Some animal rights activists are livid with Colorado State University. Last month $20 million was donated to by the meat production company JBS to fund a Global Food Innovation Center. The school is planned to open on CSU’s Fort Collins campus in 2018.
The school will include an abattoir and a student-run meat market named Ram Country Meats. The carcasses of animals slaughtered on campus will be used for teaching or research.
However, none of this this acceptable to animal rights activists. One campaigner, named Becca Biell, has raised objections with the school and has an online petition that has garnered over 60,000 signatures.
Biell alleges that the facility goes against the school’s sustainable record since it takes so much time and resources to raise and then process the meat once the cattle are slaughtered. Through a spokesperson, the university counters that over 90 percent of the world’s population have chosen to consume meat and the demand for its protein will only grow which can only be satisfied by harvesting.
Down the line there will probably be more problems. Since Colorado State University is located in such a liberal state, Colorado has a decent sized animal rights movement and will, most likely expand, exponentially which can lead to problems for the meat processing school down the line.
There are a wide variety of cases where animal rights groups have not only released edited videos of slaughterhouses, but also released animals in captivity and harassed abattoir personnel. There have also been attempts to try to link human activity in terms of meat production and even the diet of people in Western countries with affecting climate change.
The core of animal rights thought is based on an idea that originated with French philosopher Renee Descartes: I feel pain, therefore I have rights. Consequently, an animal rights activist believes because animals feel pain just like humans do that animals should have the same rights as people. However, recent
studies reveal that plants (the food of choice for vegans and vegetarians) feel pain as well. Will environmentalist organizations start groups dedicated to protecting the rights of plants?