Who Are The Radicals Behind The Anti-Mutton Bustin Jihad?
by Marjorie Haun
January 3, 2018
(Free Range Report) – Samantha Francis, an ardent anti-agriculture activist from the U.K. set her sights recently on America’s traditional rodeo sport, ‘Mutton Bustin.’ About two weeks ago, the so-called ‘animal rights’ crusader launched a petition to shame the National Western Stock Show into cancelling what she calls a ‘cruel tradition.’ In what appears to be an appeal to urban Millennials and soccer moms, Francis has garnered nearly 90,000 signatures. But far from being ‘cruel,’ Mutton Bustin’ is a relatively safe rodeo sport, downsized for children 5-7 who, instead of hanging on the the back of a bull or bronco, try to hold onto the back of a running sheep. The sport requires safety equipment for the kids, including a helmet and face mask, and the sheep are right-sized for the riders, so neither gets hurt in the competition.
Will the National Western Stock Show, held annually in Denver, cancel Mutton Bustin’ as a result of the shame campaign? No, but it’s also a guarantee that progressive radicals, such as Francis, will continue to wage their anti-agriculture shame campaigns well into the foreseeable future. But who are the anti-agriculture radicals behind this and other so-called animal rights brouhahas?
Who are they?
In 2017 Samantha Francis, a self-proclaimed vegan from Cambridgeshire, England, launched her attack on harmless sports celebrating sheep agriculture, and she has been successful. Last June, Francis targeted the Wooditton Sheep Race, a church-run event in her hometown of Cambridgeshire. The race, which Francis described as ‘barbaric,’ featured sheep with toy jockeys mounted to their backs running a mock race on a short grass track. Having gathered some 40,000 signatures for her anti-agriculture petition, Francis successfully shamed the event’s organizers into cancelling the race.
Emboldened by her victory, in July Francis posted a petition slamming a similar sheep race in Scotland, in which sheep with stuffed toy jockeys run through the streets of the town in the annual Moffat Sheep Race.
While ‘animal lover’ Francis insisted the race ‘terrified’ the animals, the organizer of the race, Sarah Ottewell, confirmed that, “Extensive animal welfare considerations have been taken into account in the planning and running of this event…We consulted several bodies including the animal charity the SSPCA.” Nonetheless, in August of 2017, Francis posted a blog on the Animal Justice Project website making it clear that the economic well-being of the farmers and communities who benefit from the celebration are expendable to her anti-agriculture jihad.
But the anti-agriculture jihad knows no borders, and most recently Francis took on one of the largest livestock expos in the United States, the National Western Stock Show. Under the title ‘Lambentations,’ Francis launched a petition calling for a ban on Mutton Bustin’ at the Stock Show. Although, to date, the petition has gathered nearly 90,000 signatures, only 2,339 are actually from within Colorado. And despite wide coverage of the petition–and support from PETA and other fringe ‘animal rights’ groups–the National Western Stock Show has not been shamed nor intimidated, and will preserve Mutton Bustin‘ as a favorite event.
The Animal Justice Project, appears to be yet another iteration of the radical ‘animal rights movement.’ But the welfare of animals is the least of their concerns. A look at their blog reveals not just anti-agriculture ideology, but anti-Brexit, anti-medical progress, anti-meat, anti-national security and anti-service pet activism as well.
Another anti-agriculture, anti-pet jihadist who supports Francis’ petition is Aidan Cook. According to CBS Denver, Cook said, “The entire Western Stock Show is a very violent event…If we thought (this was) an event where we strapped kids to the backs of terrified dogs and ran them around for our enjoyment, people would be outraged. And it’s really no different to do the same thing to sheep.” Cook, who is associated with the radical ‘animal rights’ group, Direct Action Everywhere, has a rap sheet of bizarre extremist behavior and criminal activities.
In May of 2016, Cook was among a group of activists who were arrested for ‘bum rushing’ then presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders, at a rally in Oakland. Cook’s beef with Sanders, according to a report in Splinter, was that he was the Democrat senator, “with the most donations from the agribusiness sector,” and that he did not care enough about ‘animal rights.’
In March of this year, Cook, who lives in Colorado, stormed the stage at a culinary competition in Denver and gave an unhinged speech encouraging the consumption of human meat on the basis that eating animals is a form of ‘speciesism.’ According to an article in EATER Denver, Cook and his radical friends have perpetrated numerous anti-agriculture, anti-meat crimes, including vandalism. The report says: The group, Direct Action Everywhere, is not on its first protest rodeo. Just last month, members of the group were involved in an incident at Ideal Market in Boulder where they caused approximately $1000 in property damage. They also made an appearance at a Meat Matters dinner held at Blackbelly Market. Cook himself is no stranger to getting arrested. That happened multiple times under very similar circumstances.
The 21 year-old Cook appears to revel in attention, and theft is another way he gets it. Last September he admitted stealing chickens from a farm in Berthoud. Deceiving an 8 year old girl who was raising chickens on the farm, activists with Baby Animal Save ran off with several of the birds. Bizarrely, according to a report in the Coloradoan, Cook and his buddies targeted this particular chicken farm because it was too humane, and thus perpetrated the “humane myth.”
Radicalism, in all its forms, appeals to the ignorant. The smart activist groups such as Humane Society of the U.S. (HSUS) create elaborate, pricey PR campaigns featuring pitiful puppies and kittens in an appeal to urban/suburban folks who love animals (who doesn’t) under the premise that if you give a lot of money they will make life better for all suffering animals. Others, such as PETA, operate under the lie that animals have constitutional ‘rights’ and are morally and legally equivalent to humans. The data show that HSUS and PETA are big money machines whose millions go to administration, PR, activism and lobbying, with only about 1 percent of takings going to actual animal rescue operations. The anti-agriculture jihad is well-funded, and most of those dollars are coming from well-intentioned urbanites. The key problem facing livestock operators, from chicken farmers to cattle ranchers, is that the vast majority of modern Americans do not understand what goes into raising animals.
The truth is, all animal industries in the United States are highly-regulated and the humane treatment of animals is integral to the trade. From birth to death, animal welfare is paramount, and the end of life for food animals, though grisly to the unacquainted observer, is as instantaneous and humane as any death can be.
Animals die. Whether by natural causes, in the jaws of predators, or in a highly-regulated agricultural production facility with humane techniques in place, animals die. And the urban/suburban set is removed from that reality, which leaves many gullible to a culture where ‘animal rights’ groups define your morality based on how much money you give.
In recent years, the radical ‘animal rights’ jihad has taken a disturbing and dangerous turn. Far from protecting animals from cruelty, these groups are now working towards long term goals of banning pet ownership and pet choices, including service pets. Once it was just research facilities and livestock operations, now the ‘animal rights’ jihad is going after your home and your rights.
For more information about the anti-agriculture, anti-pet jihad, please visit Protect the Harvest
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