ever year by rspca alone - not counting councils! These are thrown out of your loungerooms to starve on the streets or to escape to the bush where they kill out our beautiful Au wildlife. Your history is a very dirty bloody one. Clean it up before you attack someone else. Especially when you haven't a clue what you are talking about.
100% vegan
31/12/2013 9:20:13 AM

Only a matter of time til people cant afford meat anyway despite farmers not being able to book a profit. You think this is a free market phenomena?? It is the hand of global government weaning you all off meat. The world cannot afford to have 7 billion meateaters. It back to porridge and rice folks.
daw
31/12/2013 10:16:12 AM

AA & rgovett farmers aren't trying to scare people away from cruelty, that seems to be your aim. Nearly all people abhor cruelty but when it comes down to reality most people will satisfy their tastes & hunger 1st. Most will also question what U 'libbers' call cruelty. Putting cattle in a pen on a ship with more feed & water than they can consume doesn't classify as cruelty to most people. A lion in Africa catching & killing a gazelle is seen as cruel but accepted as a part of nature. Man's methods of slaughter are mostly much more humane. Those that aren't are to be condemned.
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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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