Posted on 03/31/2009


by Lee Wallot, Sharlindemar Colliespast CCA Legislative Liaisonoriginally published in Canine Chronicle, May 1997reprinted by permission of the author

In case you have forgotten, let me remind you that we are in a war…a war in which each and every battle determines our future as owners of animals of every kind. You know the animal rights agenda as printed in the Twelve Steps of the Animal Rights Movements, ANIMALS AGENDA, Nov, 1987. The goals are not only to end the breeding and keeping of dogs and cats as pets, it is to also prohibit all use and ownership of all animals by human beings. You know this is true. They have told us so in their own words.

The animal rights activists do not intend to win this war in one battle; they are smart enough to know that is impossible. They are, however, also smart enough to know they might be able to win it in small, incremental steps…. each small victory adding to the stranglehold of prior small victories until our relationship with animals as we know it today gradually, finally, ceases to exist.

Their arsenal is manipulation. Manipulate the facts; manipulate our emotions; manipulate our thinking; manipulate our laws to accomplish their incremental steps toward our destruction. To them, the end always justifies the means. They do this through campaigns designed to gradually change our laws in order to force us into accepting animal use on their terms. Two of their most effective weapons in this endeavor are task forces and advisory committees.

Ironically, by forming task forces and animal welfare advisory committees, when animal rights issues are involved, we hand the activists their first victory. By agreeing to serve on such committees, we have automatically allowed the animal rights activists to define a problem according to their agenda and we have accepted their definition of what is right and what is wrong..


Let´s take one example – the anti-breeding laws we are all so familiar with. The progress of such legislation is usually as follows:

Animal rights groups go to a legislator and, with passion and their own “statistics” (substitute “propaganda” here), they define a problem. In this case, they say there is a growing crisis of dogs and cats being euthanized at shelters and they blame it on overpopulation caused by too much breeding. The legislator listens and, based on what the activists have told him, agrees there must be a problem indeed. After all, at this point, he has received no dissenting information from the other side. Then the animal rightists helpfully give him all the information he needs to write a new law (or sometimes even writes it for him).

Shortly thereafter the animal rights activists, through their very effective propaganda, speed up their campaign to convince the public and the media that the problem addressed by the ordinance is not only real but is a growing crisis. ** This is usually done by staging dramatic raids on “puppy mills”.**

If the subsequent uproar of protest from animal owners is loud enough, the legislator may decide the proposed legislation might need some modification after all, so the second step is taken – a task force is suggested to look at the proposed ordinance and to make changes that would make it “better.”

Can you see the victory this becomes for the animal rights activists? Through their propaganda they have succeeded in convincing others there must actually be a problem as defined by their proposed ordinance. Otherwise, why form a task force to fix it? Therein lies the manipulation.

The truth is the so-called problem of “overpopulation” is not really a problem at all because the euthanasia numbers at shelters all across the country have been plummeting for over fifteen years without legislation. Successful solutions were already in place and working long before the animal rights activists decided to use overpopulation as a cause to advance their personal agenda. Actually, the overpopulation issue is not really an issue at all; it is the vehicle used to pass a law that will further their agenda.

Mitchell Fox of PAWS (Progressive Animal Welfare Society) who pushed through the nation´s second anti-breeding ordinance in 1992 in King County, Washington is quoted in ANIMAL´S AGENDA, May 1988:

“The animal rights movement will continue to lack credibility until it confronts pet overpopulation. Ironically, it may be the easiest of all forms of animal exploitation to eliminate. In (using this issue), the movement faces the fewest obstacles, no engrained societal traditions, no `experts´ challenging us and no high-powered lobbies to defeat us.”


Unfortunately, when confronted with pending legislation, most people are intimidated and do not understand they have both a legal and ethical right to say NO. NO – we do not need this law. NO – we do not need a task force to make a bad law better. NO – this ordinance is wrong no matter what the animal rights people say.

Those who would be affected by the ordinance are frightened into believing either they accept the task force or else they will have a law without any input from their side. This simply IS NOT TRUE!

If we can stand up to our unfounded fears, we can defeat the proposed legislation by working closely with the other members of the council or government body. The sponsor of the proposed legislation is only one person. If we present sound reasons to the other legislators as to why the legislation is bad, and if they see there is heavy and legitimate opposition to the bill, THE LEGISLATION CAN BE DEFEATED. We know this is true because we have been doing it for the past four years in our state at both the state and local level against some of the strongest and best funded animal rifhts organizations in the country.


When anti-breeding legislation is first introduced, we (animal owners) start out at point (A) and the animal rights people start out at point (B). We do not agree with their goals and solutions nor do they agree with ours. (A)->(A-1)->(-2)->(A-3)->((B-1)<-(B)

However, once a task force is formed, we have already been moved to point (A-1) in our thinking, closer to the position of the animal rights movement (B) because we have accepted their premise that a problem as they define it needs to be addressed.

