Nebraska groups unite to fight animal rights activists

Five Nebraska farm groups are taking another step forward in preparation for future battles with animal rights activists. 

Nebraska Cattlemen, Nebraska Farm Bureau, Nebraska Pork Producers, Nebraska Poultry Industries and the Nebraska State Dairy Association have formed a new coalition called “We Support Agriculture” (WSA). 

Nebraska Cattlemen spokesman Pete McClymont says the coalition’s goal is to educate the general public on the value of agriculture.

“The value of livestock, the value of what it means to our state—and to have they fully educated, as much as possible, on what animal rights groups are doing out there,” McClymont says, “and have them not accept those messages, but find out more from us how we do things in agriculture.”

There has been speculation that the Humane Society of the United States will, at some point, pursue an animal care ballot initiative in Nebraska.  “No, we don’t have any indication of anything formal or announced yet, in terms of the ballot initiative process,” McClymont says, “but that’s what our effort is—to make people in the state know what the threat is and to be prepared for it.”

A recent poll of rural Nebraskans showed that nearly 70 percent believe animal welfare includes providing adequate exercise, space and social activities for farm animals.  But at the same time, most don’t think more animal care regulations are needed.

While he doesn’t have any poll numbers to prove it, McClymont thinks most Nebraskans are in agriculture’s corner.

“The vast majority of people out there are firmly in our camp and understand the value of agriculture—and trust their neighbors in the farm community to take care of their animals.”

McClymont says the coalition is not interested in compromise with animal rights activists.  And he rejects the idea of creating a livestock care standards board, saying Nebraska already has strong animal cruelty laws in place.

AUDIO: Pete McClymont (9:33 MP3)

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  • It is inconceivable how small family farmers perceive vegans and animal rights activists as the greatest threat to “agriculture.” Vegans support small family farms and local agriculture, including meat producers. The threat to small family farms are the dozen corporations which control the industry and treat their growers and producers like sharecroppers.

  • As an animal rights advocate and activist I say: Bring it on! The more they participate in a propaganda campaign, the more people will think they doth protest to much. If they go tete-a-tete with us they will be at a disadvantage because the facts are on our side. If they let those of us who educate people about what they do, continue in our efforts unchallenged, the animal cruelty industries will slowly wither away.

  • It amazes me that animal rights advocates and activists seem more concerned about animals than humans. Millions of children are going to bed hungry ever night and hundreds of thousands are starving to death. Why aren’t they educating people on the unchallenged, child and human cruelty issues. Why do they not spend their millions of dollars to help feed a child rather than professing that a chicken, hog, sheep, horse, duck, goose or what ever does not have rights like a human. Excuse me but in todays world animals are treated better and have more rights than children or humans.
    Misguided intentions helped destroy many past civilations!

  • Animal Right Groups only want to bring to light the animal torture and abuse in farm factories. We are well aware there are famine going on but the truth of the matter is that people who run farm factories are unecessarily brutalizing the animals. They take their agression and cruelty to these sentient animals. No one is telling anyone that they should not eat meat. We are just saying STOP the cruelty to these animals. Its not necessary. Explain to me why calves are kicked and punched and locked up in a small crate where they cannot move or sit for the so 8-9 months of its life. Why are pigs picked up and slammed on concrete floors and hit with metal sticks until they bleed. Is this necessary? This is what animal right groups wants to world to see. So if any of these so Agriculture supporters want a fight they will get one. Bring it on!!

    All living things feel pain. They feel hunger, bleed, and thirst just like humans. They should be treated humanely. That’s all we want.

  • One of the dumbest recurring cries of anti-animal people: “Animals have more rights than people!” Animals don’t have a single “right.” Yes, Nebraska has a felony animal cruelty law, but one has to be really violent toward an animal in order to be charged with it. Recall the man who killed his Jack Russell terrier with a single blow from a golf club. He didn’t repeatedly hit the dog, so he was not charged with a felony. Not a single animal’s life is protected. I can take any one of my pets to the vet today and for no good reason have him “put down” and that is well within my right. Name one right that animals have that people do not (first make certain you know how to define “right”). Look at the vast categories of animals not covered under the Animal Welfare Act. At the same time, notice how it’s not called the “Animal Rights Act.”

    Another recurring cry of the anti-animal people: “Animal rights activists don’t care about humans!” Yes, in fact, we do. Big animal organizations may focus exclusively on animal welfare, but individual activists do such “anti-human” things as raise money for disaster relief, donate to Doctors Without Borders, volunteer at homeless (human) shelters and denounce all forms of discrimination. Some are even foster parents for displaced children. It is a fallacy that we have to choose between humans and nonhumans.

  • The problem I see with the animal rights activists is that they think every farm is a factory farm and they always throw in the word “corporate” or these big farmers, it’s those are the farmers who have more restrictions and are watched more closely. Also 98% of Nebraska farmers are family farmers not corporate! Get your facts straight!

  • I cannot believe how ridiculous it is that they think they need to stand up to animal rights activists. These people aren’t trying to get rid of farming in any way.. they are ONLY concerned with making the short lives of the animals better ones.

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