Pigs, Cows & Sheep Tortured with Taxpayer Dollars: Defund Animal Abuse!
The U.S. government spends a whopping $557 million dollars each year pushing us to consume products of animal suffering: meat, dairy, and eggs. Government “checkoff” programs are full of conflicts of interest and corrupt anti-competitive activities, but the ultimate price of these programs is paid by animals who are mechanically bred, crammed into industrial farms, tortured and slaughtered. We can change this!
Two bills (S.934/S.935) have been introduced to bring some desperately-needed accountability to these programs. Checkoff programs are a form of generic advertising funded by a collective agricultural industry such as dairy. Well-known advertisements such as “Got Milk?” and “Beef, It’s What’s for Dinner” are the result of these programs, as are the glut of extra cheese-packed options in Pizza Hut, Dominos and Taco Bell.
U.S. law actually requires agricultural producers to fund checkoff programs, and the government also has a hand in administering them. This is a large and historic problem, because the government has a vested interest in promoting the consumption of animal products, yet is also responsible for writing our dietary guidelines and farmed animal welfare laws. Time and again, the government has chosen to sacrifice human health and blindly uphold an industry rife with systemic animal abuse in a bid to protect agriculture profits.
In recent times, leaked emails have caught members of the checkoff-funded American Egg Board gleefully fantasizing about murdering Josh Tetrick, CEO of plant-based company JUST which produces cruelty-free, vegan egg alternatives, in addition to other products like egg-free mayonnaise.
This is exactly why these programs need to exposed and held accountable. The Opportunities for Fairness in Farming Act (S.935) aims to achieve just that by increasing transparency and prohibiting anti-competitive activities. Similarly, The Voluntary Checkoff Program Participation Act (S.934) would make participation in these programs voluntary rather than mandatory. This is hopeful news for animals since producers are far less likely to fund generic advertising when other producers don’t contribute but still stand to benefit.
Together, these two bills will create much needed transparency and abolish compulsory funding. Let’s break the stranglehold of multi-million-dollar checkoff programs that propagate animal suffering!
What YOU Can Do
Contact your two senators to request support of these two bills by phone and by email.
1. Make a call. Calling is one of the most effective actions you can take for animals. Legislators may be able to filter or ignore emailed letters, but they can't avoid phone calls as easily. Please call your two senators by clicking on the link below, entering your zip code, and making sure you are on the Federal tab.
Here’s an example of what you can say:
“Hello, my name is ____, as your constituent, I urge you to co-sponsor the Opportunities for Fairness in Farming Act (S.935), and the Voluntary Checkoff Program Participation Act (S.934). These bills will deter misuse of funding by checkoff boards, and will make financially contributing to checkoffs voluntary, a move which should be encouraged in the interest of fair competition.”
2. After your call, submit our follow up letter to your two federal senators to voice your support for the Opportunities for Fairness in Farming Act (S.935) and the Voluntary Checkoff Program Participation Act (S.934) by filling out the fields on this page. U.S. address required..