This week at the Animal Rights Foundation of Florida we couldn’t be more proud of Nanci Alexander, who has volunteered as ARFF’s President since our organization was founded almost 20 years ago. Did Nanci win an award? Not exactly.
On Tuesday, Nanci was featured in an editorial titled “The Animal Ag Industries 5 Biggest Enemies” which appeared on Cattle Network (”The Source for Cattle News”) and other online food industry publications. The author was Chuck Jolley, who runs a public relations firm in Kansas that works primarily with the meat industry.
Jolley’s editorial was full of exaggerations and inaccuracies, but Nanci was in good company. At the top of the list, “enemy” number one, was Wayne Pacelle, President & CEO of the Humane Society of the United States. Wayne is a leading voice in support of “Prop 2,” an initiative on the ballot this year in California that would require that calves raised for veal, breeding pigs, and egg-laying hens be given enough space to turn around, lie down, and stretch their limbs. A simple proposal, but if passed, it would ban veal crates, battery cages and gestation crates. Next was Bruce Friedrich, PETA Vice President and one of the busiest activists we know. Bruce is the voice of the excellent “Vegetarianism in a Nutshell” essay (click here to read or listen to the essay). Also featured was Dr. Neal Barnard, best-selling author and President of The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. PCRM has done groundbreaking research on the role of diet in diabetes, cancer and other serious conditions. PCRM is also working hard to reform federal nutrition policies.
Why is Nanci one of the agriculture industry’s biggest enemies? Jolley notes that ARFF was a leading sponsor of an initiative that placed a question on the ballot in Florida in 2002 to prohibit the cruel confinement of pregnant pigs in factory farms (the initiative passed with over 2.5 million votes!). Jolley also mentioned ARFF’s ongoing outreach efforts and in particular our “mobile video theater.”
Although Nanci was last on the list, we were thrilled that we were included. We know that we would not be criticized if we were unknown or if we were ineffective. We also know that it’s unwise to pay too much attention to either criticism or praise.