The task force will appear to be fairly representative of many diverse groups, all involved in some way with the issue at hand, i.e., dog and cat breeders, a veterinarian, a representative of the pet store market, maybe even one or two “ordinary” citizens and, of course, members of one or more humane societies and/or animal rights groups. Appearances, however, can be deceiving. These days, the veterinarian could possibly be a member of AVAR (Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights). Surprised? Check it out. The ordinary citizens may or may not be a member of an animal rights group but will most certainly be sympathetic, compassionate and, therefore, easily influenced by animal rights propaganda. Finally, one or more of the humane societies we always thought of as moderate and mainstream may already have adopted much of the animal rights philosophy without our even knowing it.

Most important of all is the fact that all of the task force members, except the animal rights people, will be thinking about how necessary it is for them to come up with ideas that will be a compromise satisfactory to all. After all, isn´t that the democratic way?

But look what happens. Nothing has changed with the thinking of the animal rights members of the task force: They are still at point (B). But the other committee members, because of their acceptance of the concept of compromise, have now been moved from point (A-1) to (A-2).

It is important to remember that the animal rights people will always open their campaign with horrific demands that they don´t really expect to get in the real world, i.e., total breeding bans or long moratoriums; absurd license fee differentials; a big breeding license fee; regulations for kenneling, feeding, vet care; prohibitions on selling and certain types of advertising; the list is varied and endless. There may even be one or two points that we agree with the some way; these are carrots on a stick they hold out to us.


The concerns are addressed and some are modified by the task force but, always, what finally comes out as recommendations are some changes to the proposed ordinance but retention of its basic tenets of higher fees, prohibitions, and more regulations. The animal rights people may have moved to point (B-1) by modifying a few of their original demands but the resulting proposed legislation will most assuredly be closer to point (A-3). The animal activists have won.

At this point, it is almost impossible to defeat the proposed ordinance or even change it further in any meaningful way even in the forum of a public hearing. It can be done (we did it last year in our county) but it is extremely difficult. Within a few weeks the animal rights movement will be proudly advertising their latest victory all across the country and using it to influence other legislative bodies.


Please take a moment and go back and reread the last two sections. You are reading about how the Radical Flank Effect works. It is a process that combines threat (severe restrictions) and persuasive manipulation (the carrots on a stick) to gradually move an opponent closer toward acceptance of your goals. It is a process that has been used since the beginning of time by social and ideological movements to advance their cause. It is the basis of how the entire animal rights movement works and the only way to avoid the trap at the end is to refuse to negotiate in the beginning.


Next we turn to the newest and most dangerous committee; the more permanent vehicle of the animal rights movement, the animal welfare advisory committee. This committee is set up to study animal-related issues and to formulate legislation on those issues. Its members will be of a similar makeup as the task force – once again, already a strike against anyone fighting the animal rights movement. What is even more dangerous, however, is that while the task force operated only briefly and under the bright light of publicity and scrutiny from interested parties, the advisory committee is designed for long term operation. An advisory committee works much more in the background and after a year or two, sometimes even gets forgotten by the general public.As time passes, ordinary citizens on the committee get bored or decide they want to do other things with their life and they are gradually replaced with members who have been carefully chosen from within the animal rights community. Soon those few members opposing the animal rights philosophy are hopelessly outnumbered. Some may continue to fight for what they feel is right but eventually the relentlessness of the animal rights activists and the lack of support and understanding from their own people will force even the staunchest anti-animal rights people to resign. This leaves the advisory committee 100% in the hands of the animal rights groups and is exactly the way they have taken over hundreds of moderate humane societies all across the country in the last 15 years, turning them into the animal rights organizations they now are.

This now leaves the advisory committee free to expand its agenda, without opposition, wherever it wants to go, toward even more restrictive legislation for dog and cat owners but also restrictive legislation pertaining to ALL animal groups. What started out as an advisory group for dog and cat legislation, ends up as an advisory group for legislation that now includes horses, research animals, animals in circuses, zoos and aquariums, animals in farming… the list goes on… because they are after all, by definition, an ANIMAL welfare advisory committee.

Those of you shaking your heads and saying “No way. That´s just playing chicken little the sky is falling” had best open your eyes and look up. We are already on the road under that sky and such advisory committees are being proposed both at the state and local levels, usually as a hidden part of other animal legislation. READ THE BILLS BEING PROPOSED THESE DAYS. Don´t just accept the animal rights propaganda of what the bills will do. Determine the truth for yourself.

The Sky may not be falling quite yet but if you look carefully you just might finally see the mile-wide asteroid that is headed straight for you.


Ginger Cleary,Rome, GA
‘Emergencies’ have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded. F.von Hayek
Member GSDCA
Member Sawnee Mtn Kennel Club
GA Director RDOES.