Tyson Confirms Fears: Fox IS in Henhouse

In “Tyson Foods Announces A Win For Wayne Pacelle” and “Dancing With The Devil” I warned about Tyson Foods’ futile attempt to placate animal rights activists.

Tyson finally announced the 13-person advisory panel that will develop standards for their Farm Check audit program.

Members of the panel include:

  • Ryan Best, 2011-2012 president, Future Farmers of America
  • Anne Burkholder, cattle feedlot owner
  • Ed Cooney, executive director of the Congressional Hunger Center
  • Gail Golab, Ph.D., DVM, director of American Veterinary Medical Association’s Animal Welfare Division
  • Temple Grandin, Ph.D., professor of animal science, Colorado State University
  • Karl Guggenmos, dean of culinary education, Johnson & Wales University
  • Tim Loula, DVM, co-founder and co-owner of Swine Vet Center in St. Peter, Minnesota
  • Miyun Park, executive director, Global Animal Partnership
  • Ashley Peterson, Ph.D., vice president of scientific and regulatory affairs, National Chicken Council
  • Richard Raymond, M.D., former U.S. Department of Agriculture Undersecretary for Food Safety
  • Janeen Salak-Johnson, Ph.D., associate professor in Animal Sciences, University of Illinois
  • Janice Swanson, Ph.D., chair and professor, Animal Behavior and Welfare, Michigan State University
  • Bruce Webster, Ph.D., professor of poultry science, University of Georgia

The fact that animal rights and vegan activist and former HSUS Vice President Miyun Park is on the panel should give every producer heart palpitations.

Miyun Park

Miyun Park

I recommend a thorough Internet search on this woman, but this article about sums it up.  She is fundamentally opposed to the intensive animal agriculture upon which Tyson wholly depends.  In The Globalization of Animal Welfare, co-authored with Peter Singer, Park says,

Given the sheer magnitude of intensive confinement agriculture — in terms of the number of individual animals involved and in terms of the impact on animal welfare, human health, and the planet’s limited resources — the sense of urgency cannot be overstated. … It is time for a global commitment to reduce animal suffering and to mitigate the many unintended and undesirable consequences of raising animals for food.

But it’s not only Park who is problematic.  Check out each member of the panel.  Peruse the website of The Congressional Hunger Center, for example.  The “industry” people on the panel (like Best and Burkholder) are soft targets for groups like WWF and HSUS who cleverly convince honest producers that working with them is the reasonable thing to do.  Temple Grandin has been viewed by many farmers and ranchers as problematic since she began making herself central to several animal welfare accreditation schemes back in the 1990’s.  Grandin has increasingly become the darling of the Animal Rights movement since Hollywood got ‘hold of her.  Richard Raymond has said himself that animal welfare has nothing to do with food safety.

The fact that Tyson has nothing on its website about the Farm Audit program makes me laugh.  If it’s all about “consumers demanding to know where their food comes from,” then surely Tyson would want to boast about their expensive new program to consumers who go to Tyson.com.

Fact is, this entire debacle is not consumer driven at all.  Tyson will be gravely disappointed when animal rights activists reject their program, just as they rejected Beef Quality Assurance (BQA).

I guess we all have to learn for ourselves that, with people who hate our existence, it’s not about better animal welfare.  It’s about putting us out of the animal ag business.


I love agriculture and I love farmers and ranchers!  This misguided attempt to appease the extortionists of HSUS and WWF, among others, is a slap in the face to the men and women who produce beef, pork and chicken for Tyson’s factories.


10 comments on “Tyson Confirms Fears: Fox IS in Henhouse

  1. Compromisers. They still think that “dialog” is going to prevent them from having to stand ground & to avoid just saying NO.

  2. Dannielle says:

    Miyun Park? Co Founder of Compassion Over Killing? Promoter for the Animal Liberation Front? That Miyun Park? The same one who said this:

    “For all of us, our goal is to reduce the greatest amount of suffering for the greatest number of animals. We don’t want any of these animals to be raised and killed. But when we’re talking about numbers like “one million slaughtered in the U.S. in a single hour,” or “48 billion killed every year around the world,” unfortunately we don’t have the luxury of waiting until we have the opportunity to get rid of the entire industry.”

