Animal welfare organization finds religion
High Plains Journal
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has discovered religion and that is not necessarily a good thing for animal agriculture, according to Wes Jamison.
Jamison, an associate professor of communication at Palm Beach Atlantic University, was a featured speaker at the Nebraska Ag Classic held Dec. 1 and 2 in Lincoln, Neb. His presentation was entitled "Ready for Combustion: Animals, Religion, Politics & the HSUS."
Jamison has studied HSUS for the last 20 years and has outlined their five main strategies for animal welfare. The first is to change the legal standing of animals. As it stands now, animals are considered property, but HSUS would like to change that standing so that animal owners are considered legal custodians. Jamison said under state law this would make it possible for outside entities to sue on behalf of the animals.
Jamison recently completed a research project, partly funded by the Nebraska Farm Bureau, looking at the message HSUS is using with consumers and what messages the animal industry can use to counter them.
HSUS is targeting pet owners. The wedge issue is that pet owners have one animal at the center of their lives and another animal at the center of their plate. If HSUS wants to win more state initiatives, they must win over pet owners.
"Consumers view animal agriculture through pet owners' eyes," Jamison said.
Their message is that animals have individual worth and God knows each and every one of them by name, while we in agriculture treat them like property with economic value. Read More
Dr. Jamison is one of my favorite speakers to hear on this topic. Having studied these animal rights groups for so long, it’s interesting to see him show the progression of their tactics over time. Their recent efforts to use religion as a way of making people feel guilty about what they eat are particularly disturbing. Humans aren’t just another species of animal that was created by God. We were made in his image and given dominion over the animals. It’s also interesting to me that the animal rights activists that have argued religion with me the most were atheists.