The People’s Agenda

The People’s Agenda (Random issues, 1992-1993, Washington, DC, USA)

The People’s Agenda was the official newsletter of Putting People First, an industry front group that pretended to represent good ol’ fashioned American animal abuse. In actuality, they were heavily funded by the industries they defended, from fur farmers to meat packers. Their PR angle involved the typical lies about caring for animal welfare, placing human rights above those of plants and animals, and conflating animal liberation philosophy alternately as a new age religion or an extension of Marxism. At times the articles contained herein make for hilarious examples of dirty journalism, and other times they provide us with lessons about how our actions can be spun and used against us. Interestingly, there are also underground actions reported in the People’s Agenda that are either hoaxes, or real actions gone wrong that never received coverage in AR publications.

Putting People First was one of many anti-animal rights organizations that prospered during the 80s and 90s. While many of these groups are still around, most notably the Center for Consumer Freedom, their heyday seems to have passed. It would be a mistake to believe that decline occurred because these groups lost the support of a large segment of our society. Actions taken in opposition to human supremacist politics are still widely opposed by those who enjoy the position of power that they hold over non-humans. The real reason that these groups are no longer as plentiful is that our movement isn’t the threat that it once was. As we come out of the chilling effect created by the SHAC 7 conviction, you can bet that publications like this will become popular once more. Combating their press and political strategy will be crucial to our progress, and familiarizing ourselves with their past actions will go a long way towards defeating them in the future.