Another undercover anti-chicken farm video has been circulating, accusing Canadian chicken farmers of cruelty to animals. Problem is, this video does not depict a Canadian chicken farm.
But the deception doesn’t surprise us. We expect it from the extreme left. When they howl, the news media often reports — even when it’s nonsense.
The bigger concern is that as moral relativism takes hold of our culture, our world continues its descent into chaos. For ideologues, there is no obligation anymore to stick to the truth. Ideology comes before truth and facts. The ridiculous, once checked at the door, seizes the opportunity to influence the mainstream.
In farm country, animal activists are now wilder than the animals. Have you ever seen so many attacks on agriculture by so many people who know just enough to string together a superficial argument and not enough to realize how much they don’t know?
There is something ugly in the calls to end all animal agriculture, to throw open the doors to all caged animals, as if the modern world is stifling the animals’ desire for freedom and self-fulfillment. There is no thought to what this means. The wild is unmerciful and these animals don’t stand a chance with their freedom.
Their lives are lengthened on the farm where animal comforts have increased. The animals don’t even have to do the hard work of hunting for their food. The farmer does it for them. It’s like being on holiday. To give rights to animals would demand from them responsibilities and that, as our columnist Dan Needles pointed out, would make every cat a murderer. Why do we even have to have this discussion?
The good news is that the extreme left is gaining a reputation for being so full of half-truths, it is hard to believe a word they say. But there is an audience for their absurdities: Feeding bacon to a child is as bad as giving him a cigarette. Meat is murder. The science is settled. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) now tell us that milk is a symbol of white supremacy. The nonsense goes on and on.
Even our province has been hoodwinked — swallowing baloney about manmade global warming, neonicotinoid-treated seeds and green energy.
There is one welcome development from, of all places, Greenpeace. Faced with a huge lawsuit from wood and paper company Resolute Forest Products, Greenpeace lawyers have just admitted their tough talk about the paper company was just baloney. What a great marketing idea. Scare people into giving you money.
Vancouver-based Greenpeace has been aggressively targeting the paper company by calling it a “forest destroyer” and responsible for the “caribou death spiral and extinction.” It pressured customers to cancel their paper supply orders from Resolute Forest Products.
The Montreal-based paper company punched back. It tallied its losses at about $100 million and has sued Greenpeace International in a Georgia-state court, calling the organization a “global fraud” that has duped its donors with “materially false and misleading claims.”
The paper company is also suing Greenpeace for $7 million for defamation in an Ontario court. None of the allegations have been tested in court.
Greenpeace lawyers now say that Greenpeace didn’t mean what it said. It was “no more than opinion based on disclosed facts.”
In a submission to dismiss the lawsuit, they argue that Greenpeace “will often use forceful language to make their point. They do not hew to strict literalisms or scientific precision but regularly use words ‘in a loose, figurative sense’ to express ‘strong disagreement’ and attack their intellectual opponents through ‘rhetorical hyperbole’ or ‘vigorous epithet(s).’”
In the spirit of making things up as one goes along, it makes a big difference if I start by saying I don’t mean what I say. And what could I say if I were to decide not to hew to strict literalism and offer an opinion based on disclosed facts?
Based on anecdotal evidence, I could conclude that extreme environmentalists are late-night channel surfers who would like to move out of their parents’ basements. Ditto for extreme animal activists except that they have no intention of moving. Said in a very loose and figurative sense, of course.
Patrick Meagher is editor of Farmers Forum and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.