BY TOM DEWEESE
For the past year I have been working to sound the alarm that the American beef industry is under massive assault from the radical environmental and animal rights movements that seek its ultimate destruction. Throughout the year I have been addressing cattlemen’s groups to educate them on the facts I have learned over nearly thirty years of exposing these groups and their plans to transform our entire culture and economy though the enforcement of the policy called sustainable development.
In the rural areas, the Greens’ selected tactic is to control the land, water, energy, and population of the Earth. To achieve these ends requires, among other things, the destruction of private property rights and elimination of every individual’s ability to make personal life-style choices, including personal diet. That’s why the American Beef Industry is such a necessary target.
First they had to create a false crisis so everyone would feel the need to take immediate action. Their tactic was to declare that beef was not sustainable – not as a product to grow — and not as a healthy food for people to consume. This put the cattlemen in the middle of a pincer move between the radical environmental movement seeking control of land use, and the Animal Rights movement which demanded the end of the consumption of animals.
Their most effective tactic is the never-ending threat of Global Warming. Say the Greens, global warming is driven by energy consumption and cows are energy guzzlers. That’s because you need trucks to ship the cattle to market. In their vision of a perfect sustainable community, nothing would be shipped in to consume. Everything needed would be produce right in the city. The Soviet Union called those gulags. And they starved.
So, these are some of the reasons why it’s charged that beef is unsustainable and must be ruled, regulated and frankly, eliminated. These are charges brought by anti-beef vegans who want all beef consumption stopped. In cahoots, are environmentalists who seek to stop the private ownership and use of land under the excuse of environmental protection.
Incredibly, to help deliver the cattle industry into line with this world view the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) has accepted the imposition of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, which is heavily influenced, if not controlled, by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), one of the top three most powerful environmental organizations in the world and a leader of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), which basically sets the rules for global environmental policy.
This is the same World Wildlife Fund that has openly stated its opposition to beef production. They insist that to “Save the Earth it is demanded that we change human consumption habits away from beef.” Keep in mind that the WWF is working diligently with environmental groups to gain control of the Northern Great Plains which spans more than 180 million acres across five states and into Canada. Under the false flag of wildlife restoration and conservation, the true purpose is to remove domestic livestock from the grasslands.
When you submit to powerful forces like the WWF, which has a specific political agenda for your future, you are actually giving them the keys to public lands and your private property. Put another way, what if it was the law that you had to have the approval of your competition to start a new business? That’s the reality of dealing with the WWF and its Roundtable. Sustainability means a one size fits all straightjacket that destroys individual creativity and thought. It’s the death of innovation, progress and the very roots of free enterprise.
So why would the NCBA, the organization so many of you have trusted to represent your interests, allow itself to be used as the Judas Goat to lead the beef industry to sustainable slaughter? Well, recently, the NCBA issued an article in an attempt to explain its reasons. Said the article, titled Why Sustainability? “…it’s difficult to accept that outsiders have influence in how we’re doing business. Increasingly, though, that’s exactly what’s happening. In the case of sustainability, consumers have decided they ought to have a better understanding and perhaps even a say in how their food is produced.”
Is the NCBA saying that its purpose is to let people who have no idea how to grow beef decide how it’s to be grown? Do we now throw out reality for someone’s misguided feelings? The article’s author, NCBA Vice President of Government Affairs Ethan Lane, explains his reason is that “the natural evolution of that interest was a conversation about sustainability and whether a product is viewed by consumers as sustainable.” He goes on to say that “Groups like WWF and many others have tremendous influence over corporations in the United States and foreign countries.”
I want to let you in on little secret. Allowing the “conversation” on sustainability is the TRAP! The reason there is confusion and conversation about sustainability is because the industries that know how to produce their products haven’t taken the lead to explain their own needs and explain to the general public why they do what they do. Instead they have submitted to green bullies and remained silent, letting the bullies determine the argument.
Oh, but the NCBA has a remedy for that – just for the cattlemen, of course. Says Lane, proudly, “NCBA participates in the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef and the US Roundtable for Sustainable Beef … to make certain that the voice of cattlemen and women is heard in conversations about cattle and beef production.” In other words, he’s claiming that NCBA has gained a seat at the table to stand just for the beef industry!
Well, how’s that working for them now that they have a seat at the table? In short, cattlemen have been forced to accept an endless list of rules and regulations to make them sustainably certified, or acceptable for market under the new rules. To continue to produce, cattlemen will be required to submit to a centralized control of regulations that will never end and will always increase in costs and needless waste of manpower.
