Activists Using COVID-19 Crisis to Attack Ag Animal Industry
Amanda Radke, a fifth-generation rancher from Mitchell, South Dakota, and blogger for Beef Magazine, tackled the issue of animal rights activists during her presentation last week on the virtual ONE: Alltech Ideas Conference. Radke says the activists are using the coronavirus crisis as an excuse to attack the agriculture animal industry.
“These bad actors have been busy chipping away at our freedoms to own and use livestock and animals in food, medicine, research and more” said Radke. "These groups have targeted U.S. meat producers and their federal aid support claiming that only plant-based producers that produce sustainable and climate friendly foods should be allowed anything in the stimulus package.”
Radke says when the stock market dived early in the crisis, the groups purchased stocks in high end clothing companies with the hope to have the leverage to ban wool and fur in the future.
She says they also pushed to eliminate the use of animals in research as scientists work to find treatments and vaccines for the coronavirus.
"Perhaps must awful of all, they’ve written editorials that blame meat eating and animal production on the coronavirus" said Radke. "If you’re not fired up about this now, it’s time to wake up to the very real threat of these extremist on our future in animal agriculture and as meat eaters.”
The reality is much of the animal criticism is falling on deaf ears as consumers have shown a great desire to purchase animal protein. Radke said research indicates consumers are stocking up on essential food items.
"Forty-seven percent of consumers are stocking up on essential items with 78 percent saying that doing so made them feel safer" said Radke. "Three-fourths of respondents said that they had difficulty finding chicken and other meats, as well as bread, eggs and milk when they went grocery shopping.”
She encouraged beef producers to be a reliable source of credible information.