A newly launched non-profit organization established to advocate on behalf of animal farmers and confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) encountered a bit of glitch in its inception: what to call itself that wouldn't immediately turn off consumers.
It's long been asked, what's in a name?
"A lot," says Rashidus Roman, the group's co-founder and long-time owner of a CAFO just outside New York City. "Our market research showed that a name can make or break an organization."
Roman and his co-founder, Grace Rollins, were determined that their group's name reflect its core mission: protecting farmer freedom; deregulating animal agriculture; and boosting corporate profits.
"In other words, we wanted the name itself to confront these animal rights groups directly. After all, no point beating a dead horse around a bush."
For that reason, Roman and Rollins first considered organizational names that directly contradicted the messages of well-known animal rights groups like that of prominent activist organization Compassion Over Killing.
"Originally," he recounts, "we planned to go with 'Killing Over Compassion,' which sums up our philosophy pretty accurately. But the market surveys we did showed that that name turned people off - I'm not sure why. But you can't argue with market data."
Negative consumer feedback resulted in their rejection of other proposed names as well. "People for the Unethical Treatment of Animals" did not fare well with consumers. People surveyed had only a slightly less negative reaction to "No Mercy for Animals" and "Mercy for Factory Farms." And the name that consumers liked least of all? "American Society for the Encouragement of Cruelty to Animals" or "ASECA".
"We started to get a little desperate," Roman recalls now. "In fact, we even started questioning whether there was any way to positively couch our message of promoting high-volume animal exploitation. But we stuck to it, and eventually the ideas started flowing again."
Ultimately, the big-ag advocates returned to their original theme of countering the pro-animal message of Compassion Over Killing, selecting the name "Compassion Under Killing" for their group.
Unveiling the new name was a proud moment - and a huge relief - for Roman.
"It's the perfect name for us," he declares, unabashedly pleased. "It's entirely consistent with our mission. But it still polled well in our market research, probably because of the association with compassion, which is a trendy topic these days."
Roman urges people to make tax-deductible contributions to Compassion Under Killing via its website: www.supportmonsanto.web