To follow the sustainable rules and be officially certified, cattle growers must agree to have much of the use of their land reduced to provide for wildlife habitat. That’s the start. Just a little bit. And little bit more. Just to help improve your product and help the environment. Then come strict controls over water use and grazing areas. This forces smaller herds, making the process more expensive and economically unviable for the industry. In addition, there is a new layer of industry and government inspectors, creating a massive bureaucratic overreach, causing yet more costs for you. On its website, the WWF calls that “consulting” with the cattle growers.
The Roundtable rules are now enforced on them through the packing companies. As a result, their ability to get cattle to market is getting harder every day – unless they comply with rules that are simply designed to put them out of business. And of course, if cattle growers do comply, they will certainly go out of business.
But the NCBA says it is protecting them because they have a seat at the table!! Oh yes, the cattle growers voice is being heard alright! Bull! Over the past several years I’ve watched industry after industry subjugated and destroyed using this exact game plan. Submit, be silenced, be destroyed. This is why McDonalds is a major backer of the Roundtable. First they were attacked by the animal rights thugs. They submitted and started granting their demands. Walmart, same thing. Now they all cling to and promote the Roundtable out of fear. Home Depot did the same thing to help destroy the timber industry. In addition, the oil industry started donating massive funds to the green movement, while ignoring the very groups that have been fighting for their cause. It’s not black mail – it’s green mail!
Go along to get along. They all decided they needed a seat at the table too. Not one ever stood up and said NO! And not one has ever seen their industry or their business improve by going along with these thugs. That’s why the WWF calls the shots. FEAR.
The only reason the World Wildlife Fund and their green buddies have any influence or power is because every industry, every corporation, every business they attack gives it to them. We’ve allowed them to become terrorists on our markets, spreading fear and lies.
So I ask the cattlemen who are suffering under this oppression, do you understand the game that is being played on you? You are not supposed to win – you are supposed to quietly comply and then die. You cannot reason with them. You cannot compromise with them – because they have a very specific agenda. You follow their rules. They own the game. The fact is this is really a game of strip poker and the NCBA has left you all in your underwear!
There are only four main packing companies in the United States. They are all part of the Roundtable, working side by side with the World Wildlife Fund to force sustainable certification on the cattle growers. Hiding behind the Roundtable and its so-called certification, the packers that have played the game have become near monopolies able to destroy any attempts to create competition to them. Tragically, the packers themselves don’t understand that they too have been played and have signed their own death warrant because when beef is banned the packers will be gone too.
Of course, one of the first tactics was to remove the country of origin labeling from packaging so that consumers have no idea where their product is coming from. As the packers force these expensive, unnecessary, and unworkable sustainable certifications on American cattlemen they are systematically bringing in cheaper product from other countries. As a result there is a noticeable rise in news reports of recalls of diseased chicken and beef in American grocery stores.
This then is the situation that is threatening the American beef industry. If one reads the documents and statements from the World Wildlife Fund, the United Nations Environment Program and others involved, it is not hard to realize that the true goal is not to make beef better, but to ban it altogether. And believe it or not, the fact that some of the inferior, foreign beef sold in stores is lower grade and even diseased, works in the Sustainablists favor too – because the ultimate goal is to stop the consumption of beef. So fear of dangerous beef is a valuable tool.
However, the beef industry cannot recover by relying only on legal and legislative fights. The cattle growers must get the American consumer behind them. If consumers are confused, as Mr. Lane claims, that’s because they have never heard the truth. They have only heard the fear spread in the deliberate political agenda of the vegans, animal rights movement, and environmental propagandists. By the way, these are people who would never buy beef, no matter how sustainably certified you become. But if the industry insists that cattlemen submit to them, then the industry will most certainly lose its loyal customers as they are scared into dumping beef from their tables.
Here is the bottom line of every cattleman, processor, restaurant chain and super market that depends on beef must do! Drastic, dramatic action must be taken to reach the consumers with the truth. Consumers, armed with that truth, must become outraged about the real reasons prices are soaring and quality is going down, as the danger to their own health is increasing. Consumers must be warned taught that a force is loose in our country which is robbing them of the freedom of choice for their own dinner plate and especially for their own health. Cattlemen know these facts – but the average American doesn’t.
