There are some things in this world that just defy logic and give further evidence that we are on a downward spiral as a society. That was the case this week when I saw that Nabisco had redesigned the box animal crackers come in to take away the bars in the picture and “free” the animals. This because of pressure from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). This just further proves the degradation of our common sense when it comes to animals.
This comes on the heals of PETA being one of the groups that helped drive the Barnum and Bailey Circus out of business because of concerns about how the animals were cared for. Personally, I think it is a shame that something as iconic as the circus is under attack by a small group of radicals who don’t share the same view as most of the society. We can debate the merits of animal care of circuses; however, the animal cracker debate is one of the dumbest I have ever seen.
Folks, this is a cardboard box full of cookies that are barely more edible than the box. The fact that a group of radical animal rights activists can protest something like the picture on a box of cookies and get a response from a multi-national corporation is astounding, really it is mind-blowing. When we are losing battles like this to the animal rights activists we are close to sliding down that slippery slope.
I would guess that the next step in this mind-numbing saga is that they will be upset that the crackers are confined by the box itself. I can see it now a “free the crackers” campaign complete with celebrities who are bemoaning the fact that the animals are cooped up in the at box. They will probably show horrible pictures of broken crackers caused by being confined in a space too small. I say all of this in jest, but it is just as plausible as worrying about the bars on a picture on the outside of the box.
The problem is that these groups have worked their way into the fabric of our everyday lives. Once they were fringe, radicals who did not garner any attention. I am not mincing any words when I tell you that their main objective is to destroy animal agriculture and elevate animals to the same level as humans. As crazy as it sounds, this is another step in that direction.
Groups like HSUS and PETA are chipping away at our ideas of animals and humans and removing the separation between us. Each small victory is another chink in our armor and puts us closer to being out of business. They find the weakest link and like circuses and go after it. As farmers and ranchers, we think it doesn’t matter and allow them to go out of business. The public, who has no real connection to animals other than maybe a cat or a dog, see this as proof that there was poor treatment of animals.
Then the story about removing the bars on a box of cookies comes up and, again, further re-enforces the idea that the animals were mistreated, and this group of radicals is out for the best interest of animals. We know this is not right, but it is easier to ignore and roll our eyes at than to fight. This is the same tactic they are using against us in agriculture too.
HSUS went after swine farms in Florida and Arizona because they were few in numbers and without much notice banned gestation crates in those two states. Only a handful of producers were affected and the whole thing barely made the news. Another chip was knocked out of our base. Then they set their sights at bigger states with larger populations that know nothing about modern ag. Don’t believe me, find a chicken producer in California. Better yet, buy a dozen eggs in California and tell me what they cost. Another chip, a little bigger one, with each victory the anti-ag groups get a little bolder and look for bigger targets.
So, if you think that a box of animal crackers is no big deal and roll your eyes at the stupidity of it all, I think you are missing a bigger issue and one that has huge implications for all of us that raise animals for food. If we continue to allow these groups to blur the lines between humans and animals, if we allow them to chip away at our livelihoods soon we will look around and we will be out on an island by ourselves with no one to help us. That is their goal. As ridiculous as the printed bars on a box of cookies are, it is still important and a chip no matter how small.
It does make me wonder what is next. Will PETA emboldened by their clear victory in removing the bars from the box of animal crackers go after another target. I wonder if Goldfish crackers will be next. After all those poor fish are forced to smile no matter what, even when they are being eaten. I write this only partly in jest.