How could anyone ever be against a group named the Center for Consumer Freedom, right? Consumer Freedom is good! And a Center that promotes, therefore, has to be good!
Of course, the Center for Consumer Freedom has very little with giving people the right to choose and everything with lobbying against animal rights groups and giving more power to the groups that back the CCF. Groups like Monsanto, Tyson’s Foods, and Outback Steakhouse… not exactly groups that are known for their corporate responsibility.
In fact, the CCF was founded by Berman & Co, a public affairs organization owned by Rick Berman, a lobbyist who has represented the tobacco industry as well as many in the food industry. The CCF has attacked everyone from the American Medical Association to the National Association of High School Principals, pretty much anyone that says anything that might work against a company in an industry that funds them. And boy oh boy do they love the terms “food police” and “lunatics.”
Much of their vitriol comes out against animal rights and vegetarian groups. Indeed, a quick look at the current content on their web site shows of the 18 stories and deep links on their front page, 10 of them are directly related to animal rights groups like PETA and the HSUS. Did you know that PETA is a threat to your children? Apparently so!
Interestingly, some of their content sounds like things I’ve said around here. Two of their three most recent headlines are about celebrities PETA has claimed are vegetarian but really aren’t (remember what I said) and other links on their site talk about the attack on obesity (I don’t like veg marketing that attacks fat people — it amounts to an unnecessary personal attack on someone’s value as a human while just assuming that fat = eating nothing but huge slabs of steak). However, my concern stems from my desire to see a compassionate animal rights philosophy spread without being overshadowed by sensational things like celebrity or “obesity epidemics” whereas the CCF is more likely interested in promoting the agendas of the fast food industry and attacking PETA for what I like to call “minor infractions of stupidity.”
So what can we do to find common ground with the CCF? I don’t think there’s anything. The industry’s influence runs deep.
But, it’s essential that we make people aware who’s behind the CCF. Every time they’re quoted in the newspaper (and they’re quoted often), we should write a letter to the editor or tell a friend that’s reading the article that the CCF isn’t the group it appears to be. Point them towards any of the numerous groups exposing the truth.