Like most things in our lives in 2020, Halloween and trick or treating will either be cancelled or significantly different than usual. For kids and candy makers this will be another unwanted change brought on by COVID 19. While most of us look forward to having this pandemic behind us, some are making the most of the situation. Following the political practice of not letting a crisis go to waste, animal rights groups are using COVID to push their agenda against animal agriculture. While continuing to hide behind the premise of wanting to protect animals, these groups are working to eliminate livestock production and consumer choice. At a recent conference, animal rights groups opened their play book for all to see. They are working to convince people that livestock operations are a risk to public health and likely to cause the next pandemic. They continue to oppose the eating of meat, eggs and dairy products while working to ban the use of cages and crates. They continue to work to pass laws that would make it difficult and even impossible for livestock producers to stay in business while at the same time trying to convince people that they are helping save the planet by supporting their so called “animal friendly” practices. Along those lines they are pushing and pressuring food companies and restaurants to move to plant based products. Let’s be clear. There is a big difference between animal rights and animal welfare. Good treatment and care of animals is something we should all support. The elimination of livestock production and consumer choice is not. These groups are very well funded in large part by donations from people who feel they are helping defenseless puppies and kittens. Commercials by celebrities urging people to send monthly donations to these groups help fund lobbyists’ pet projects more than pet care. Livestock groups, while certainly preferring you eat meat, aren’t trying to eliminate your food choices. If animal rights groups have their way, you’ll only be able to eat products they approve. Unfortunately there are abused animals and some bad actors in the livestock industry. However the bad actions of a few should not taint the good work of the many. And sadly there are abandoned and abused pets but rather than fund big payrolls and anti-meat campaigns the focus should truly be on animal care. The best way to do that is to give to your local pet shelters where you can see how your money is being used. It’s time to remove the masks animal rights groups are hiding behind and expose their tricks disguised as treats.