This is a crisis situation which calls for drastic, creative measures. First of all, let me say that the image of the great American cowboy that I grew up with would never submit to roving gangs of marauders who intend to steal their rangelands or rustle their cattle. Those cowboys wouldn’t plead for a seat at the table so they could beg for mercy and the right to exist. In fact, their first inclination would be to kick over that table and send these whiny wimps packing!
The only way to stop the brute force of the World Wildlife Fund is to destroy them before they destroy the beef industry! How can that be done? Expose their game. Tell the truth to the public – the consumer. Make the WWF the target – not beef! Refuse to surrender or comply.
How? Cattlemen – I am pleading with you! Stop sitting there, passively and politely suffering. Your future depends on the actions you take today. Do something dramatic that will throw you message right past the Roundtable, past elected officials, and over the heads of a skeptical news media – directly to the consumer that the NCBA is so worried about.
Again, I offer this modest little suggestion as to how you can get the attention of the entire nation – and start a nation-wide discussion of your plight. Start a cattle drive right down the main street of cities across the country. Drive your cattle right to city hall or the state capital. As you pass through town people are going to be very startled and curious, to say the least. Take advantage of that by passing out leaflets that tell them why you are doing this.
Now that you have everyone’s attention, tell your story. Hold a news conference right there on the steps of city hall or the state capital. In that news conference, demand that “Country of Origin” labels be put on all beef products so every consumer can be confident that they are getting American beef. Incredibly the NCBA is wimping around on this issue too, whining about making it just a suggestion. NO! you win only when it’s the law.
Second, demand that the Department of Agriculture reject this sustainable myth and protect the American free-market that has always provided superior products.
Third, expose the packers by name. Help the American consumer become your ally in every grocery and steak house in the nation. Demand American beef for Americans! Put the pressure on Tyson, Cargill, JBS, and National Beef. And while you’re at it reveal the other traitors to your industry, including McDonalds, Walmart, Target, Taco Bell, Wendy’s Arby’s Costco and others who are using, serving, or selling inferior “sustainable” beef while helping to destroy American growers. It’s a pathetic lie to say this policy is “consumer driven.” Do you know anyone who shops in a grocery or sits in a restaurant to order beef and asks “is this sustainable?” Those who think that aren’t buying beef in the first place!
Above all, publicly call out the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association to get its collective head out of the sand and join you before the entire industry is destroyed. Expose the fact that the NCBA is working directly with the World Wildlife Fund which believes that beef consumption must be stopped in order to save the earth. At your news conferences ask this question of the NCBA: Why would the WWF be welcomed into any part of your industry? It means they can effectively destroy you from the inside. And that is exactly what they are doing.
Can you imagine the impact this would have if you had five cattle drives in five capital cities, driving right to the state houses – all at the exact same time on the exact same day? It would get international attention.
Do you doubt that? Well a couple of months ago the farmers in the Netherlands, faced with some of the same oppressive sustainable regulations, shut down the nation’s highways with their tractors – twice. The government’s reaction was to call an emergency meeting. In the last couple of months more such tractor blockades have occurred in Berlin, Germany and Dublin, Ireland. Most recently they drove into Paris, France. That activity is spreading across Europe by desperate farmers, for the very policies American ranchers and farmers are now experiencing. The point is to take dramatic action that will get the American public to see your fight and take your side.
The only way American beef growers and farmers can survive is to fight. If you think my suggestion for a cattle drive is too extreme, then at least take a lesson from activists outside Shreveport. LA, where hundreds of citizens around Caddo Lake are now pouring into Shreveport City Hall to stop that community government from reaching beyond its boundaries to take control of their private land. Or in Virginia, where thousands of citizens are storming local county and community government meetings to stop a planned massive state-wide gun grab by the state legislature. Incredibly over ninety two percent of the state’s local governments have passed resolutions declaring themselves second amendment sanctuaries.
The point is, to win you must show up, stand up, and speak up! To survive, cattlemen must all take to the saddle and become modern-day Paul Reveres. That means taking direct, creative action. The very future of our nation and its ability to feed itself, while remaining free and strong, depends on the choices you make today.
So-called sustainable policy is not a free-market. It is a government-sanctioned monopoly that is little short of a criminal enterprise. This is a dark, evil force with a one-sided goal designed to control or destroy the beef industry.
As martyred rancher LaVoy Finicum said, it matters how you stand!
Self-Educated American Contributing Editor – Tom DeWeese – is the President of the American Policy Center.