The Guardian, a left-of-center U.K. newspaper, is publishing a series titled Animals Farmed to examine “the global impact of intensive farming practices and exploring sustainable solutions.” The articles so far have been highly critical of America’s modern farm animal production methods, even intimating that U.S. meat isn’t safe.
The U.S. livestock industry has responded, taking The Guardian to task for its “alarmist” and shoddy reporting. (In a story titled “Dirty Meat,” the paper cited 48 million Americans annually suffer foodborne illnesses compared with 1.5 million in the U.K. But looking at hospitalizations for those illnesses shows a 3.9 percent rate for the U.S. compared with 3 percent for the U.K. And the illnesses aren’t broken down by food type, only by bacteria type.) “The facts show the U.S. and U.K. produce meat and poultry which meets high food safety standards,” said the North American Meat Institute (NAMI) in a letter to the paper.
So who’s behind the series? The Guardian did report that it was funded – almost $900,000 – by the Open Philanthropy Project. (The newspaper pitched the series to OPP as a look at “modern factory farming and animal cruelty.”) But it didn’t give any details about that organization.
HOTH is happy to oblige.
OPP, which in June 2017 became an independent organization, initially was a partnership between charity evaluator GiveWell and Good Ventures, a philanthropic foundation whose cofounder now is OPP’s president. Good Ventures makes grants mostly to organizations that work for prison and criminal justice reform and … wait for it … to animal rights groups.
Among others in that latter category, Good Ventures has given grants to the Humane Society of the United States – the guy in charge of OPP’s animal welfare “strategy” used to work for HSUS – Mercy for Animals and Compassion in World Farming. Last June, it gave more than $58,000 to the Animal Welfare Action Lab for that organization’s study on messaging related to meat reduction and elimination.
It also has given to some rather questionable organizations. In July 2014, it gave half a million dollars to the Alliance for Open Society International, whose parent organization is George Soros’s Open Society Foundations. OSF has been linked to such radical groups as MoveOn.org and the so-called Antifa movement in the United States.
In its letter to the paper, NAMI intimated that The Guardian is priming the pump for opposition to meat trade between the U.S. and the U.K. should those two negotiate a free trade deal after the latter leaves the EU.
HOTH believes it’s much simpler than that: A left-leaning, muckraking newspaper was paid nearly a million dollars to trash America’s farmers and ranchers and the world’s safest food-producing system to advance the agenda of a far-left activist organization that funds groups working for animal rights and for reducing – even eliminating – meat consumption.