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Voiceless Agenda Infiltrates Classrooms

4 May 2006

Animal activist group Voiceless has launched a major propaganda campaign targeting 3,000,000 children in 9,000 schools across Australia under the guise of a ‘caring for animals’ project. However, the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) today warned parents and called on governments to ban special interest agendas from un-vetted entrée to classrooms.

The Animal Club website (www.animalclub.org.au and www.voiceless.org.au) and promotional program aimed at primary and secondary school children, launched by Voiceless this week, may at face value appear harmless, however, drill deeper and you uncover a program seemingly aimed at indoctrinating children. References on the site pose issues in terms easily accepted by children, then links from the site take children to more adult-like sites protesting anything to do with meat consumption or production.

There is a major distinction between ‘animal welfare’ and ‘animal rights’. Animal welfare, as most people would accept it, advocates doing everything possible to refrain from inflicting unnecessary pain on animals, abhorring cruelty and recognising responsible production of livestock for human consumption is a necessary part of a balanced diet to feed the human race.

Farmers are very much focused on sound animal welfare as an asset and feature of their business.

However, animal rights is a philosophical proposition elevating the rights of animals to an equal footing as human beings, whereby they cannot be used by people, let alone eaten. As such, these groups often advocate a vegetarian lifestyle. As protestors in Brisbane this week proclaimed at the World Meat Congress ‘meat is murder’, others say having a family pet can be akin to human slavery.

You can drive a Mack truck through the holes in this philosophy’s inconsistencies. Firstly, animals killing other animals for food, is natural. However, people killing cattle, sheep, etc. for food is tantamount to murder. Then, because animal rights groups claim animals are our equals as sentient beings, we have a special moral obligation to them. However, clearly animals have no reciprocal responsibilities. It’s a proposition steeped in nonsense.

However, of more pressing interest is Voiceless appears less concerned about infringing the rights of children to an education free of hidden agendas and ideological dogma.

Adding to the unacceptable nature of the Voiceless ‘get em while their young’ push, Lush Cosmetics is involved in the program with $5,000 prizes in what appears little more than a cynical marketing ploy to pitch their products to children in the classroom.

We have to ask where school principals, teachers, State Education Departments and curriculum boards, and ultimately, Education Ministers have been while this is going on? Surely, they haven’t all been asleep at the wheel?

Like most sensible people, the NFF believes the classroom should be a venue for informed discussion and debate, where information is appropriately vetted and contexted for its audience and the factual, intellectual rigour underscoring it is paramount. There appears little, if any, real education value in the Voiceless program or Lush Cosmetics’ marketing push to children.

As far as anyone can tell, no screening, approval or educative analysis has been conducted by relevant authorities before allowing Voiceless and its not-so-subtle agenda to infiltrate schools and meddle with young minds.

Parents concerned about what their children are being peddled should contact their school and State Education Minister and ask the prudent, logical questions: ‘Do you know about this? If not, why not? If so, what are you doing about it?’

Media Enquiries: Brett Heffernan on (02) 6273 3855 or 0408 448 250.

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