How 200,000 People Were Fooled into Watching Slaughterhouse Footage

It all started with, a website that publicly named and shamed former vegans in such a ruthless and malicious way that it was bound to turn heads.

As anticipated, it didn’t take long before the site was receiving hundreds of thousands of unique hits a day and the mainstream media were jumping on the ‘vegan extremist’ bandwagon and letting the whole world know that they were right all along, and that vegans really were the fanatical crazies that they had always said they were.

To give you an idea of just how much the mainstream media loved this story, here are some of the headlines that popped up once the site starting gaining tract:

“Fanatic vegans launch website to name and shame former followers who are now meat lovers”Mail Online

“Vegan extremists launch Website to name and shame ex-vegans” – New York Post

“Extremist site shames ex-vegan ‘traitors’ for carnivorous cravings” – The Observer

If you’re one of the people that stumbled onto this site in the last month or so, then you’ll know exactly how self righteous and scathing it came across. There is no arguing with that. But thanks to Peter Young’s public explanation of the creation and conception of this pretentious ‘Vegan Sellout List,’ we now know that it was nothing more than a farce created with the sole purpose of confronting omnivores with stomach churning slaughterhouse footage that would potentially pull on their heart strings.

After the traffic starting flooding in, and many of the biggest websites in the world had linked to, the creators redirected the URL to graphic footage of slaughterhouses and factory farms. The exploitation and suffering of animals was brought right into America’s living rooms.

So what can we learn from this outrageous publicity stunt?

Well, one thing’s for sure: the media is so easily manipulated and that when you play them right, they will lap up pretty much anything you dangle in front of them as long as it is provocative enough.

Perhaps a more important lesson that has come out of this is how it is possible for the animal rights movement to cleverly use manipulation tactics to generate huge publicity for the cause. Animal advocates everywhere are constantly looking for ways to increase effectiveness and bring their message to as many people as possible, and it seems that the inspiration behind may just hold the answer.

Obviously, baiting the media is not the only way to turn the spotlight on animal issues, but in this case, and I am sure in a lot of others, it is a tactic that clearly works. Some would argue that the damage this stunt caused to veganism is unforgivable, as there is no doubt that a lot of people were rubbed the wrong way (vegans included) during this naming and shaming extravaganza. But in the end, it all boils down to the fact that if animal advocates want to get heard, they need to get creative.

So yes, might have made vegans look bad, and yes it probably turned a lot of people off, but as Peter Young himself said, “Before last week, you believed the temperature in Hell would have to hit 32 degrees before would ever link to this: Meet Your Meat.”

This post originally misprinted Peter Young as Peter Singer. We apologize for this mistake.

Photo Credit: Farm Sanctuary


Carrie-Anne Brown
Carrie-Anne B3 years ago

thanks for sharing :)

Eternal Gardener
Eternal Gardener3 years ago


Dale O.

No, Don S...have not watched the video as it is almost an hour long and I live in a climate where the summers are short and spend more time outside and away from the computer screen. When it is -30 out there I could spend an hour by the screen watching something... but for is too nice outside to stay inside for long and at night I am often driving the rural back dirt roads. Plus the fact, I am not worried what we are or are not designed for. If I need to fly, I go on a jet, if I need to live in a modern home I avoid living in a cave. I am an omnivore because it gives me the best of all worlds. In the end, humankind discovered fire and many cooked meat. Even without fire, the Inuit ate raw meat and are healthy eating a mainly meat diet these days. Theirs is a totally different diet.

Lynda H.
Lynda H3 years ago

Total meat consumption in the USA: 34 million tons and decreasing.
Total meat consumption in China: 71 million tons and increasing.

More than 60% of world soybean exports plus over 7 million tons net grain and corn go to China for animal feed. One third of China’s harvested grain goes to feeding animals.

What the USA eats is not going to make any difference to the world consumption of meat or the growing of grain, corn and soy to feed livestock, or animal welfare. Of course, the statistics are wrong, aren’t they, Don? Nothing like confirmation bias…

Diane L.
Diane L3 years ago

- Next: You seem to think I somehow intimated that I wasn’t the person to bring up the red light meat trick. I don’t think I did that, and acknowledge that I was the one who brought it up, originally. This is a minor point, and not really worth much consideration."............No, I didn't "intimate" anything. You brought it up and I responded to it by explaining how it was done in some retail situations, and they do the exact same thing with produce under GREEN LIGHT. It was Dale O. who replied to your comment about the same time as my explanation, maybe a few minutes before I posted.

