October 16,2019 by Tom DeWeese Farming, Property Rights, Sustainable Development @ American Policy Center
I’m not a cattleman and I’m not going to pretend I know everything you are facing. But I do know that the major weapon being used against your industry is the misnamed control devise called Sustainable Development. I know why and I know who the players are. I hope I can leave you today with some ideas on how to fight them.
To begin, let’s set the terms and make one thing very clear. The use of the word sustainable may sound like a comfortable term, not threatening. After all, you, your parents, and those before them have probably been successfully working the same land for decades. That’s true sustainability. But that is not what it means to those forces pushing that term today. Sustainable today means sustained control. Sustained power. And very soon – sustainable poverty for many.
Most people immediately equate Sustainable Development with environmental policy. Of course, concern for the environment is the justification most often used for its implementation. But, in fact land, and economic control are at the heart of Sustainable policy and, assuming it is simply good environmental stewardship proves to be a serious and dangerous mistake.
The term “Sustainable Development” was born on the pages of the 1987 United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development. It is basically the policy for the implementation of Agenda 21 which came along in 1992. The announced purpose of Agenda 21 was a “comprehensive blueprint for the reorganization of human society”.
Now to make this blue print effective they needed us to voluntarily give up our liberties. What could be such a powerful threat to get us all to do that? Well, how about the threat of Environmental Armageddon? It doesn’t matter how many rights you think you have if you don’t have a planet to stand on! Climate change is the tool of choice to scare us all into voluntarily surrendering our liberties to this BLUEPRINT to change human society. And that’s why they will not give up on this scam – no matter how much true science debunks it.
If you doubt that then let me share this quote from Christina Stewart, the former Canadian Minister of the Environment: “No matter if the science of global warming is all phony … climate change provides the greatest opportunity to bring about justice and equality in the world.” That “justice and equality” she speaks of is redistribution of wealth – which means socialism. Sustainable Development is not just a conservation policy to assure we are good stewards of the land: rather, it affects every corner of our lives.
The Sustainable ground troops are made up of hundreds of Non-governmental Organizations (NGOs), including the Nature Conservancy, Sierra Club, National Resources Defense Council, Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund. They, and hundreds more like them, helped to write Agenda 21.
How many of you have heard of the Wildlands Project? In the 1980s one of the most radical environmental organizations emerged – named Earth First! Its leader was Dave Foreman. Earth First! saw themselves as “Eco-Warriors” the Esprit de Corp of the radical environmental movement. Monkeywrenching was their tactic of choice. Sabotage. They destroyed mining equipment, blew up power transmission lines and spiked trees. That little bit of fun meant they drove a spike into a tree. When the timber company then cut the tree down and sent it to the mill, as the saw blades hit the spike they would explode. Timber production stopped! Victory for the Eco Warriors.
Forman had big plans. He said, “My three main goals would be to reduce human populations to about 100 million worldwide, destroy the industrial infrastructure and see wilderness, with its full compliment of species, returning throughout the world.” Do you see any room for you and your cattle in that vision?
Oh, but these were just the ravings of a radical lunatic – not to be taken seriously. Well…not so fast! You see, Foreman’s ideas became the basis for the UN’s Biodiversity Treaty. “Rewilding” became the term to lock away over 50% of all the land in every state – back to the way if was before Christopher Columbus came this way. No human activity. No roads. No homes. No industry. That became the basis for the whole Sustainable movement.
Foreman got specific about how he saw YOUR future. “Our vision is simple. We live for the day when Grizzlies in Chihuahua have an unbroken connection to Grizzlies in Alaska. When gray wolf populations are continuous from New Mexico to Greenland.”
One of Foreman’s fellow Earth First!ers said, “The native ecosystems and the collective needs of non-human species must take precedence over the needs and desires of humans.” You see, this “vision” became the driving force for the entire radical environmental movement. It was first expressed in the 1970s in the UN’s Habitat 1 Conference that said, “Land… cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principle instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth, therefore contributes to social injustice.” That’s how you reorganize human society.
Thomas Lovejoy, a Clinton appointed Science Advisor to the Department of Interior said, “We will map the whole nation…determine development for the whole country and regulate it all.” That is Sustainable Development.
Why is the excuse of environmental protection their most diabolical weapon? Because the environment doesn’t obey political boundaries. Rivers run through many towns and states. Then we have the corridors of crops and wildlife patterns. So environmental protection becomes the perfect excuse to move national sovereignty out of the way and open the borders to the “natural migration” of people.
On the county level we then have a need for a coalition of multiple counties working together on “mutual” needs, thus reducing your power at the ballot box to elect the kind of local government you desire. Then there is the matter of that boundary around your house – your private property – that the community needs to control – just to protect the environment, of course.
It is essential that every American understands that these leading issues we face today are not just random concerns that accidentally find their way into the forefront of political debate. They are all interconnected to be policies of Sustainable Development and the restructuring of our way of life. Their selected tactic is to control the land, water, energy, and population of the Earth. To achieve these ends requires, among other things, the destruction of private property rights and elimination of every individual’s ability to make personal life-style choices, including personal diet. That’s why the American Beef Industry is such a tasty target.
