I wasn't sure where to post this, but I figure it's safest in the CP.
I happened upon an article in the local paper today about Maple Leaf, the food company, giving space to the protest group, Stop Maple Leaf Violence, at an open house that Maple Leaf was holding. From The London Free Press, the group " believe(s) chickensshould have the right to life."
I think this is brilliant. I'm sure many people will be impressed with how 'transparent' ML is, they're projecting that they have nothing to hide, they get to plug their 'alternative protein' factory, and they get press. They also cut off disruption and take away some talking points the protesters may have.
I think the 'genius' goes even farther than you have described.
The other thing they are doing is choosing the teams. They are 'Side A', and they have kindly provided a spot for a carefully selected 'Side B'. The dweebiest, most extreme Side B available.
There might be quite a few people who think factory fatming is nasty. A group campaigning for better conditions could pose an actual threat to profits. This group is far enough along the continuum to alienate many people who might otherwise have chosen 'Side B'.
If I'm debating in public, I prefer that my opponents be far on the fringes. It's lazy, but entertaining.
A group advocating for better conditions or larger cage sizes, might have been able to make some impact. They could talk about the quality of food, the GMO ness of the food or the huge amount of energy inputs.