As more and more scientific studies prove a connection between meat consumption and diet-related diseases, the meat industry is evidently required to silence their opponents with their lawyers.
In the United States, the trial of the well-known and popular talk show host Oprah Winfrey has come to a close.
She was sued by Texas cattle farmers for $ 11 million in damages for criticizing cattle breeding on her April 15, 1996 talk show and claiming she would stop eating beef (for fear of BSE). She arrived at this decision after talking to her guest Howard Lyman.
Howard Lyman is a former farmer who gave up his job out of ethical considerations, now lives as a vegetarian and is President of the International Vegetarian Union (IVU).
The jury dismissed the cattle breeders’ claim after weeks of trial because they deemed freedom of speech more important than the cattle breeders' losses.
Comparison with England
Unfortunately, this is rather the exception. Two unemployed people from England who were distributing leaflets criticizing McDonald’s, were then sued by the corporation and fined heavily as they could not afford lawyers.
In England in particular, the struggle between the animal rights movement and the meat industry is becoming ever greater. Animal rights activists are resorting to more severe, sometimes illegal, means to protest meat industry practices regarding animal farming, transport and killing and to inflict financial damage on the meat industry. The legal system is responding with ever harsher penalties in order to achieve a deterring effect (which has not yet occured). There are currently around a dozen animal rights activists in English prisons because they stood up for animals. The last conviction was of Barry Horne. He has been sentenced to 18 years (!) of prison for property damage. He became known throughout England a year ago for his hunger strike, which lasted several weeks. He was protesting politicians' "forgetting" their election promises. They promised to do something against animal experimentation but did not keep this promise after the elections.
Imprisoned out of love for animals
Returning to the US, there are already several individuals (currently 7 are known) who are in prison for their activities opposing the exploitation of animals. The proceedings against 19-year-old Douglas Joshua Ellerman are still ongoing. A prison sentence of between 30 and 35 years awaits him!
Although practically everyone active in the animal rights scene “only” tolerates damage to property, it is of course questionable whether the use of illegal means to achieve a positive goal may be acceptable.
However, when you consider how our fellow creatures are treated today and how powerless those who still have compassion for the suffering animals are, it is at least understandable that more and more people can no longer just sit back and watch. Violence against animals provokes counter-violence. Only, one violent act is legal while the other is not, as people are protected by laws (they created themselves) and animals can still be treated as objects. Of course, the rule also applies in the opposite direction: counter-violence in turn provokes violence. This is one of the reasons why Swissveg will continue to rely on non-violent methods of standing up for the animals.