Of course, no totalitarian-bound movement would ever put their purpose in such direct terms. That’s where the environmental protection excuse comes in. Instead, American cattle producers are simply assured that no one wants to harm your industry, just make it safer for the environment. The gun industry might recognize that such an assurance sounds a bit familiar. Same source, same tactics, same goals.
Enter Bill Clinton’s President’s Council on Sustainable Development, (which was created a year after Agenda 21 to assure it’s policy of Sustainable Development became the rule of law). The President’s Council included representatives of most federal agencies, many of the NGOs who helped write Agenda 21 at the UN level, and representatives of global corporations. The President’s Council laid out the “Principles of Sustainability” called “Our Vision of a Sustainable United States of America.”
To carry out these plans, the President’s Council created a task force called the Sustainable Agriculture Task Force. The purpose, according to the report – “The Sustainable Agriculture Task force is developing an integrated vision of sustainable Agriculture, focusing on sustainable production practices and systems. The Task force will recommend goals and actions in the areas of agriculture-related research and education, technology, and farming practices and system to the Council for National Action Strategy.” So the offered solution to “fix” the beef industry is “sustainable certification”. All the cattle growers have to do is follow a few simple rules and all will be fine, peaceful, and profitable.
Now, enter the World Wildlife Fund and the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef (GRSB). The task force led the way to its creation. In all of their “expert wisdom” based on this Taskforce, here are some of their reasons why they claim the beef industry is not sustainable.
- Deforestation – the claim is that farm animals require considerably more land than crops to produce food. The World Hunger Program calculated that if the land was used to grow grain and soy instead of cattle the land could provide a vegan diet to 6 billion people. Do you get that – a vegan diet!
- Fresh Water – they claim that the America diet requires 4,200 gallons of water per day, including animal drinking water, irrigation of crops, processing, washing, etc. Whereas a vegan diet only requires 300 gallons per day. Apparently they don’t plan to irrigate the land to grow wheat or to wash the vegetables.
Food Productivity – say the Greens, food productivity of farmland is falling behind the population and the only option, besides cutting the population, is to cut back on meat consumption and convert grazing lands to food crops. However, the only places where such shortages may exist are in totalitarian societies where government is controlling food production and supplies – Just like the Green’s plan for sustainable beef.
- Global Warming – here we go! Say the Greens, global warming is driven by energy consumption and cows are energy guzzlers.
Not long ago many farmers were being harassed by government agents over pollution in streams running through their land. The government charged that the cattle were the cause and demanded they build a fence to keep the cattle from the stream. They demanded, they harassed, and they threatened. Then they found that the pollution wasn’t being caused by the cows, rather the source was feral hogs. Of course, an environmentalist, who has never worked a ranch or farm and rarely comes out of his New York high-rise, might not know that.
So, these are some of the reasons why it’s charged that beef is unsustainable and must be ruled, regulated and frankly, eliminated. These are charges brought by anti-beef vegans who want all beef consumption stopped. In cahoots, are environmentalists who seek to stop the private ownership and use of land under the excuse of environmental protection.
And the sad fact is, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), the organization many have been trusting to represent your interests, has betrayed you by allowing itself to be used as the Judas Goat to lead the industry to sustainable slaughter.
To bring the cattle industry into line with this world view the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association has accepted the imposition of the Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef, which is heavily influenced, if not controlled, by the World Wildlife Fund, one of the top three most powerful environmental organizations in the world and a leader of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), which basically sets the rules for global environmental policy.
This is the same World Wildlife Fund that issued a report saying, “Meat consumption is devastating some of the world’s most valuable and vulnerable regions, due to the vast amount of land needed to produce animal feed.” The report went on to say that, to save the Earth, it was vital that we change human consumption habits away from meat. Again, the fact is, most land used for grazing isn’t capable of growing crops for food.
Regulations using these principles impose a political agenda that ignores the fact that smaller, independent cattle growers have proven to be the best stewards of their own land and that for decades have produced the highest grade of beef product in the world. Instead, to continue to produce you will be required to submit to a centralized control of regulations that will never end and will always increase in costs and needless waste of manpower.
To follow the sustainable rules and be officially certified, you, as a cattle grower, must agree to have much of the use of your land reduced to provide for wildlife habitat. There are strict controls over water use and grazing areas. This forces you to have smaller herds, making the process more expensive and economically unviable for the industry. In addition, there is a new layer of industry and government inspectors, creating a massive bureaucratic overreach, causing yet more costs for you.
The Roundtable rules are now enforced through the four packing companies that control the entire American beef market. Your ability to get your cattle to market is getting harder every day – unless you comply with rules that are simply designed to put you out of business. And yet, if you do comply, you will certainly go out of business.
Do you understand the game that is being played on you? You are not supposed to win – you are supposed to quietly comply and then die. You cannot reason with them. You cannot compromise with them. You follow their rules. They own the game.
