Steers to personhood

In my hand is a document dated September 2018 called “The Forty Year Roadmap for Animal Liberation.” Its ultimate goal is to grant animals personhood. At the current rate of demise in our country, I see no reason that they should fail to be successful because we in animal agriculture are doing a fantastic job of assisting toward the goal.

Recently in a Supreme Court ruling in Bronx, New York, Justice Alison Y. Tuitt denied “legal standing” but it was her conclusion that made me most nervous. She said:

“The court agrees that Happy (the elephant) is more than just a legal thing, or property. She is an intelligent autonomous being who should be treated with respect and dignity, and who may be entitled to liberty.”

Those of us who “own” animals should breathe a sigh of relief but let me also tell you that animal rights attorney Steven Wise was celebrating a victory. The fact that there was a Supreme Court ruling on animal “personhood” gives him great optimism.

Now let’s bring it all a little closer to home. We currently have R-CALF partnering with Public Justice on issues to bring an end to the beef checkoff and stop the corporate control of agriculture. Who is Public Justice?

David Muraskin, senior attorney, recently joined me on my Rural Route Radio program and clearly described his agenda to stop industrial agriculture. If you look at his work, he continues to fight against any family farm that may have a concentrated animal feeding operation. He spent a great deal of time on the issue against North Carolina and most recently in the state of Indiana. He clearly believes that CAFOs and animal abuse run parallel.

In addition Muraskin has been working nationwide to overturn the Ag-gag laws that grant basic rights to privacy protection that we as citizens believe in. He will tell you he works against corporate monopolies yet he did not hesitate to take on Superior Farms lamb processing plant in California in the name of animal rights. I contend that he honestly works against animal consumption.

He has a law partner at Public Justice named Jessica Culpepper. Here she speaks of her time at Georgetown:

There, I learned the principles of critical legal theory and critical race theory—and looked at the law through the lens of our shared history of white supremacy. My vision became dismantling those systems in animal agriculture, and particularly the disparate impact of the industry on people of color and rural communities—usually those with the least power.

“I started as a fellow at the Humane Society of the U.S., where I got to work on a number of legal projects. When I got to develop my own, I came up with an administrative petition to the EPA to list concentrated animal feeding operations as sources of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act.”

And R-CALF isn’t the only “grassroots cattle organization” that is dancing with the devil. NCBA has been partnering with the World Wildlife Fund. WWF has put out its own share of digs against beef consumption, falling in line with Agenda 21 and its goal of eliminating meat consumption. They say:

“Behind beef, soy is the second largest agricultural driver of deforestation worldwide. From the Northern Great Plains of the U.S. to the Amazon of Brazil, forests, grasslands, and wetlands are being plowed up to make room for more soy production. When these native habitats are lost, it leaves wildlife without homes, accelerates climate change, leads to more water pollution, disrupts rain, and prolongs drought.”

This Earth Hour, WWF is asking people to make a #PromiseForThePlanet, a pledge to make one change in their own lives to reduce their environmental footprint. The promises include becoming a flexitarian and reducing the amount of meat we eat, refusing plastic cutlery and carrying a reusable coffee cup.

In our discussion of meat consumption, we must not forget the support for the Whole Foods GAP certification program. Sadly it was revealed in 2017 via IRS documents that the “certification” was simply an HSUS-driven program to control animal care.

Farmers and ranchers, without the benefit of these “partners” solely built the most sustainable, animal husbandry driven, safe food supply in the world and did so with fewer resources than each generation before them just by doing the right thing. Why is it that in 2020 and beyond, we have convinced ourselves we must now partner with the very entities that want us to “grant legal personhood” to our livestock?

Open your eyes. Get the facts from actual sources and keep digging until you find the truth. We know how to raise safe, healthy food for consumers while ensuring that our operations will be profitable and continue to evolve so that future generations can build upon the foundations we have laid. We don’t need city slicker lawyers and global “experts’ with no hands-on, skin in the game dedication to tell us which direction we need to head our operations. Let’s let the sound judgment and ideals based on integrity be the drivers and start having enough faith in ourselves to believe we can continue to do this job better than anyone has ever done it.

Editor’s note: Trent Loos is a sixth generation United States farmer, host of the daily radio show, Loos Tales, and founder of Faces of Agriculture, a non-profit organization putting the human element back into the production of food. Get more information at, or email Trent at [email protected].

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