A viral pro-vegan video surfaced on Facebook last week claiming that signing your children up for 4-H is child abuse. Vegan News—the source of the video—is a popular vegan website that claims they are fighting “the largest holocaust in history” against the meat eating population.
Brandon Kirkwood, the founder of Vegan News, is the creator of the video. In it, Kirkwood calls 4-H a “terrorist organization” and goes on to explain all the terrible things your child would be subjected to if they join the organization.
Kirkwood’s main argument is that learning to raise a farm animal and then selling them constitutes child abuse. Adding, “4-H brainwashes children into losing their compassion for animals,” and says these children would probably not be vegan after their session ends.
In reality, 4-H is a great organization that teaches children responsibility and prepares them for future careers in health, science and agriculture. Through camps and public programming, 4-H is able to reach around six million children in urban, suburban, and rural communities. The specific program Kirkwood is attacking is only one of many options available to children that is designed to teach the participants real world skills.
By shaming these children—who have just joined 4-H to educate themselves and do something productive with their time outside of school—Kirkwood is also shaming adults that do this for a living in real agricultural jobs. Trying to discredit hundreds of thousands of hard working people who work in the agriculture sector because you don’t make the same diet choices is bizarre to say the least.
Child abuse is a serious claim that should not be thrown around haphazardly. Though vegan activists have been known for extremist ideology and protests, I think Brandon Kirkwood is completely devoid from reality at this point.