Contributions to animals welfare and rights organizations such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals rose 11 percent in 2007 (the most recent figures available), even with the economic downturn that began that year. The farming industry-friendly Animal Agriculture Alliance attributes this rise in funding as playing a key role in the increase in campaigns and actions being taken against the livestock industry.
While some of the most prominent US based animal welfare organizations, such as PETA and the Humane Society, saw modest to negligible increases (11% and <1%, respectively), other groups saw huge increases in funding. The World Society for the Protection of Animals saw its donations nearly double between 2006 and 2007, and the brand new Animal Acres received almost five times as much money in 2007 as it had the prior year.
While 2008’s figures have not been released yet, the flood of money donated to California’s successful Proposition 2 and the continued campaigns being waged by mainstream and radical organizations indicates that the recession did not adversely affect these groups very much. While animal and animal lovers may be rejoicing, the animal agriculture industry is not so pleased.
Drovers, whose mission statement includes “enhancing the [beef] industry’s profitability [and] viability”, is warning people against donating to these types of organizations. The Animal Agriculture Alliance advises that folks not donate to animal rights causes that “are actually harmful to animals’ overall health and well-being”. Drovers adds that the industry works hard to ensure that all meat comes from “from humanely raised animals”.
If the industries are so committed to providing choices and meat from happy animals, then I don’t see what they’re so worried about. They claim that these “radical” groups actually harm animals, but I’m pretty sure California’s farm animals are not too upset about all the extra space they have finally been granted. If animal cruelty upsets you, be sure to donate to one of the organizations that Drovers and the Animal Agriculture Alliance are working so hard to counteract.