This last week there was a significant skirmish between the farming community and Animals Australia (AA) and the supermarket giant, Coles. Farmers rightly took umbrage at Coles aligning itself with AA by contributing funding for this animals rights group that has a record of attacking family farmers.
Farmers are notorious for not working together not only between the different agricultural sectors but even within. This lack of unity has often made the farming community easy pickings by those who wish to attack them. This last week has been a lesson of what can be achieved when the farming community pulls together. It also clearly demonstrates the power of social media. It was not only those directly under attack in AA's latest campaign, the pork and poultry industries, but farmers right across all farming production system rose up and said enough is enough.
Below is a snapshot of the last week from four different sources.
Animals Australia - The Wolf Amongst the Sheep by Bess Gairns
Coles retreats at bush boycott by: SUE NEALES, Rural reporter From: The AustralianAnimals Australia has waged open and unrelenting campaigns against Australia’s agricultural sector as well as the culture and history of our rural communities.
Currently 10 of the 16 campaigns that Animals Australia are engaged in are directly aimed at Rural Australia. From the banning of culls and controls of feral animals such as foxes, cats and pigs, to the use of kangaroos for meat and hide, the use of sheep for wool, right through to their greatest conquest to date, Live Export.
So what’s the big deal? Why do farmers cry ‘wolf’ every time Animals Australia appears on 4 corners?
Most farmers would agree that Animals Australia gets up their nose for two big, undeniable reasons…
Firstly, they are a lobby group. All the funds raised by animals Australia are poured directly back into more marketing, advertising and political lobbying. Animals Australia DO NOT have a single animal shelter or refuge. They DO NOT promote education within our community or abroad, instead their funds are utilised to carry out ‘undercover’ investigations and to spread propaganda through the community. Animals Australia make no effort to work with industries or communities in advocating better animal welfare practices instead they advocate for blanket bans and legislation changes directly to government, whilst louering the wider community along with them.
Secondly, their vegetarian/vegan agenda. Farmers, like all Australians, believe in a person’s right to choose vegetarianism, but they are trying to fight a battle against a group that wants Australian’s to lose their right to CHOOSE to be omnivorous. Animals Australia is admittedly one of the biggest proponents of veganism in this country. They have their own vegetarian website www.whyveg.com that asks all of us to ‘Pledge to go Veg’ and this is where the real agenda behind the vendetta becomes blaringly obvious. Animals Australia don’t lobby for change in agriculture because they aim for better welfare, they do it because their long term goal is to force the hand of government to phase out animal farming for the uses of meat, dairy and bi-products. They are every bit the wolf that farmers see them for, despite wearing grannies nightgown.
COLES is expected today to deliver farmers their first victory in their battle with the supermarket giants, pulling from sale shopping bags supporting Animals Australia.
Angry beef and fat lamb producers yesterday called for a mass boycott of Coles supermarkets because of their partnership with the animal rights group, saying the retail giant was deeply "anti-farming".
Sheep producers who supply Coles with thousands of lambs a year yesterday announced a blackban on sales to the chain. The moves follow outrage within farming circles at the decision to sell the Animals Australia bags at 500 of its stores this month.
Queensland cattleman Stuart Ogg said he was appalled at Coles's misjudgment and would make sure none of his Brahman-cross cattle ended up as prime beef steaks in its stores. "Coles always seem to be looking for a point of difference or a cheap publicity stunt and don't care who they hurt in the process," the Carnarvon Gorge grazier said. "We have a very solid and sustainable industry; Coles siding with Animals Australia is a slap in the face for industry -- it's like them saying they don't think we are producing our meat properly."One of NSW's biggest prime-lamb producers, Andrew Freshwater, announced he would be halting the supply of thousands of lambs a year to Coles until it reversed its stance.Mr Freshwater said five other suppliers -- all the major producers in the eastern states -- were backing his stance, while other farmers intended to stop buying fertiliser and insurance from Wesfarmers. "I've had a gutful; (it's time) to make Coles sit up and take notice," he said.NFF chief executive Matt Linnegar said Coles could not have it both ways -- it could not claim to be the best friend of farmers and a strong supporter of homegrown produce while supporting Animals Australia and its extremist anti-farming campaigns.
The truth about Australian animal welfare by Fiona Lake
This a good article that answers well the reaction of Lyn White of AA after Coles were forced to back down . Fiona has her blog article copyright protected which means that it can't be copied and pasted to here. I encourage you to follow the link and read Fiona's article.
If farmers fold by Glenda Grey