by Ken Root
Thanks to Ron Hays of the RON for providing this story.
Two states voted against agricultural interests and in line with the goals of animal rights organizations in the recent election. Oklahoma’s State Question 777 – Right to Farm was blocked by voters, Massachusetts passed their own legislation targeting production agriculture.
This new policy regulates that no eggs, pork or veal that comes from confined animals may be sold in the state of Massachusetts.
Backing this legislation was the same organization that supported the opposition of Oklahoma State Question 777, the Humane Society of the United States. Brian Klippenstein of the pro-agriculture organization Protect the Harvest, told Rural Oklahoma Network Farm Director, Ron Hays, that it is time for production ag to stand up for itself and fight back against the animal rights extremists.
“Those who are in the business of disparaging agriculture,” Klippenstein said, “have fine-tuned misleading arguments that can sell in urban populations.”
This is the tactic Klippenstein says the opposition to SQ-777, Oklahoma, used and ultimately succeeded with. He argues that Right to Farm should have passed without issue had it not been for the misleading information disseminated by HSUS. He also argues that the organization and its partners are now targeting agriculture state by state, in a divide and conquer type strategy, using the Massachusetts legislation as the most recent example of this exploitation.
“First and foremost it’s a constitutional issue, it’s an interstate commerce violation, a trade violation,” Kippelstein said. “Agriculture, the president, the republicans in Congress are all trying to press to lower international trade barriers. We have states erecting them here in the country and agriculture has failed to take note so far.”
According to Kippelstein, the groups working together to fight animal agriculture are going state to state and pushing regulations, and using different standards each time. In effect, each state and its neighbor states all have different standards for which it is legal sell products making it increasingly difficult for trade of agricultural products between states.
“They want to make it harder to produce food. We always think of this as them trying to control farmers. At this point it’s transparently otherwise,” Klippenstein said. “They want to control consumers because that’s the easiest way to control all of agriculture to drive people out of the protein market.”
Congress or the courts though is where this kind of legal exploitation needs to be fixed, says Klippenstein, citing that these organizations are pushing regulation that in fact falls under federal jurisdiction noting that the Constitution identifies interstate commerce as a role reserved for the federal government.
“This is why, so you didn’t have 50 different states setting up 50 different trade regimes and particularly in food – can you imagine,” Klippenstein said. They want to muck up the animal protein market in pursuit of their twisted vegan agenda.”
Klippenstein says it is time for agriculture to rally in defense of itself.
“They have to stand up for themselves,” Klippenstein said. “We can’t win an argument we’re not willing to make.”
Of interest, the primary benefactor of “Protest the Harvest”, billionaire Forest Lucas (Lucas Oil) is on the short list for a cabinet position in the Trump administration.