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July/August 2001
The Watchdog

By Robert Cohen


We animal activists are a nation unto ourselves, under siege by a relentless and well-financed enemy. Every day, our adversaries bombard us with twisted versions of truth. Press releases are issued by pharmaceutical companies, milk mustache ads grace the covers of newspapers and magazines, stories appear extolling the virtues of drugs like Ritalin that turn American children into walking zombies. There is little or no balance to the insanity brought upon us by the persuaders with limitless budgets.

I keep from burning out by playing mind games. I live in a fantasy world of controlled schizophrenia. Id, ego, and superego merge and I use fantasy to project myself in a role that others fear to adopt. On Monday, I grab the banner and charge up a hill the way Mel Gibson did in The Patriot. If one man will be left standing, it will be me. I cannot and will not let the bastards win. On Tuesday, I shoot from the woods, and hide behind a rock. I imagine that “they” think there are hundreds of people working with me, when there is just one. I push myself to write a daily column; I call and fax media contacts, and am successful at getting my anti-dairy agenda published.

I feel larger than myself, and accept my responsibility as a watchdog. The harder I work, the more I recognize that I must work even harder to expose the lies. It is my obligation. Sometimes, I feel that if I do not do it, who else will?

I think of the animals. Ten billion farm animals will be slaughtered for food this year and 270 million Americans will feast upon their bodies (10 million vegetarians will abstain from that inglorious buffet). That’s 37 animals per meat-eater. Each one that I reach and convert means that 37 fewer animals will have the knife applied to their neck. Can I afford to take time out? Can I afford to burn out? No way! The great blessing of what I do hour by hour, day to day, is that I love every moment.

I enjoy showing the enemies of truth their own science. I do so by citing human scientific studies. I combine my own special (obnoxious) style of arrogance with a bit of humor. I love debate. Every day is a challenge. I imagine myself in college, studying journals and memorizing data, the end result being that few know more about my subject. Each challenge becomes a game to me. Learn. Teach. Focus. Respond to challenges. My days are filled with events that matter, and I am constantly reinforced by positive signs that my work is making a difference.

Robert Cohen is the director of the Dairy Education Board and the author of Milk—The Deadly Poison. He lectures widely on milk and calcium alternatives. For information visit


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