130430_HW_LogoAmerica’s favorite meat and poultry dishes have come under sustained attack recently from vegan activists claiming they are cruel. But that view isn’t supported by the evidence or sound philosophy, and we’ve been fighting to get the truth out in the nation’s newspapers. We’ve also hit back against foolhardy proposals to repeal laws that protect farmers, researchers, and retailers from violence by animal liberation extremists.

In the New York Daily News, we offered a rebuttal to the anthropomorphic assertions of ex-PETA hack Bruce Friedrich — a man who once said that “I think it would be great if all of the fast-food outlets, slaughterhouses, these laboratories, and the banks that fund them exploded tomorrow” — that chickens are as intelligent as children. As our Senior Research Analyst noted, “A four-year-old not only talks, but will develop into a mature adult capable of higher cognitive processes. A chicken, though, will remain a chicken, pecking at the dirt.” We’ve come to expect such misanthropy and moral backwardness from the kinds of people who assert “a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy” and seek to ban lifesaving medical research.

Meanwhile, we called “fowl” on an effort by the so-called Humane Society of the United States (which gives only one percent of its budget to local pet shelters) to attack a Congressional Farm Bill amendment that would prevent California politicians from dictating animal agriculture practices beyond the state’s borders. We noted that this misnamed “Humane Society,” which runs no pet shelters of its own, is a PETA-like organization dedicated to eliminating all use of animals for food, not a credible source of information on animal welfare.

We’ve also drawn attention to a potentially dangerous proposal by the New York City Bar Association that would recommend the repeal of the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, which sets punishments for animal liberation violence. As our Senior Research Analyst wrote in California’s Press-Enterprise, animal liberation extremists continue to commit thefts and vandalism against farmers and retailers of animal products, proving that the threat of animal liberation terrorism continues to exist. He also argued that it’s disingenuous for animal liberation activists to claim that they are “intimidated” by the law, since they have been able to engage in legal (if wrong and irresponsible) free speech. AETA only forbids illegal intimidation and violence; demonstrations are protected by law (and widely conducted, if often ignored). If AETA is “intimidating” activists away from illegal intimidation, property destruction, and violence, most would say that is to the law’s credit.