Don, all of this from you is very much coming across now as nit-picking. It's ALL been discussed, RE-discussed, RE-hashed and explained over & over again. You are continuing to bring up old stuff and arguing now about "who said, what..........WHEN".

Diane L.
Diane L3 years ago

Don, that's a silly thing to even suggest..........."polling" everyone else here? Yes, you do come across to me as "waffling" all the time, and I'm not the only one here who has suggested that to you. I'm not going to play some childish game to ask other members to "vote" on such a thing. You're now doing it say you never suggested any of us supports CAFO's? You just said, "I am NOT saying anyone here supports CAFOs or directly supports the inhumane treatment of animals", yet less than 1 day ago, you went out of your way to ask us all that specific question. As Pamela W. said, she has an excellent memory. So do I, but I'm beginning to question yours, or, as I suggested, you "waffle" in your viewpoints.

Don Saito
Don S3 years ago

Oh, and before anyone becomes upset: I am NOT saying anyone here supports CAFOs or directly supports the inhumane treatment of animals. All I’m saying is: if everyone in the U.S. ate a lot less animal protein, the very real problem of animal mistreatment would all but disappear, and I think that’s something we would all like to see.

Don Saito
Don S3 years ago

Diane: my responses to your 7/24/2013 22:23 posting: Unless you polled “everyone else” here on whether they thought I was waffling, I’m afraid I’m going to have to consider that an unsubstantiated claim. I don’t think I’m waffling at all, so if you think I am, you must please state in exactly what way.
Next, I believe we are in agreement that most of the people tricked into viewing the video were upset and didn’t finish viewing the whole thing, but to me, that is beside the point. I want people to be aware that they are contributing to the existence of CAFOs and the generally inhumane way animals are treated. If this upsets them, well, it’s an upsetting thing to come to grips with. Hiding from (turning off) the truth will not solve the problem, and I have no sympathy for anyone who tries.
Next: You seem to think I somehow intimated that I wasn’t the person to bring up the red light meat trick. I don’t think I did that, and acknowledge that I was the one who brought it up, originally. This is a minor point, and not really worth much consideration.
Finally: I think it’s wonderful that you grow your own food and buy organic. If we were all more like you, this would be a better world. I believe you’ve said you didn’t eat a lot of meat, and for the sake of our planet, that’s all I ask of anyone.

Don Saito
Don S3 years ago

Lynda: Well, that’s not my argument (that slaughtered animals are necessarily stressed when slaughtered). I’m not sure I believe the figures you’ve quoted, which may have been produced by industry-friendly sources, and are therefore highly suspect. (If you read the last few chapters of “The China Study,” by nutrition scientist Dr. T. Colin Campbell, you would be shocked to learn just how badly industry has corrupted our scientists, our govt, and promoted outright lies about nutrition to the public in order to protect their profits.) Even if I give you those figures, I still feel that CAFOs are inherently inhumane, and they are how 90% of animal protein is produced in this country. There’s no such thing as a humane CAFO, and if we all ate a lot less or no animal protein, the evil CAFOs would disappear.
Pamela did catch my bad math, and I thanked her for doing so :-)

Don Saito
Don S3 years ago

Lynda and Barbara: I respectfully disagree. Animals have emotions, and are aware of their surroundings and conditions. They know happiness, boredom, anger, fear, sorrow, pain, depression, and apathy. They’re not as smart as we are, and they might not even be more tasty than we are (just saw World War Z), but they are just like really low-IQ people. The fact that we even have any consideration for their well-being at all attests to our knowing this, deep down. It’s just like in war: soldiers can’t afford to think of the enemy soldiers as people; they are “the ENEMY,” and this allows soldiers to kill other humans. This same mindset, albeit on a different level, allows us to kill animals for food. I do it, and perhaps one day I will go totally vegan. But I will at least acknowledge that eating animal protein does contribute to animal cruelty, and that I don’t like it. My only justification for participating is because I do so at a very low level, and as I mentioned earlier, if *everyone* (especially the really heavy meat-eaters) became more veggie, CAFOs would disappear. Then animal protein production could become much less industrialized and much more humane.
We are practicing omnivores, though biologically, we’re frugivores or herbivores. (Dale…anybody! Have you watched that video, yet?