Dear Animal Rights Organizations,
After becoming aware of and deeply disturbed by the suffering of animals in factory farms, I sought out organizations that would help me agitate against agri-business. I donated to the Humane Society of the United States, Farm Sanctuary, and Compassion over Cruelty. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals was next on my list, but I think that organization would have the same shortcomings as I am about to express with regard to the others.
The tried and true approaches to change, which all rights movements have used, are lacking in improving the lot of millions of suffering farm animals. When I contributed to the above-named organizations and got on mailing lists, I was ready to join the legislative lobbying campaign for a federal bill to prevent cruelty to farmed animals, to show up at the pig factory in Iowa to protest, to travel to the gathering on a lawn hosted by Ellen Degeneris and Peter Dinklage and Beyonce to raise awareness about the suffering of farm animals. None of that, nothing similar, nothing at all pro-active politically or far-reaching in the media to raise awareness is in the works. Instead what I found as the strategy for farmed animals is promoting vegetarianism, one person at a time. I am a vegetarian and am glad to promote it, but that is not going to be at all effective to change the practices of factory farms and slaughterhouses.
Where are the full page adds in major newspapers? Why didn’t the recent story about factory farmed chickens present a great opportunity to attack the practices of raising them in metal warehouses? Talking about the disease in the chickens and avoiding the issue of how they live and die is like investigating boll weevils in the cotton while ignoring the conditions of the slaves who picked it.
Please give people like me a change to act and to act in ways that get attention—without that chance, however much we hand out vegan recipes and remain positive we will have to live our lives knowing that every minute that passes marks a universe of unaddressed suffering.