The Unsellable Religion

BY DOMINIC WIGHTMAN

Imagine that you are handed the task of selling a new group to the Great British Public. You are given a sandwich board and some leaflets to distribute on Oxford Street. You seek both new members and funds.

You have a choice of 3 groups.

Choose one from the 3 following leaflet messages to decide which group you prefer to sell: 

  • Group A: Humans are immortal, spiritual beings called Thetans, resident in a physical body, having had innumerable past lives, some of which, preceding their arrival on Earth, lived in extraterrestrial cultures.
  • Group B: A rat is a pig is a dog is a boy.
  • Group C: Humans should have consideration for all aspects of animal well-being, including proper housing, management, nutrition, disease prevention and treatment, responsible care, humane handling, and, when necessary, humane euthanasia.

Now rank the desirability of each leaflet message in decreasing order of saleability.

(If your order of letters is not a word associated with taxis and Hackney, you are weird and/or dangerous).

Of course, ‘A’ is Scientology, and is as hard a sell on Oxford Street as mittens to the dozens of Albanian pickpockets who operate there.

‘B’ is the religion of Animal Rights  – the ‘a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy’ quote heralds from PETA founder Ingrid Newkirk (the bloodsucker, photographed above).

You’d have to be quite the psychopath to choose saving the life of a rat over the life of a boy. The pram-pushing mums on Oxford Street may well, justifiably, thump you when they read your leaflet.

‘C’ is a definition of Animal Welfare. Yes, we all love animals, so let’s be pragmatic about how we treat and use them. This sane, widely held and sensible approach inevitably comes out on top of the three, by a country mile. It will be an easy sell as it is so sound and popular. Unlike B, you are well within your rights to stand there on Oxford Street with a cuddly Bichon Frisé or Pomeranian, to show photos and films of animal cruelty, even exposing the few wrong’uns in the farming and hunting communities who do not abide by the world-beating animal welfare standards Great Britain upholds.

Now, forget Oxford Street and transport yourself back to the real world. Now look at the real-world advertising of ‘B’, the animal rightists:

Isn’t it odd how those selling ‘B’ use C’s messaging rather than attempting to sell the beliefs of their sinister sect?

Or is it that, as B’s messaging is so dark, you can see why they feel forced to steal the popular marketing message of ‘C’?

Should ‘B’ be able to get away with this?

No, the animal rights / animal welfare space should be subject to strict regulation throughout the UK as the sight of animal cruelty is such a powerful trigger for audiences all over the world. The gullible cannot resist chucking a few pennies in the direction of hurt animals.

Let’s not beat around the bush. ‘B’ deceiving the Great British Public by using C’s message is fraudulent. On the spectrum between mere misrepresentation to premeditated fraud, B’s stolen messages find a home.

In the USA, where the onus is on the defamed to prove harm, members of the public have spotted the misrepresentation and are now creating counter ads to warn gullible citizens about misleading ads:

In the UK we are way behind in warning the Great British Public. Only occasionally does one of the Animal Rights brigade gets a slap on the wrist:

The fact is that Animal Rightists don’t care a jot about plagiarism or theft of marketing spiel. They have their friends in politics and their placers across large charities. The end justifies the means in their cult. They will be as elastic with their messaging as they need to be as long as their coffers continue to fill. And, yes, that is wrong – no different from ‘A’ (which it does not) being so brazen as to pinch Islam or Christianity’s messaging and then trying to pocket wealth off Muslims or Christians.

Dominic Wightman is Editor of Country Squire Magazine.