FARM campaign backfires

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 1995:

“In September and October,” The Farm Animal Reform Movement recently told members,
FARM conducted a massive letters-to-the-editor writing campaign that published over 100
letters on five topics in 60 of the nation’s largest newspapers.
We estimate that this brief campaign alone has reached between two and five million
readers, some more than once, raising substantially public awareness of the destruc-
tive impact of animal agriculture.”
That claim raised the awareness of Robert G. Zimbelman, executive vice
president of the American Society of Animal Science, who soon informed newspaper
editors across the U.S. that someone using the name “Tom Oliver” and a variety of
apparently bogus addresses had published letters following the FARM format in 22
newspapers between December 5 and February 5.

Akron Beacon Journal associate editor David B. Cooper on February apolo-
gized to readers and blistered FARM president Alex Hershaft. “This organization and
its members are entitled to their views,” Cooper concluded. “However, having
learned their tactics, I will view their propaganda with a large grain of salt.”
Instead of making his own apologies, Hershaft charged Cooper with pursu-
ing an agenda “to protect readers from views originating outside Northeast Ohio.”
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