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As part of RPA's 10,000 Years Is Enough campaign to stop the teaching of animal agribusiness, we have sent letters to the presidents of the 50 states' main land-grant universities and colleges as well as the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges.
Suppose someone recommended to you that _______ State University teach students how to build careers in food industries that breed animals for such rapid growth that their legs cannot support their bodies; crowd animals into buildings for their entire lives and mutilate and drug them so overcrowding won't bring injury and disease; kill animals after a small fraction of their species' natural life spans; skin animals while they are still conscious; waste vast amounts of plant foods, topsoil, water, and energy; and promote a human diet harmful to human wellbeing.
Naturally you would send such a person packing, finding that proposal ridiculous and abhorrent. But that hypothetical proposal accurately describes today's meat, dairy, and egg industries. No matter what ________ State University's college of agriculture teaches students, the industries for which animal-agribusiness programs prepare them are based on far-reaching, destructive practices. Teaching "animal welfare" for today's industries does not mean promoting animals' wellbeing; it means enabling animals to endure prolonged misery. Teaching "environmental science" for today's animal industries does not mean protecting ecosystems; it means perpetuating industries that harm them on a massive scale.
The teaching of animal agriculture is not based on science - it selectively applies scientific facts and principles to businesses that thumb their noses at knowledge of the harm they do. As explained in the enclosed factsheet, "10,000 Years Is Enough: Time To Stop Teaching Animal Agriculture," which I hope you will read, animal agriculture started long before empirical science. Far from favoring animal agriculture, science shows that human beings' anatomical and physiological traits associated with obtaining, preparing, eating, and digesting food are those of herbivores; that typical animal-agribusiness practices are inhumane; that animals are sensitive, intelligent, and closely related to human beings; and that the animal industries endanger the future wellbeing of animals, ecosystems, and human beings.
Nor should we underestimate the contribution eliminating the teaching of animal agriculture can make to a more peaceful world, since conflicts among groups and nations involve disputes over resources wasted and polluted by animal agriculture and food made more scarce by animal agriculture.
The natural human tendency to deny such disconcerting facts and to avoid working to solve such formidable problems of course will cause some who receive letters like this one to claim that the problems would be even worse without university professors' teaching the best methods. The opposite is the case: Universities' imprimatur on and support of the industries makes it much more difficult to solve the animal-agribusiness problem. And even applying the best animal-agribusiness methods universally would leave key problems unsolved.
So it is crucial that ________ State University and other universities stop teaching animal agriculture and transfer animal-agribusiness personnel, funds, and facilities to constructive fields such as ethology, ecology, conservation, and ecologically sound plant agriculture that excludes feed crops. If you will lead by initiating the process at ________ State, RPA and other educational organizations will support your efforts. Very likely, so will some faculty at _________ State University and other universities. For the problems inherent in perpetuating animal agriculture are widely known, and the animal industries' campus presence probably intimidates some scholars against speaking out.
A key first step will be to announce that no more farm animals shall be bred by or brought to the University; that all animals currently at the University shall have the opportunity to live to their species' natural life spans in natural surroundings and groupings, with veterinary care and euthanasia when necessary; and that no more animals at the University shall be slaughtered, sent to auction, or otherwise used by industry.
RPA works to help institutions establish responsible policies for nonhuman animals - which are also responsible policies for ecosystems and human beings. Most human enterprise developed without responsible policies for animals. The lack of such policies causes inestimable animal suffering and has become increasingly harmful to people and ecosystems. We are contacting thousands of people whose positions enable them to institute responsible policies for animals. We think you will agree that the academy has a very important contribution to make toward solving the animal-agribusiness problem, and we hope you will work with us.
The 10,000 Years Is Enough program is our top priority now and for the foreseeable future. To help us communicate fully and accurately, I ask that you kindly complete the enclosed questionnaire and return it to me or otherwise provide the requested information. As an educator, I will also of course appreciate knowing of any specific facts that you may believe contradict any factual assertions contained in this letter or the enclosed factsheet. Your cooperation will be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your consideration, and please let me know of any questions you may have. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
November 14, 2003
Dear Dr. Geoffroy:
I want to take a moment to update you on Responsible Policies for Animals' (RPA's) 10,000 Years Is Enough campaign to end the teaching of animal agriculture and to ask again for your cooperation. Iowa State University is not among the 14 percent that replied to RPA's first letter to university leaders, but we appreciate any private or public contribution your school may make to this important discussion. We have found this effort inspiring so far, with students, instructors, newspapers, trade bulletins, and conservation and environment groups taking part.
