James M. Beers
After several requests by Conservation Force, an international sustainable use conservation organization located in Louisiana, I agreed to attend the annual animal rights meeting. The Conference ran from 30 June to 5 July at the Hilton Hotel in McLean, Virginia. John Jackson, Chairman of Conservation Force, believed that it was important for hunters and other sustainable use supporters to attend this conference just as animal rights representatives attended annual wildlife management meetings. This made sense to me. I was surprised to learn that no other sustainable use or hunting or fishing group planned to have anyone attend this meeting in a suburb of Washington. As the five days passed, I discovered that no participants or attendees from any of the national conservation groups were to be found, here in their own backyard. To the best of my knowledge, no one else who questioned the goals or tactics of the animal rights movement was in attendance.
Those of you who hunt, fish, trap, wear fur, raise mink, sell fur or leather products, train animals, have pets, enjoy rodeos, enjoy circuses, live on ranches or farms, log timber or graze animals, use wood products, eat meat, eat eggs, eat cheese, eat wild fish and wildlife, eat seafood, attend dog races, support animal research for human treatments, support proactive fish and wildlife management for human benefit, use public lands, own guns, support the 2nd Amendment, wear leather, oppose terrorism, oppose intimidation, oppose physical threats, recreate in the outdoors with your families, love your children, want your religious institutions kept free from infiltration and manipulation, believe in the Constitutional freedoms of the USA, oppose the continued expansion of Federal power, oppose forcible establishment of rule by anarchy in our USA, oppose the efforts of the UN to regulate everything to do with fish and wildlife and guns throughout the world, and who love this nation and what it stands for should have been there. Organizations that represent your interests should have been there. Law enforcement organizations should have been there.
The people and groups that gathered at this luxury Hilton Hotel for five days made no bones that they are going to eliminate every traditional use of animals and many other American freedoms and traditions. They have been going about this incrementally for years. Since there have been no serious consequences of their activities, their boldness and arrogance has reached gargantuan proportions. They clearly believe and preach the radical reformation of the way we live, the way we relate to our government, and the elimination of most freedoms that we take for granted here in the USA. They intend to change the relationship between mankind and the animal world that has existed for millennia.
This radical movement must be brought into the light of day. Their agenda, from mandated veganism to obtaining legal rights first for apes and then for all other animals, must be understood by all of us. The current process where bear hunting is voted out in one state and all of us say, "I don't hunt bears". Where wild Himalayan sheep are added to UN Lists and all of us say, "I will never get to the Himalayas". Where public land is locked up and we say, "I will never have to use that land". Where dog breeders are restricted to low numbers or forbidden to breed their dogs and we say, "I have a cat". This incremental process of dividing us and slowly taking away right after right, this must be exposed and responded to by all of us, including those vegans and disgruntled citizens who value freedom and America's promise.
The only way for me to convey the truly frightening experience of attending this conference is to describe what I encountered. I earnestly hope that the reader will be convinced to treat this movement with the serious consideration and public scrutiny that it deserves. If all of us don't pull together to maintain our freedoms and way of life, these people will surely turn us into a society that our forefathers would not recognize and in which we, and I ultimately believe they, will not want to live.
I can only report what I saw through the eyes of a 60 year old white male. These are also the eyes and ears of a Catholic wildlife biologist and ex-law enforcement officer who hunts, fishes, and understands the benefits of proactive fish and wildlife management. After a stint with the Utah Game and Fish, the US Navy, the Minneapolis Police Department, and 30 years in various locations with the US Fish and Wildlife Service I am what I am and I see what I see. All of these things are relevant to what I am about to report to you.
Although the First Amendment guarantees the right of free speech and free assembly, many of the things I saw and heard could only be characterized as inciting mayhem. Many of the people making presentations crossed state lines to get there and there were numerous inferences, suggestions, and encouragements to commit violent and unlawful acts of major magnitudes.
