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Beef Buzz News


Activity Increases Among Animal Rights Extremist Groups Since Pandemic Began

Thu, 16 Dec 2021 11:20:05 CST

Activity Increases Among Animal Rights Extremist Groups Since Pandemic Began When the COVID-19 pandemic sent folks home indefinitely, people focused their attention on their side-hustles, hobbies and interests. As a result, a rise in activism was observed, according to Hannah Thompson-Weeman, director of development and communications strategy for Animal Agriculture Alliance. She told Ron Hays, director of Radio Oklahoma Ag Network, that she has seen an increase of activity from groups who oppose animal agriculture.

"People have not seen a lot about (activism); maybe it is not getting as much attention (because) we have other issues going on," Weeman said. "Unfortunately, that is not the case. We have seen an uptick in certain incidents over the past year and a half."

Weeman said folks at the grassroots level of the agriculture industry have continued to witness group protests and suspicious incidents, like drone sightings over farms.

"One trend in particular that we are concerned about is activist groups trying to contribute to and take advantage of supply chain disruptions," Weeman said. "While some are concerned about that, some activist groups want the supply chain to be disrupted because they want consumers to not be able to purchase animal proteins."

Recently, an activist group in California shut down a poultry plant for about seven-and-a-half hours by chaining themselves to a Uhaul, blocking the entrance of the plant, according to Weeman. The technique is called "the sleeping dragon" and requires law enforcement to have special training and equipment to remove the protestors.

"Does your sheriff's department, wherever you are in rural Oklahoma, have the training and equipment they need?" Weeman asked. "If (protestors) replicate that model in other areas, which we anticipate they will, it could be an even bigger incident."

Other than disrupting facilities, Weeman said bringing media and social media attention to their efforts are the goals of these protests.

Since the pandemic began, worker safety in processing plants has been a huge topic. Weeman said she is seeing activist groups come together to widely oppose animal agriculture, citing that it is detrimental to the environment, animal welfare and human health and safety.

"We are seeing a lot of mission creep between animal rights extremist organizations, worker advocates and climate advocates," Weeman said.

Click on the LISTEN BAR below to hear more from Ron Hays and Hannah Thompson-Weeman as they talk about opposition to animal agriculture in the U.S.

The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.

Photo: A group of Direct Action Everyware protesters demonstrating in front of the Foster Farms processing facility in Livingston, Calif.


   
   

Listen to Ron's conversation with Hannah here.
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