No reply to date has refuted any of the compelling reasons for dropping animal agriculture from curricula: the extremely brief and miserable lives of animals in the meat, dairy, and egg industries; pollution from the industries; waste of farmland and crops that could feed far more people if not diverted to the animal industries; extremely rapid water and topsoil loss from over-farming the land to support the animal industries; the illusion promoted by agriculture colleges that consuming meat, dairy, and eggs is based on science; corporate welfare from training, research, and public relations that should be the industries' responsibilities alone without taxpayer or tuition-payer support; and the need for universities to avoid conflict of interest between truth-seeking teaching & research and financial interests that can misdirect those central academic pursuits.
Excuses put forward for teaching animal agriculture despite all of this were that the industries treat animals humanely because doing otherwise would hurt profits; animal-agribusiness courses are popular with students; animal agriculture is important to the economy; and laws mandate the teaching of animal agriculture. We have refuted these excuses in correspondence. I will address them briefly here, and I urge you to make time in your busy schedule to check into these matters on your own. I will gladly refer you to additional reliable sources.
Enabling animals to survive until slaughter is not equivalent to treating animals humanely, and often it is the opposite. The meat, dairy, and egg industries profit without treating animals humanely. Factory farming is not profitable because animals live contentedly and well but because costs are minimized and many animals can survive until slaughter the short- and long-term agonies inflicted on them.
Courses' popularity is not a sound basis for offering them. Since most students enter college unaware of the problems with animal agriculture, teaching it exploits their naïveté. One can easily imagine courses that would be popular which no self-respecting university would offer. With today's vast academic offerings, no student will suffer when animal courses are eliminated.
Naturally, in a society too slowly abandoning eating habits dating back millennia and perpetuated through advertising, social pressure, and misconception, some people's income depends on the meat, dairy, and egg industries - just as some people depend on other industries we would be better off without which are not taught at universities. animal-agribusiness programs do not benefit the economy generally but the profits of a few at the expense of many and short-term gain at the expense of long-term ecological capital. Universities' success in creating factory farming has destroyed many small producers, and Americans pay billions in "externalized" costs foisted on all of us by the animal industries and by the academy's support of the industries.
When universities stop bolstering the most harmful and destructive industries, food production will remain a big part of the economy. As long as universities teach for the animal industries, they will teach only a very small part of the truth about those industries and will perpetuate false notions. Laws requiring the teaching of animal agriculture attest to the animal industries' corrupting influence and determination to remain at the public trough, not to any courses' educational validity. By cooperating with RPA, you can help repeal such detrimental laws and help educate about the need to end animal agribusiness.
Consulting only with agriculture instructors and other industry representatives can only mislead you. I urge you to read the enclosed factsheet Time To Stop Teaching Animal Agriculture: Researchers Outside of the Industries Know the Problems and to do further research. I am sure you will agree that only the animal industries and those who patronize them should be required to support those industries and that it is time for "animal science," with its unacceptable costs to animals, people, and ecosystems, to go.
Perhaps by now you have begun to discuss the needed change with trustees, legislators, administrators, and others as you would any important ethical, political, academic, and economic matter involving your university. Thank you for any constructive steps you may take. I am sure Iowa State University will do the right thing for people, animals, ecosystems, and the future of food production for all of humanity. I look forward to working with you further and to hearing of any obstacles encountered or steps taken toward ending the teaching of animal agriculture at your school.
mailing to land-grant university
presidents and National Association
of State Universities and Land
Grant Colleges (mailing included
The Pig Who Sang to the Moon:
The Emotional World of Farm Animals
by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson):
March 30, 2004
Dear Dr. Dubois:
As part of Responsible Policies for Animals' (RPA's) effort to persuade you to help end the teaching of animal agriculture at the University of Wyoming, I am pleased to send you the enclosed copy of best-selling author Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson's new book, The Pig Who Sang to the Moon: The Emotional World of Farm Animals. Also enclosed is the author's personal statement concerning the need to stop teaching animal agriculture.
In the letters and factsheets we sent you in 2003, we explained that the egg, dairy, and meat industries are unnecessary and harmful - to free-roaming animals, ecosystems, water and topsoil, and human health. If we take into account the fact that every animal killed for food has an intense inner life - a fact The Pig Who Sang to the Moon makes so clear - I am sure you will agree it is all the more important that you work to end the University of Wyoming's "animal science" program.
Some claim universities lessen the animals' plight by teaching "animal welfare." But welfare should refer to humans' or other animals' overall wellbeing. Creating food-production methods in which animals constantly suffer, live very short lives, and often are cruelly killed - and perpetuating the belief that people need animal products - negates animals' wellbeing completely.
It would be so much better for humans and animals if you would ensure that the best human traditions are taught and that, in true academic fashion, teachings recognized as no longer valid - such as the notions that animals exist for human purposes and have no mental life of their own - will recede into the past. Please read The Pig Who Sang to the Moon and recommend the book to all concerned - I think you will find it well researched, compelling, and irrefutable.
