A bit of simple googling reveals that the meat and dairy industries are becoming somewhat unsettled by the growing numbers of people saying ‘no thanks’ to animal products. As their profits dwindle we can be sure they will respond aggressively through misleading advertising campaigns and false stories in social media, focussing initially on phoney health issues. I’d imagine they will aggressively promote their products as ‘healthy’ and ‘part of our culture’; introduce fake positives such as their desire to ‘feed the world’ and overstate their importance to the country’s economy when they know that a much larger and more efficient plant-based food production sector makes more sense. In Australia, there have already been mutterings from vested interests and the National Party about introducing totalitarian edicts in the form of Ag-gag laws, giving us all good reason to support animal-welfare-oriented political parties in the Senate to ensure such laws are never enacted.

Absurdly, in the US, the FBI classifies animal welfare activists who break the law in the defence of animals, as domestic terrorists.lxxii This cynical and ludicrous over-reaction is no doubt made at the behest of politicians who are in the thrall of the animal-abuse industries. It’s clear that what they are trying to do is blend, in the public mind, acts of compassion with genuine acts of terrorism, in the hope that each can be prosecuted with similar severity.

The FBI wants you to believe that freeing minks and foxes from a fur farm, lxxiii or allowing a veal calf to see the sunlight, is the same as blowing up an aircraft or a building. Already, the idea that ‘veganism’ can be equated with ‘militant, anti-social behaviour’ is starting to seep into the public mind because of this ridiculous stance. Animal activists who risk their liberty to do critically important work on behalf of all of us deserve our praise and recognition. They are heroes, not villains, and equating their compassion and courage with terrorism is about as sensible as saying that the journalists, civil rights activists and bloggers who risk their lives by speaking out about corruption, religious freedom, environmental matters, human rights, and the like, in countries like Turkey, Iran, China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Russia, are the traitors and terrorists their governments claim them to be.

It’s all nonsense, but just as the mining industry in this country has relied on smoke-and-mirrors pseudo-science and the confusing blathering of climate change deniers to steer the public’s understanding of global warming, away from scientific fact and towards something about which there is doubt, the meat and dairy industries will try to do with respect to veganism. When veganism is deemed to be sufficiently threatening we’ll no doubt see medically qualified people who have sold out popping up on television and in social media, telling us we need to eat animal products to remain healthy. This is demonstrably untrue, but as the mining industry has shown us, any falsity which is said often enough, earnestly enough, to enough people, will gain traction in the muddied waters of public discourse. Spreading this type of propaganda is grossly irresponsible, immoral and dangerous. It must be met head-on with the facts, for they are inescapable. Being a vegan is good for your health and no amount of lies or distortions can alter that.