So as the packers, Cargill, Tyson, JBS and National Beef, force their expensive, unnecessary, and unworkable sustainable certification on American cattlemen, they are systematically bringing in cheaper product from other countries that don’t necessarily adhere to strict, sanitary, safe production. As a result there is a noticeable rise in news reports of recalls of diseased chicken and beef in American grocery stores. They get away with this ruse because their first step was to remove the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) from the packaging in stores so consumers have no idea where the product is coming from.
This, then, is the situation that is threatening the American beef industry. If one reads the documents and statements from the World Wildlife Fund, the United Nations Environment Program, and others involved, it is not hard to realize that the true goal is not to make beef better, but to ban it altogether. And believe it or not, the fact that some of the beef sold in stores is becoming lower grade and even diseased, works in the Sustainablist’s favor too – because the ultimate goal is to stop the consumption of beef. So fear is a valuable tool.
The question must then be asked, why is the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association allowing this to happen, and indeed, joining with the Sustainable Beef Roundtable to force these policies on its members? The answer is actually quite tragic. They have beaten you into submission with that word Sustainable. American ranchers, farmers and livestock growers have been targets of the environmental and animal rights movements for years.
You just want to be left alone to work your farms and herds like your forefathers have done for more than a century. But the pressure is growing day by day. So, many have come to believe that if you just go along – put the sustainable label on your product — then this pressure will stop. In short, it would be a pressure valve release.
I’m sorry to tell you that it is not a release. Compromising and trying to play ball with these zealots is not going to make it go away. You must understand that the goal is not about improving your industry or environmental protection. The tragic reality is this is a drive for the destruction of your industry. Remember, the UN calls this the reorganization of human society. You and your way of life are to be reorganized to fit their view of human existence.
The attack has now grown to major proportions with the Green New Deal. Beefeaters have no place in the sustainable paradise of city apartment dwellers who accept government controls to choose for them what they are permitted to eat.
R-CALF USA, the courageous group leading the fight to save you, has managed to slow the Sustainable capture of the industry. But the packers’ control is a major roadblock if you can’t reach the market. R-CALF has filed Abuse of Conduct suits to shed light on the anti-trust activities of the monopoly tactics of the packers. It’s a good and valuable start.
However, the beef industry cannot recover on its own. Your story must be told to the consumers. They must become outraged about the real reasons prices are soaring and quality is going down, as the danger to their own health is increasing. You must focus on how to get your message out to consumers that a force is loose in our country that is robbing them of the freedom of choice for their own dinner plate, perhaps even for their own health. You know these facts – but the average American doesn’t. Now how do you do that? You are in a crisis situation. That calls for drastic, creative measures.
You must get dramatic to get the attention of consumers. You must get the American people to understand the threat to the beef industry. I have a modest little suggestion as to how you can get the attention of the entire nation – and start a nation-wide discussion on your plight.
Here is my modest suggestion to help you get the public’s attention. Start a cattle drive right down the main street of cities across the country. Drive your cattle right to city hall or the state capital. As you pass through town people are going to be very startled and curious, to say the least. Take advantage of that by passing out leaflets that tell them why you are doing this.
Now that you have everyone’s attention, tell your story. Hold a news conference right there on the steps of city hall or the state capital. In that news conference, demand that “Country of Origin” labels be put on all beef products so you know where your food comes from.
Second, demand that the Department of Agriculture reject this sustainable myth and protect the American free market that has always provided superior products.
Third, expose the packers by name. Help the American consumer become your ally in every grocery and steak house in the nation. Demand American beef for Americans! So, if they see that cute little WWF panda on the label – they’ll drop it like a hot potato.
Above all, publicly call out the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association to get its collective head out of the sand and join you before the entire industry is destroyed. Expose the fact that the NCBA is working directly with your mortal enemy, the World Wildlife Fund, which believes that beef consumption must be stopped in order to save the earth.
At your news conferences ask this question of the NCBA: Why would the WWF be welcomed into any part of your industry? It means they can effectively destroy you from the inside. And that is exactly what they are doing.
Can you imagine the impact this would have if you had five cattle drives in five cities in one day? It would get international attention. The only way you can survive is to fight.
I know some of you may be thinking this idea of a cattle drive is over the top. Perhaps it will cause more trouble than it’s worth. Well, just a few weeks ago several thousand farmers in the Netherlands staged a protest over similar government restrictions on their industry by blocking the roads into The Hague. The resulting traffic jam brought nearly the entire country to a halt. And the people supported the framers. The national government immediately reacted and called an emergency meeting to discuss the situation. The point is you must do something dramatic to get the nation’s attention!
So-called sustainable policy is not a free market. It is a government-sanctioned monopoly that is little short of a criminal enterprise. This is a dark, evil force with a one-sided goal designed to put you out of business and control or destroy your industry.
If you intend to survive, you must all become modern day Paul Reveres. That means taking direct, creative action. The very future of our nation and its ability to feed itself, while remaining free and strong, depends on the choices you make today. As martyred rancher LaVoy Finicum said, it matters how you stand!
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