I hope you will let me know what you think of the book when you have a moment and that it will help you spread the word that the University of Wyoming must stop teaching animal agriculture. Thank you, again, for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.
The following statement from Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, author of The Pig Who Sang to the Moon, accompanied the above letter.
To Whom It May Concern:
Responsible Policies for Animals' (RPA) is sending this update on its 10,000 Years Is Enough campaign - the nationwide effort to end our land-grant universities' (LGUs') service to the animal flesh, milk, and egg industries - to the president or chancellor of each "1862" LGU, the president of the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges (NASULGC), and other interested or potentially interested parties.
Two crucial facts tested and confirmed by the 10,000 Years Is Enough campaign are that the LGUs cannot justify "animal science" programs and the LGUs' "animal science" programs continue to operate only due to inertia, industry influence, and the failure of our government and the news industry to investigate the matter and inform the public.
Were a case presented for eliminating mathematics, literature, or any other academic program as a case has been made for eliminating "animal science," university administrators could easily refute it based on the program's substance and how it serves students' and society's needs. LGUs in particular should be able to defend their non-academic programs as serving the common good, not just private economic interests.
The opposite is true for "animal science." LGUs that have been accountable enough to respond to RPA's campaign mailings have either put forward no reason or reasons that do not hold up for keeping "animal science." RPA has refuted all reasons put forward in defense of "animal science." By failing to respond, the others have also confirmed "animal science" cannot be defended. Like 30 of the 50 "1862" LGUs contacted and provided with extensive information three times since spring 2003, NASULGC has also failed to reply.
The basic rights of nonhuman animals, shown to exist to the same extent that human rights can be shown to exist, must be established in law and custom for nonhuman animals to be treated humanely by humans and for other important needs to be met, such as sound human nutrition and ecosystem protection. That "animal science" is based on the false notion that nonhuman animals have no rights indicates the fundamental pedagogical unsoundness of "animal science." The enclosed factsheet, "Animal Science: False Teachings for Destructive Industries," elaborates further on that.
Unless it can be shown that the false beliefs discussed in the factsheet are in fact true or that LGU "animal science" programs debunk them rather than promote them or passively allow students to believe them, it is absolutely indisputable that "animal science" has no place in universities regardless of one's view of the human/animal relationship.
human being shares in the responsibility
to eliminate the flesh, milk,
and egg industries, the most significant
obstacles on Earth to the humane
treatment of nonhuman animals,
sound human nutrition, ecosystem
protection, resource conservation,
and sustainable agriculture. Because
"animal science" programs
are mainstays of those industries,
people with authority or influence
regarding our LGUs have a particular
duty to work to eliminate those
RPA gladly answers questions, documents its assertions, and provides other information about the 10,000 Years Is Enough campaign upon request. RPA appreciates being informed of any progress toward eliminating the LGU "animal science" programs. Thank you for considering this important and urgent matter and for any contribution you may make to this crucial effort.
Because managing "farm animals"
humanely to extinction will be
a long-term process, some LGUs
may wish to consider transforming
their "animal science"
programs to animal sanctuaries.
That can make eliminating "animal
science" less disruptive
for some students and instructors
and more rewarding for veterinary
students and others who would
rather help nonhuman animals live
good lives to their species' natural
lifespans than keep them enslaved
to industry's quest for profit.
Our institutions cannot simultaneously serve the flesh, milk, egg & feed-crop industries and the public interest.
March 26, 2007
Dear Dr. Spanier:
I'm sure you're aware Congress & President Lincoln established our land-grant universities (LGUs) to serve the public interest by helping individual farmers, not to create and align themselves with huge private agribusiness interests violating the public interest. That's why Responsible Policies for Animals (RPA) sent you or your predecessor and friends at our other "1862" LGUs four previous letters - three accompanied by RPA factsheets, the other by a book and a statement from the author - irrefutably insisting "animal science" must go.
I will be glad to receive any update on the status of this effort at Penn State University. Meanwhile, because plants-only food production becomes more urgent every day, I hope you will read the pages I am enclosing, explained below. I know you are extremely busy, but these 6½ pages are a very informative and quick read. Also please consider the following.
Just 47 days before the 9/11 attacks, in a public comment on federal animal-factory waste regulations, I pointed out that, if people from other countries did what the U.S. flesh, milk, egg & feed-crop industries do to U.S. waters, it would be considered biological warfare. The 9/11 attacks put our attention on outside enemies. But the fact remains far more harm comes from the flesh, milk, egg & feed-crop industries -- and therefore from our LGUs' "animal science" programs.
