Tags: Restaurants | Fight | Anti-choice | 'Animal | Rights' | Extremists

Restaurants Fight Anti-choice 'Animal Rights' Extremists

Wednesday, 23 January 2002 12:00 AM

CCF officials say the campaign is needed to "protect consumer choice and expose the hypocrisy of activist groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Greenpeace, the Center for Science in the Public Interest and more."

The coalition will run full-page advertisements over the next several weeks in many of the nation's weekly news magazines. It plans to follow that up with a radio commercial campaign in many major broadcasting markets.

Officials with CCF declined to say which publications would carry the ads, nor would they specify how much money would be spent on the campaign.

"PETA is against meat and cheeseburgers, and they make no bones about it, and that's their right," said John Doyle, a spokesman for CCF. "What we are doing is pointing out where they have links to violent organizations."

Questions have been raised in the past about whether PETA has worked with animal rights groups that employ violence, including Animal Liberation Front.

A 1992 congressional report prepared by the U.S. Office of Technology Assessment, titled The Terrorist Threat, quoted the FBI. "PETA leaders are reported to have acted as intermediaries to the press for ALF, including distributing a videotape of an ALF break-in."

PETA officials have denied any link with ALF.

Among the restaurants targeted by PETA is the fast-food franchise Wendy's. The animal rights group has staged numerous demonstrations at Wendy's restaurants around the country.

In a statement announcing one such protest in Louisville, Ky., last summer, PETA promised "an eye-opening spectacle" and described a PETA staff member "dressed in a gingham frock and pigtails, wielding a 'bloody butcher knife.'"

PETA President Ingrid Newkirk laughed at CCF's criticism. "I have been in many taverns and restaurants where you can get a damn good vegan meal," said Newkirk. "For animals, the environment and human health, nothing beats vegetarianism."

But pressure on the fast-food industry isn't limited to militant groups such as PETA. Last Thursday, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) sent a letter to Washington's Smithsonian Institution, criticizing its decision to have McDonald's provide the food service for the National Air and Space Museum.

"It is sad that the federally-supported Smithsonian is making no effort whatsoever to encourage its millions of visitors to choose more healthful diets," said Michael Jacobson, executive director of CSPI, in a statement. "Most of the foods that the Air and Space Museum will provide will be the standard fast-fund junk like soft drinks, pizzas, burgers, fries, that contribute to heart disease, obesity and a raft of other health problems."

Doyle dismissed the criticism as a ploy, saying it was Jacobson's "attempt to get publicity to sell newsletters.

"They put out scare campaigns in order to attract media attention to sell newsletters," said Doyle. "Michael needs to lighten up."

The new ad campaign is only the latest phase in CCF's effort to blunt anti-consumer-choice activists.

Last December, CCF unveiled a Web site called www.ActivistCash.com, which it says exposes the "funding sources" of the "most influential activist non-profits."

CCF based its data on more than 10,000 pages of IRS documents, financial papers, background information, profiles of anti-consumer ringleaders and a dossier on the funding network for those allegedly "against personal consumer choice of food and drink."

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CCF officials say the campaign is needed to protect consumer choice and expose the hypocrisy of activist groups such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Greenpeace, the Center for Science in the Public Interest and more. The coalition will run full-page...
Restaurants,Fight,Anti-choice,'Animal,Rights',Extremists
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2002-00-23
Wednesday, 23 January 2002 12:00 AM
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