    You don’t put a person committed to the destruction on your industry in an advisory position.

    • iloveag says:

      Yes, Dannielle, one and the same. Nice, eh?

      As for “You don’t put a person committed to the destruction on your industry in an advisory position,” well, in the absence of extortion or blackmail or intimidation or a variety of other heavy-handed activities, this is true.

  3. bestuvall says:

    you know what crocodiles do? eat everything.. you know what appeasers do? think they will not be eaten as long as they throw others to the croc.. guess what. Miyan Park is a crocodile who has NO lack of appetite.. get in line Tyson .. you are next on the crocs menu
    Meanwhile I will not feed the Tyson croc of .. oh wait I mean the crocodile.. no more Tyson for me.. and I eat lots of meat.. as do my dogs

  4. Anne says:

    I also love agriculture, and farmers and ranchers. I am one of them. I serve on the Tyson committee because I believe that I can make a difference in the beef community that I love so much. I do not believe that there is anything “soft” about me—I think that if you got to know me you would realize that behind my small physical stature lies a layer of steel will.

    I proudly own and manage a cattle feed yard. I believe in raising animals to provide food and protein to my own family and families all across the world. I also believe in good animal care, and implement that belief in everything that I do.

    I take exception to several comments in your blog above, and I would encourage you to do more homework before making sweeping statements about companies and individuals.

    All the best,
    Anne Burkholder

    • iloveag says:

      Anne, thank you for engaging. Of course I did not call into question your love of agriculture or your own commitment to animal welfare. By saying that you were a soft target, I merely meant that you honestly believe that by being on the Tyson advisory committee you can “make a difference in the beef community that [you] love so much.” These people (HSUS, WWF, et al) are experts in manipulation, and nothing good could possibly come out of you sitting at a table with Miyun Park.

      Perhaps you would be so kind as to discuss the specifics of what in my comments you take exception to? I have done a fair amount of homework and think that what I have written is the truth.

      Kind Regards!

      • Anne says:

        I’d be happy to offer some further thoughts. I believe that Tyson formed the Farm Check program for two main reasons: 1. They believe that constantly working to improve farm animal welfare is important, and 2. Their retail customers were asking them for reassurance relative to the well being of farm animals. There are two components to the program: 1. An animal welfare site check / audit, and 2. Contributions for on-going farm animal welfare research. The Farm Check Pork program has already been rolled out this year, and is currently being implemented. The Beef and Poultry Farm Check components are being finalized and will roll out in 2014. The Beef Farm Check program is based on the Beef Quality Assurance Feed Yard Assessment so many of the components will likely look familiar to you if you have knowledge of the BQA Assessments. In my opinion, the beef program will be a positive contributor to cattle welfare at the feed yard level of our industry.

        In terms of members on the Advisory Panel—it is a very eclectic group. I think that Tyson did this on purpose in order to gain a varied perspective when looking at animal welfare. I cannot speak relative to Ms. Park because she has not yet ever attended any of the meetings or conference calls, so I have no personal experience with her. I can say that I have great respect for Dr. Grandin and her work. Her influence on welfare at the packing plant level is extraordinary and I am very thankful for her dedication. I believe her to be a very genuine person as well as a good scientist, and do not believe that your description of her was accurate.

        In my opinion, Tyson has done a very fair job of sharing their Beef Farm Check draft documents within the cattle feeding community in order to gain perspective from feed yards who are their suppliers. The document takes a very pragmatic look at necessary daily care for cattle, and I believe that it will positively affect cattle welfare.

        I do not personally feel that any animal activist group has contributed to any discussion that I have been a part of relative to Farm Check.


      • iloveag says:

        Anne, thanks for replying. You speak very well for Tyson.

        I wonder if you support or supported the Beef Quality Assurance program?

        This poem might better explain my perspective on things: https://iloveag.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/the-bad-actor/

        Thanks again!

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