Immeasurable funding, energy & talent are going into programs that on paper give the appearance of protecting the American people. Meanwhile, real suffering & death are perpetuated by "animal science": animals slaughtered and bred for short, miserable lives, people sickened by flesh, milk & eggs, free-living animals destroyed to protect "food animals" and feed crops, people driven off cropland for ecologically destructive grazing and feed-crop production, and more. Soil & water contamination and depletion from feed-crop production, contamination from animal facilities, ocean dead zones: Who will guard against food-production atrocities if not our LGUs?
As serious as all of that is, it doesn't even touch on the flesh, milk, egg & feed-crop industries' contributions to global climate change, species extinctions, and natural-ecosystem suppression.
avoided, and denied, these "elephants
in the room" are among our
society's biggest threats. We
cannot afford to have our institutions
of higher learning turn their backs
and pretend not to know "animal
science" is a major problem.
Dealing with "animal science"
must not take a back seat to alumni
relations, career building - or
the popular interest in misguided
Since the earlier mailings to Penn State and our other LGUs, RPA has published articles on the "animal science" problem in LGU newspapers & other publications; given presentations to health-care, business and other groups; hung a banner, handed out leaflets & spoken with attendees & passersby at the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges' annual meeting in Washington, D.C.; informed via website, newsletter & correspondence - and has twice run the enclosed advertisement in The Chronicle of Higher Education.
The enclosed 6½ pages I am asking you to read are the text of the webpage to which the Chronicle ad directs readers. The page has received hundreds of visits from administrators, trustees, faculty, and other Chronicle readers. As you can see, it indisputably shows we must solve the "animal science" problem. Our institutions cannot simultaneously serve the flesh, milk, egg & feed-crop industries and the public interest. I hope this and other information RPA is glad to provide will assist you in taking the steps necessary to phase out "animal science" quickly at the University.
Is there any possible basis for considering it responsible for Penn State to perpetuate "animal science" when doing so causes so much harm, goes against so much established knowledge, imposes destructive values, beliefs, and food choices on our country and the rest of the world, and violates our LGUs' basic mandate and basic education principles?
I realize this problem cannot be solved overnight, but please tell me what Penn State University is doing to help solve it or explain why Penn State is not helping. I will appreciate your attention to this crucial matter and hope you will reply at your first opportunity. Thank you for your consideration.
P.S. RPA is a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit organization with no salaried staff or directors. The organization serves the public interest by explaining how responsible policies for animals will benefit human beings and ecosystems as well. When responsible policies are established, RPA will work to ensure their enforcement or cease to exist in its present form; it does not seek to accumulate great wealth or aggrandize itself at public expense. We believe LGUs should work with RPA and not with big-agribusiness interests.
"Experts of Conscience"
web page text enclosed with land-grant
university letter #5, see www.ExpertsOfConscience.org.]
August 23, 2007
Dear Dr. Albrecht:
Responsible Policies for Animals' (RPA's) five previous mailings to you and your predecessor about the need to end Utah State University's service to the flesh, milk & egg industries documented the industries' enormous harm to human health & quality of life, waste and contamination of water & topsoil, nonhuman animals' moral right not to be used by human beings, and other public interests. Also crucial to consider: harm to instructors and students from "animal science."
The industries use "animal science" instructors, students & graduates as pawns for profit. Utah State uses them for tuition and for industry, government, and alumni support. It's expected that industry will exploit whom it can. It's shocking for an institution whose fundamental responsibility is truth-seeking to turn its back on the truth at instructors' & students' expense.
Most instructors & students probably want their work and their university to serve the public interest. Sadly, "animal science" mocks that sincere desire, substituting destructive popular interests: hamburgers, cheese pizza, scrambled eggs, and the rest. And endorsing flesh, milk & egg production - contradicting established facts - puts "animal science" instructors & students in the position of deceiving rather than educating or serving others.
When you think of "animal science," think of farmers in Tanzania attacking each other with machetes. "Animal science" is a significant cause of global climate change, which is melting the snow atop Mt. Kilimanjaro. Farmers near the mountain now fight over the reduced water available for crops. Surely that is not the kind of thing a Utah State University education should foster? Unfortunately, that is just one of many tragedies attributable in part to "animal science."
The European Union will soon begin paying owners to reduce the number of sheep and other animals causing desertification and rapid water loss. RPA and other organizations are working hard for such constructive change. Phasing out "animal science" is an important opportunity for you to lead in the right direction as a land-grant university (LGU) president - the sooner, the better. Thank you for your consideration, and I hope to receive your reply soon.
Having a graduate degree and extensive
teaching experience myself, I'm
troubled by the lack of intellectual
integrity reflected in our LGUs'
stonewalling this urgent & important
matter. Won't you help move our
LGUs and our country in the right
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