News and analysis on the global poultry
and animal feed industries.

Animal Agribusiness Angle

Roy Graber, staff reporter for WATTAgNet, combines his Midwestern farming background with his knowledge of economics and agriculture policy to offer a deeper look at the poultry and pig industries.
North America / Industry News & Trends / Poultry Welfare / Pig Welfare

It’s not bad to be an ‘anti-animal rights activist’

Forrest Lucas, founder of Protect the Harvest, has been identified as Donald Trump's pick to become Secretary of the Interior, should Trump be elected president. | Protect the Harvest

Media depiction of Protect the Harvest founder and Secretary of the Interior hopeful puts a bad spin on a noble ambition

September 22, 2016

Media outlets have reported that Donald Trump is considering Protect the Harvest founder Forrest Lucas as his pick for Secretary of the Interior, should Trump win the United States presidency.

What I found most interesting about some of these reports was the use of a phrase I don’t recall ever reading before. RawStory’s headline includes the words “anti-animal rights activist” in describing Lucas.

To me, to say someone is pro-farming, pro-ranching, a hunting advocate, a fisherman,  a rodeo fan, or someone who enjoys circuses is a nothing more than a mere observation, and in most cases, a compliment. But by using the phrase “anti-animal rights activist,” it puts a negative spin on it and almost makes it sound like it’s a bad thing. In all actuality, it is not, as most people who oppose the animal rights movement still do not want to see animals suffering.

Protect the Harvest’s positive attributes

According to the Protect the Harvest website, the organization has three objectives:

  1. Inform America’s consumers, businesses and decision-makers about the threats posed by animal rights groups and anti-farming extremists.
  2. Protect our freedoms and way of life by creating lasting legal safeguards for farmers, ranchers, hunters, anglers, and animal owners.
  3. Respond to the activities of radical groups by opposing their efforts to pass laws or enact regulations that would restrict our rights, limit our freedoms, and hinder our access to safe, affordable food.

They all three sound like noble purposes to me.

I’ll withhold comment on whether I would consider Trump a suitable presidential candidate or if Lucas is a sound choice for Secretary of the Interior. However, I do think we could use more people in Washington who agree to the basic objectives of Protect the Harvest, which stands up to groups like Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).