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Who's funding those anti-PETA ads?

Reported by Marie Therese - July 29, 2004 -

The Center for Consumer Freedom is running "scare" ads against PETA (People for Ethical Treatment of Animals) that claim PETA trains bombers.

A closer reading of information on their own website The Truth About Terror indicates that through a creative variation on the game "Six Degrees of Separation" the CCF manages to find a tenuous financial connection between PETA to Earth Liberation Front (ELF). ELF is a radical animal rights organization that is on the FBI's list of terrorist groups. Since the CCF's fear-based ads never identify the so-called PETA-trained terrorist shown holding a "bomb", one cannot determine whether he is a member of PETA or someone in the ELF.

On their home page the CCF lumps the Humane Society of the United States in the same "radical" category as PETA:

Led by PETA, the Humane Society of the United States, and other activist groups, the animal liberation movement does not seek to improve animals' lives. Its goal is to place unnecessary restrictions on ordinary people like you.

I, for one, give money to the Humane Soceity because I think they do exemplary work advocating for better laws to protect living beings that cannot advocate for themselves. The CCF apparently does not agree with the Humane Society's mission.

Here is what they say about themselves (What Is the Center for Consumer Freedom?):

The Center for Consumer Freedom is a nonprofit coalition supported by restaurants, food companies, and consumers working together to promote personal responsibility and protect consumer choices.

Unlike the anti-consumer activists we monitor and keep in check, we stand up for common sense and personal choice. The growing fraternity of "food cops," health care enforcers, militant activists, meddling bureaucrats, and violent radicals who think they know "what's best for you" are pushing against our basic freedoms.

We're here to push back.

So what is "consumer freedom," anyway?

Consumer freedom is the right of adults and parents to make their own choices about what to eat and drink, and how to enjoy themselves. Defending enjoyment is what we're all about!

Do we have a bias? Yes! We believe that you know "what's best for you." When activists try to force others to live according to their vision of society, we don't take it lying down.

Does that mean you're against vegetarians?

Of course not. But we do stand against activists who would steer Americans into vegetarianism by using intimidation and junk science. Everyone should have the right to make his or her own choices about what to eat and drink -- whether it's a garden salad and bottled water, or a porterhouse steak and a cocktail. We promote respect for diversity of choice. All we ask in return is the same.

But you are opposed to "good" groups. Doesn't that make you the "bad guys"?

The Center for Consumer Freedom is not opposed to any group. We're opposed to actions that restrict your right to make your own choices, and to extremism that endangers businesses and ordinary Americans in the name of radical ideology.

What makes us different from many organizations is that we aren't afraid to take on groups that have built "good" images through slick public-relations and media campaigns. Just because an organization's name makes it sound "ethical" or "responsible" or "in the public interest" doesn't mean it is.

And when extremists talk about throwing bricks through windows, taxing your favorite foods, or throwing the book at popular restaurants with tobacco-style lawsuits, we make sure you know about it.

Who funds you guys? How about some "full disclosure"?

The Center for Consumer Freedom is supported by restaurants, food companies and more than 1,000 concerned individuals. From farm to fork, our friends and supporters include businesses, employees, and consumers.

The Center is a 501(c)(3) corporation. We file regular statements with the Internal Revenue Service, which are open to public inspection. Our first such filing was completed late in 2003.

Many of the companies and individuals who support the Center financially have indicated their desire for anonymity. They are reasonably apprehensive about privacy and safety, in light of the violence some activist groups have adopted as a "game plan" to impose their views.