HSUS is Using Religion to its Advantage

Professor says livestock industry has to not only own the moral argument, but learn to speak in language that assuages the moral concerns.

Published on: Jan 12, 2010

Is the Humane Society of the United States and other animal rights groups using religion in their messages?  Wes Jamison, associate professor of communications at Palm Beach Atlantic University, told Meatingplace that they are providing a resource for people who want to understand what their faith tradition says regarding food and faith. In reality, they have discovered ways to selectively use the Bible, the Koran and the Torah to amplify the guilt of consumers who purchase and consume products produced by confinement animal agriculture.

 

Jamison told Meatingplace that HSUS used churches whose denominations were opposed to confinement agriculture to hold debates on California's Proposition 2. The bottom line, Jamison said is that they are very astute at tailoring arguments to consumers who either do not know theology or do not have a cohesive theology that helps inform their spirituality.

 

The livestock industry likes to talk to consumers with science and economics.  But Jamison says what the farming community has to do is not only own the moral argument, but learn to speak in language that assuages the moral concerns. By religious and secular standards, Jamison says we have the right to use animals for consumption. However, the other side has the luxury of not doing anything but producing ideas and philosophical thinking. Their income is not based on competitive advantage and cost per pound. And that's a profound advantage.