The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (currently being hosted by John Oliver) aired a segment last week on “Blowing the Whistle on Whistleblowers“. It’s about the ridiculous attempt at big ag to stop animal rights groups from filming the cruelty that happens at factory farms. I was so excited to see them cover this, as it is incredibly important for people to know what is happening to the animals that eventually show up on your plates.
But Al Madrigal has it right in this segment when he points out that Americans just don’t care. So the battle for animal rights activists is not just showing people the atrocities that occur at factory farms (and at testing facilities, circuses, zoos, kill shelters, etc), but we also need to get the average person to CARE about what is happening there as well. And that is the true challenge we face: getting someone to choose the inconvenience of caring over the convenience of being naive. It’s definitely achievable, but animal activists need to realize that it’s not just about showing what is wrong, but also about why the average person should care as well. And that’s not a bad thing. It just needs to be recognized and addressed when choosing messaging.
Gandhi had it right when he said “the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” and despite some setbacks thanks to corporate greed and ignorance, we are moving in the right direction. So keep pushing and keep fighting – eventually, we will be a great nation that respects all that live here.