Experts free of meat, dairy, fish, and egg industry ties make clear that our land-grant universities’ (LGUs’) “animal science” programs – training, research, collusion, sales, and public relations for the industries – are an educational travesty and an insidious disservice to the public, undermining the Constitutional values of justice, tranquility, defense, liberty, and the general welfare. “Animal science” is part of the industries’ massive longterm assault on human beings, nonhuman animals, and the natural world, a major cause of deadly and disabling human diseases, economic disasters, food, water, and land shortages, and more.
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 since 2003, on the urgent need to end “animal science.” Simultaneously, RPA has given lectures, run websites, distributed brochures and fliers, 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. A speciesist news industry predictably suppresses the “animal science” travesty. As always, we the people must solve the problem. Here are some key facts to help establish justice at our universities.
Key facts to help establish justice at our universities:
“[A] foul wind has blown over our nation’s universities. Its source is … the growing role that commercial values have assumed in academic life.”
Jennifer Washburn, University, Inc.: The Corporate Corruption of Higher Education
“As numerous episodes confirm, humankind’s plentiful capacity for foolish to abominable behavior is not neutralized by advanced degrees or high academic position.”
Daniel S. Greenberg, Science for Sale: The Perils, Rewards, and Delusions of Campus Capitalism
“[Q]uestions about values – about meaning, morality, and life’s larger purpose – are really questions about the well-being of conscious creatures.”
Sam Harris, Ph.D., The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values
“Researching and writing The Pig Who Sang to the Moon: The Emotional World of Farm Animals convinced me universities should not teach students to take part in the egg, dairy, and meat industries and should not conduct research for those industries.”
“Botany, zoology, ecology, conservation, nutrition, the cultivation of fruits, nuts, grains, vegetables and legumes, respect for all living beings – these are great academic traditions. Treating animals as industrial objects, however, denies that animals are our fellow sentient beings, undermines ecology, conservation, and sound nutrition, and subverts the purpose of truth-seeking institutions.”
Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, Ph.D., author of many books on nonhuman animals
“Humans are most often described as ‘omnivores.’ This classification is based on the ‘observation’ that humans generally eat a wide variety of plant and animal foods. However, culture, custom and training are confounding variables when looking at human dietary practices. Thus, ‘observation’ is not the best technique to use when trying to identify the most ‘natural’ diet for humans.” ” … human beings have the gastrointestinal tract … of a ‘committed’ herbivore. Humankind does not show the mixed structural features one expects and finds in anatomical omnivores such as bears and raccoons. … we must conclude that humankind’s GI tract is designed for a purely plant-food diet.”
Milton R. Mills, M.D., “The Comparative Anatomy of Eating”
“What have we always contended with? What do we fear? What still evokes the most gut-level panic and revulsion? The answer to all three questions is the hunger of predators for human prey. Ecologically and psychologically we were, until very recently, prey meat – meals for large, frightening animals. … It is only within our artificially sanitized Western world that humans can think of themselves as the macho, meat-eating, kill-’em-dead Top Predator. … If we can make the break with embedded stereotypes and view early humans more as potential prey than as hunters, we might break through and actually gain a better understanding of our ancestors and ourselves.”
“[O]ur hominid ancestors probably got plenty of exercise from desperately trying to avoid saber-toothed cats, not from blatantly suicidal attempts to hunt them. Instead of Man the Hunter, we contend that Man the Hunted is a more accurate snapshot. For smallish bipedal primates, we envision a whole host of predators were licking their chops with anticipation.”
Donna Hart, Ph.D., and Robert W. Sussman, Ph.D., Man the Hunted: Primates, Predators, and Evolution
“New diseases do not fall from the sky or leap from some mysterious black box. … [M]ost human diseases were once new. They came to us because we changed our environment, our behavior, or both.
“Most of these diseases came from other species – smallpox probably from dogs or cattle, hemorrhagic fevers from rodents and monkeys, tuberculosis from cattle and birds, the common cold from horses, AIDS probably from African monkeys.
“We provide new ecological niches for microbes by tilling fields and domesticating animals ….”
Arno Karlen, Man and Microbes: Disease and Plagues in History and Modern Times
“The answer to the American health crisis is the food that each of us chooses to put in our mouths each day. It’s as simple as that.”
“There are virtually no nutrients in animal-based foods that are not better provided by plants.”
“[A] huge ‘conflict-of-interest’ loophole allow[s] industries to exercise their influence through the side door of academia. … [T]he entire system is … under the control of industry.”
T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted
“Livestock’s Long Shadow, the widely-cited 2006 report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, estimates that 7,516 million metric tons per year of CO2 equivalents … or 18 percent of annual worldwide [greenhouse gas] emissions, are attributable to cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats, camels, horses, pigs, and poultry. … But our analysis shows that livestock and their byproducts actually account for at least 32,564 million tons of CO2 equivalents per year, or 51 percent of annual worldwide [greenhouse gas emissions].”
Robert Goodland and Jeff Anhang, “Livestock and Climate Change,” World Watch, November/December 2009
“Ecological burdens result from both modern, intensive livestock production methods – such as chicken and pig feeding houses and beef feedlots – and extensive forms – such as ranching and pastoralism. The environmental effects of intensive livestock operations run from grain fields to manure piles. And unsustainable grazing and ranching patterns of impoverished and affluent regions alike sacrifice forests, drylands, and wild species. ….”
Alan B. Durning and Holly B. Brough, Taking Stock: Animal Farming and the Environment, Worldwatch Paper 103, Worldwatch Institute
“[W]e can feed about seven times as many people on plants as can be fed on meat.”
Charles B. Heiser, Jr., Seed to Civilization: The Story of Food, Second Edition
“The humane treatment of animals or serious consideration of environmental effects of certain food production practices are given low priority in the decision-making process by agribusiness. Because of the decisions made by agribusiness, all of us are faced with widespread pesticide use and other agrichemicals sprayed on crops. As for animals, livestock production is based on inhumane factory conditions, bolstered by antibiotics, growth hormones, and chemical-based feed additives pumped into them daily. …
Michael W. Fox, Eating with Conscience
“… universities will turn tricks for anyone with money ….”
Lawrence C. Soley, “The Tricks of Academe,” in Campus Inc.,ed. Geoffry D. White, Ph.D.
Human infringement on other animals is a grave injustice undermining human wellbeing, nonhuman animals, and the natural world. Universities should teach the truth, not suppress it by serving the most destructive industries. Our land-grant universities’ executives are not yet listening despite Responsible Policies for Animals’ (RPA’s) airtight case. Support RPA and its 10,000 Years Is Enough campaign to get our universities out of the meat, dairy, fish, and egg industries.