Why Environmentalists Should Help Get Our Universities out of the Meat, Dairy, Fish, and Egg Industries
Automobiles, nuclear power, dams, clear-cutting, pesticides – problems environmental groups typically address – are only the most visible human assaults against the natural world. Tens of thousands of years ago, humans started systematically infringing on nonhuman animals. All of their infringements disrupted the web of life. Killing predators, supplanting predators by hunting, moving out of natural human habitat, cultivating crops, herding and enslaving nonhuman animals, killing nonhuman animals to protect crops, food stores, and "livestock" – all of this undermined nature, leading to today's global catastrophes. "Animal science" at our land-grant universities (LGUs) is a major part of these catastrophes.
"Animal science" at our LGUs – training, research, collusion, sales, and public relations for the meat, dairy, fish, and egg industries – is the most powerful force behind humans' disruption of the natural world. Responsible Policies for Animals (RPA) has sent LGU executives in all 50 states and the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities more than 350 letters, 200 factsheets, 50 books, 50 videos, and 50 bibliographies on the "animal science" problem. Simultaneously, RPA has informed officials, given lectures, run websites, distributed literature, published articles and letters, and advertised in The Chronicle of Higher Education, Academe, the Society of Environmental Journalists magazine, and elsewhere. Some LGUs ignore the problem; some try to defend the indefensible; none is yet making the needed change. As always, we the people must solve the problem.
Universities perch atop the hierarchy of institutions – news, family, school, religion, youth and civic groups... – that determine what people think and how they live. Universities' ties to powerful life-destroying industries make the industries appear legitimate while they undermine the natural world. News and government present professors' pro-industry views as "objective" and "scientific," but conflict of interest makes them the most prejudiced citizens. University-industry alliances suppress research revealing industries' destructive impacts – a factor in all environmental problems.
"Animal science" at our land-grant universities – training, research, collusion, sales, and public relations for the meat, dairy, fish, and egg industries – is the most destructive university-industry alliance. All human beings should concern themselves with impacts of "animal science." Environmentalists should help Responsible Policies for Animals eliminate it.
Long Time Coming
All human industries disrupt the living world. In nature, before predator-elimination, hunting, herding, clothing, agriculture, sedentary living, and nonhuman-animal enslavement ("domestication"), humans did not have industries like today. By definition, all of these practices that ended humans' original, natural plant-foraging way of life in their natural habitat disrupted the natural order – "the environment."
Humans cannot "go back to nature." But meaningful problem-solving must address root causes. "Snipping at twigs" has made environmentalism ineffective. "Animal science" at our land-grant universities (LGUs) promotes humanism, speciesism, "the Great Chain of Being," and other ideologies that drive humans' destruction of the natural world. Teaching for the meat, dairy, fish, and egg industries teaches the entire university community – not only those studying "poultry science," "dairy science," "aquaculture," and the rest – that it is natural for humans to use other animals, other animals exist for humans, eating from animals is good for humans, raising animals for food can be environmentally sound, and other false beliefs.
Universities Assaulting the Environment
Humans' use of other animals is the most powerful force disrupting the natural world. So universities should not promote it but assist the public in ending it. Following are some of the most destructive impacts of the meat, dairy, fish, and egg industries – kept large, profitable, and popular by "animal science."
Solving the Problem
Should universities serve industries, train students to work for industries, and reinforce millions of people's unthinking support of industries that heat Earth's climate, turn life-supporting land to desert, poison and waste water and soil, worsen already-severe human want and misery, kill life in the oceans, kill millions of nonhuman animals seeking food placed before them by humans, and drive animal and plant species extinct?
The founders, directors, members, and friends of Responsible Policies for Animals say no.
Environmentalists agree, once they study the matter. It is too late to prevent some of the harm human beings wreak by destroying, undermining, and subjugating other animals. But environment organizations so far have failed to address the institutions and ideologies driving humans' assault on the natural world.
Universities inculcate knowledge, belief, and ideology far more powerfully than environment, animal, health, and other organizations do. As long as we let them teach false, invidious, destructive beliefs, life-destroying practices and industries they promote will continue to overwhelm environmentalists' efforts to halt and reverse the destruction wrought by humans' long rampage.
What Environmentalists Must Do
To enable life to continue as it has been experienced by quadrillions of animals over hundreds of millions of years, join in RPA's 10,000 Years Is Enough campaign to get our universities out of the meat, dairy, fish, and egg industries.
Strategy is different for everyone depending on expertise, affiliations, interests, and other factors. But everyone can write to their state's governor and land-grant universities – crucial steps!
Don't stop recycling and minimizing consumption and water, energy, and land use. But university-industry alliances ravage Earth more quickly than environmentalism can protect it. So join in RPA's 10,000 Years Is Enough campaign today to get our universities out of the meat, dairy, fish, and egg industries.
Donations to Responsible Policies for Animals, Inc., are tax-deductible as allowed by law.
Responsible Policies for Animals, Inc., P.O. Box 891, Glenside, PA 19038