(Mis)understanding Activists

If you want to get a sense of why the animal protection movement is gaining ground against factory farming, look no further than the people advising agribusiness on how to respond to activist pressure.

Here’s a bizarre interview with Kevin Murphy, published by the Cattle Nework. It covers everything from biblical teachings to Ronald Reagan to the 1970s movie “The Warriors.” Here’s what Murphy thinks motivates today’s food activists:

Modern agri-intellectuals hate productive agriculture because it stubbornly insists on clinging to the essence that made it the poster child for the free-market, free-individual, risk-taking, reward-claiming, knows-no-boundaries spirit that was everything Reaganism stood for.

This is totally silly. You don’t have to hate the free market to hate cruelty. And that’s what makes this interview so bizarre: there’s not even a passing mention of cruelty in agribusiness. Murphy’s completely out to lunch when it comes to understanding the rhetoric and motivation of today’s food activists.

I wish this guy every success in persuading agribusiness that a misguided dislike for Reaganism is at the root off the animal protection movement. Anyone in agribusiness who accepts Murphy’s reasoning will be totally ineffective at confronting the challenges posed by activists. (Thanks, Bea). Link.