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(US/ny) Improve image to fight activists, speaker says

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    [Gillette News Record] Farmers and ranchers will need to improve their public image if they want their industry to survive assaults from animal rights
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 6, 2009
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      [Gillette News Record]

      Farmers and ranchers will need to improve their public image if they
      want their industry to survive assaults from animal rights activists.

      To do it, they’ll need to put a face on their product other than that
      of a cow, pig or chicken — the face of the hard-working American
      rancher and his family.

      “(The public) wants you to be able to look them in the eye and tell
      them ‘I know what I’m doing and I’m doing it the best that I can,’”
      said Steven L. Kopperud, keynote speaker of the Wyoming Cattle
      Industry Convention. The three-day meeting opened Thursday at Cam-plex
      Energy Hall in Gillette.

      Kopperud is a senior vice president for Policy Directions Inc., a
      government affairs company based in Washington, D.C. He specialized in
      production, agriculture, animal health, food and agriculture research
      and health issues. He coordinates the Farm Animal Welfare Coalition
      and is an expert in activist assaults on agriculture.

      He talked about the recent legal victories of animal rights
      organizations in California and Massachusetts and how they could
      trickle down to the rest of the nation. Most of the battles are in the
      area of creating a better standard of living for animals by giving
      them more room to move around.

      Kopperud contended that animals in open environments would rather be
      touching one another and are more prone to stress, which leads to

      He addressed the laws that led to the closure of horse slaughter
      plants in Texas and Illinois and the unintended consequences that
      followed. Those consequences include the abandonment and neglect of
      more than 110,000 horses in the United States, Kopperud said.

      “Horse slaughter is the quintessential example of what happens when
      you let idiots set policy,” he said.

      Economics was another factor in his presentation. Vegetarians and
      vegans account for about 3 percent of the population of the nation, he

      He alluded to a story about a person who bought food at a Whole Foods
      market in Washington, D.C., who he confronted with scientific facts
      that the “organic” food sold at the store for a more expensive price
      wasn’t better than the food bought at a local supermarket for a lower
      price. The person replied, “It makes me feel better.”

      full story:

      SEE ALSO:
      Government and industry officials scramble to defend exposed pig farm cruelty

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