ARRIVAL AND REGISTRATION
Walking through the parking lot each day revealed an abundance of bumper stickers. Most referred to veganism in varying intensities. The eventual imposition of veganism nationwide was the most common. Other stickers referred to resisting globalism, disrupting NAFTA, outlawing circuses, outlawing rodeos, stopping fishing, stopping hunting, stopping dogracing, protesting at Seattle and Quebec, intimidating the World Bank, and outlawing all fur and leather.
The exhibit area inside lay
between the registration desk and the conference rooms. Passing through
the exhibits revealed an incredible range of protest topics. The following
is a partial list of the handouts and publications:
Videos were constantly being shown. The following selections represent the flavor of those presentations.
IGNITING A REVOLUTION. A
sympathetic primer by radical environmental and animal activists on "ecotage".
There were four concurrent
sessions throughout the days. Here are selections from the program.
THINGS HEARD IN THE SESSIONS
I could only attend one fourth of the sessions because there were four presented at a time in four locations. I can only say that those I did attend ranged from very old rhetoric about trapping and hunting to scary references to the violent change of our form of government. There were reportedly over a thousand attendees. Many were my age and boasted about starting in the Vietnam protests. Many of the middle-aged attendees boasted of other protest movement experience on behalf of radical feminism, the environment, and oppressed workers and minorities. About a third of the attendees were under 25. Many of these were heavily tattooed and made liberal use of metal rings through various body parts. My guess would be that half of them were attending their first such conference. In my opinion, they were being scrutinized by many of the sponsors and session instructors. They were encouraged to meet with instructors later in hallways and at dinner if they were interested in learning "more" about what was discussed and the things only alluded to. It appeared to be a bazaar for inducting young people into terrorist activities. Keep this in mind as you read the following excerpts from sessions which I attended.
Animals are like exploited
workers and prisoners.
I've been arrested six times
and I still teach at my University.
There were many comments
about cockfighting in states that still permit it, dogracing, meat, eggs,
dairy products, animal research, and other matters that resemble the foregoing
but are simply redundant and too much for this already extensive report.
Focus on progressive Churches.
Read Angela Davis.
New Jersey is running out
of kids indoctrinated to hunt.
has cracked the wholesomeness of fishing. This will deter families and
help us with the wholesome labels of other animal uses.
Confront anyone wearing fur
and intimidate them.
Cowboys are all sissies.
Confront them and they run.
ON ANIMAL RIGHTS
The NARAL representative described how she is working with and supporting the Great Ape Project. The only goal is to obtain legal rights for apes as the crack in the wall for all other animals (like abortion, endangered species, and gun control).
Since industry bribes politicians
anything we do to get political support is good.
The Animal Welfare Act is
the vehicle for expansion and amendments that we had hoped it would be.
At one point I felt as if I was attending a communist training program back in the 50's or 60's for a cadre of insurgents to be sent into a country to be subverted. Some are trained to control the media, others to influence politicians and control bureaucracies, still others to control religion and schools, demonstrators were to disrupt things, and others to do the "other things" that ultimately underpin all the rest. Frightening is too weak a word to describe what it is like to watch this take place in a luxury hotel in a free country.
We all owe a debt of gratitude to John Jackson of Conservation Force for having the persistence to have me attend this Conference. Everyone who reads this should share it with your family, your neighbors, your associates and everyone else you come in contact with each day. All of us, whether or not we are concerned directly with one of these animal issues should understand what is happening and protect the traditions and rights of all of us whether or not we are an absolute majority. Allowing these tactics and organizations to succeed threatens all of us in every way.
Jim Beers 10 July 2001
The pictures of James M. Beers at the top of this page were taken from the interview that was aired on NRA LIVE on August 28, 2001. The material discussed in this interview pertained to the 2001 Animal Rights Conference with an emphasis on the part of the animal rights agenda that pertains to gun control. At the posting of this web page it is still possible to see this interview streamed from the NRA Site at http://www.nralive.com. In it Jim gives an insite into some of the real concerns that developed in his mind as he attended sessions and wrote the report seen above.
We would like to thank the NRA for making this most informative interview available to the public. Also, a very special THANK YOU goes to Jim Beers for attending this five day conference and relating to us some of what went on there.