College Campuses: Prime Focus of the Animal Rights Agenda

COLLEGE CAMPUSES: PRIME FOCUS OF THE ANIMAL RIGHTS AGENDA

Animal Rights College Campus   There I was, visiting a campus in Missouri on what was an unusually warm February afternoon. I passed the great buildings, beautiful fountains and monuments, and groups of smiling students celebrating the rarity of a non-frigid Missouri winter day. All these things compose the typical idea of what a university should look like. Memories abounded in remembrance of my past experiences in school. My smile quickly faded, however, as an individual none too younger than myself handed me a brightly colored pamphlet. On the front were two happy, youthful faces underneath the organization’s name, Vegan Outreach. They were touting the rewards of an animal-free lifestyle. On the average college campus you will undoubtedly find yourself bombarded with messaging coming from all directions. Certainly understandable, given that a majority of student bodies are comprised of young adults between the ages of 18-25. It is the age that we are most susceptible to new ways of thinking. We are encouraged to expand our horizons, to take in different views and beliefs and decide for ourselves if each one is acceptable. We are told to be our own people, to transcend the beliefs of our support structures. College campuses are supposed to breed this individualistic environment. Occasionally, the opposite happens. Overblown messaging from various organizations takes advantage of the college atmosphere. Under the cloak of “open mindedness” many will shove out reason and ultimately close the minds of our youth to practicality and sense. Instead of encouraging the independence of the students some organizations wish to turn them into activist clones. Numerous groups look to bring in new members to their ranks through unethical methods of messaging and protest. Arguably one of these movements that is most guilty of this behavior is the Animal Rights camp. They have honed their skill of manipulation and exploitation through the use of celebrity branding, sexualization, and emotional imagery, all meant to leave a loud and lasting impression. Then they sculpt these young adults in their likeness, feed them lies, and set them loose on the world to put the rest of us at risk because of their absurd ideologies. Just walking from one building to another a student could be handed multiple flyers that tell about the plight of animals. They quote papers from before the students were born, use decade old statistics and gruesome pictures to manipulate the minds of the next generation in an effort to make them feel as if they have a duty to stand up for the supposed rights of a chicken or a pig. (At this point, it would be prudent to point out that an overwhelming majority of Americans share the belief in caring for animal welfare; but, welfare does not equal rights, and it is important to make that distinction.) They hand out pamphlets with attractive women in spandex and professional athletes who supposedly haven’t eaten meat in years. Sure, we believe you Mr. and Mrs. Perfect Abs, photoshop was not involved (wink). These organizations play to every stereotypical influence they can think of. “Awww, that poor baby pig named Lilly looks like she is crying,” or “I want to be just like that girl because she looks amazing in very little clothing.” They tell these young people that they won’t look good or have friends unless they drop meat. They’re telling them to care about sheep, but in reality are just turning them into sheep. Animal rights activists on college campuses assume that these individuals are preternaturally gullible. Groups like PETA2 (the youth offshoot of PETA), HSUS, and Vegan Outreach believe that simply because Ryan Gosling or Samantha Barks says you shouldn’t eat meat or use other animal products that our youth will fall in line and preach for the liberation of animals. Some activist movements like the 10 Billion Lives Tour, part of the Farm Animal Rights Movement, wish to put even more pressure on students. They wrap up all of their advertising tricks into a short video and pay, yes pay, students to watch it. Instead of spending the donations of their supporters on actually helping animals, they offer cash rewards for sitting through their digitally re-mastered versions of factory farms. Of course, the videos ignore all of the facts and positive aspects of modern agriculture like feeding billions, being scientifically proven to help the environment, and prevent disease in animals, but I digress… College should be a place where students look to find their own beliefs and be individuals; some groups would just prefer to buy your views. Might as well skip college, visit the PETA2 website (which is geared towards teens and young adults), and you will learn all you need to know, right? Lesson 1: Sea World and McDonalds are ruining America and someone should get more publicity for adopting a dog than adopting a child. Yeah, that makes sense. In some schools you can actually find a class that teaches along those same lines. At the largest research university in Virginia, George Mason, they let a self-described animal activist named Professor Paul C. Gorski teach a course titledAnimal Rights as Ecofeminism.” He not only believes that eating meat perpetuates racism and harms women’s rights, but that the concept of milk being healthy to drink is the result of a powerful dairy lobby in Congress. My advice would be to check the local psych wards for an escaped patient. Students are instructed to admit their exploitation of animals and minority groups and are expected to create their own animal rights campaigns. They are even required to have an “action” portion in their campaign where they are graded on their protesting demonstrations. This is just one example of how some animal rights activists are prying their fingers into these once upstanding institutions and using their positions to negatively influence young minds. When they can’t accomplish their objectives through relatively tame methods of manipulation, animal rights activists have been known to get violent. One example of the many horrific actions of these groups comes from the University of California in Los Angeles, where in 2009 researchers who used animals in their testing had their houses firebombed by local animal rights activists. We often see extremists attack their own kind to save an animal or two; if they truly care about animal safety, perhaps they should look towards liberating the domestic animals from PETA’s kill shelters. It seems as we delve deeper into research about the methods of some of these extremists, the image of the concerned activist may, in some cases, be a thinly-veiled attempt to hide more deranged, sociopathic tendencies. It becomes easily apparent that these activists care less about these young individuals becoming successful, open-minded individuals (like they say), and more about creating thousands of puppets that they can use to influence legislation about animals, which will ultimately hurt American agriculture, sportsmen, consumers, producers, and any other group that stands in their way. On the average college campus, you will find more flyers and more college age students handing them out every single day. Our once most intellectual of institutions have been turned into activist factories that mass produce radicalism and ignorance. This brings us to the worst part of the whole scenario. Due to naivety on the part of our youth, or simply lack of opposition to radicals at the collegiate level, many of these messages stick. We would like to believe it is because of the latter. So how do we fix this and return our institutions to the great academic monuments they once were? Well, it depends on a strong response. We will never stoop to the fire-bombing and grade sabotaging methods of the activists. Ideally, the cure lies with education. We still hold the belief that students are capable of thinking for themselves. If we can demonstrate the practical flaws in animal rights activists’ views the rational minds of individuals will prevail. And if that doesn't work? I've got a lead on some fancy flyers we can hand out.  

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