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Animal Rights, Factory Farms and Puppy Mills

June 22, 2012

Did you know that these things affect your daily life? Did you know it’s such a point of contention the struggle for power over it extends to the government? Did you know that there is slander, bullying and up to arson committed in the quest for bringing such things to your attention on a daily basis?

Well, maybe not arson daily, but it does happen, and the bullies that do it are quite proud of it. Not enough to stand up and face the consequences of their actions. But in a slinking in the dark cowardly sort of way.

Now as a rule most Americans do not support bullying. A recent headline of a bus monitor being bullied by teens had a backlash of thousands of death threats against the teens.

Recently a friend was able to share some views about the cattle industry with a much larger audience on CNN. I don’t remember the first discussions with Ryan, but as he picked up the AgProud and other efforts to support agriculture, he’s always been generous with time and feedback. We co-presented at the 2011 AgChat Conference, and when I had an issue getting photos onto my presentation he volunteered his laptop to finish the presentation. That’s the kind of person he is, and it’s not just when the public is looking.

It was with great interest I then watched the comments – and saw one that seemed to represent the critics of agriculture in one semi concise post. Apologies in advance for language (most of which, believe it or not, I clipped out).

“90% of the cattle comes from large feedlot producers, where they are unnecessarily fed grain and corn, needlessly pumped full of antibiotics (whicn are creating hugely adaptive superbugs). The only reason they are fed antobiotics is that they are choking on their own filth, crammed in there from greedy producers who view animals as statistics and commodities. …Remember Fast Food Nation? ” – quantumelf

Another says ” “First of all, nobody is going to believe the countryside is full of happy pastures with grazing cows. Everybody knows factory farms are how cattle are raised… It is clear people here do not educate themselves on how to look after themselves. Anybody who hasn’t lived under a rock knows today’s cows have never even seen a blade of grass. They are pumped full of antibiotics (no normal animal could survive the disgusting conditions of a factory farm without them) and hormones, and contaminated grain.”

Now I wonder about the “everyone knows” – why does “everyone know” these things? There are many things at play here but here’s two big ones. In many entertainment media about food agriculture tells you, sometimes with horrible pictures, what you’re seeing, and those explanations aren’t always accurate. So how does “everyone know” – because those of us in agriculture bought into the idea that no one cares how their food is grown, something I’ve been told for decades.We didn’t show pictures like the one above.

The other thing that bothers me even more is criticism no matter what. In the aftermath of Food Inc. many “experts” and consumers said farmers are afraid to talk about the truth of their operations. We were supposedly intimidated by Monsanto and Tysons…and some of us stepped forward to address that. Then it was said we were wrong, that we were spamming and intruding in their conversation that we were afraid to talk.

So here’s the thing folks…farmers DO want to talk. When we do and it’s discounted there is little to say. I don’t take any entertainment video, movie etc as fact – everyone has their own agenda. But at the same time, when relaying experience that goes back four decades and being told it’s not true I wonder where that shadow is that’s followed me all that time that knows?

Many want to regulate puppy mills, but the legislation written includes much more than dog breeders. Breeders are criticized for having dogs in the cold kennels remote from the home, but in legislation from the USDA and supported by activists, it REQUIRES that dogs NOT be in the home if breeders. They MUST be in a kennel. There’s a no win situation there, just like with the criticism of agriculture.

It leaves one message – it’s not about moderation. It’s about elimination. And that, dear reader, affects your life and choices far more than many realize. Get to know a farmer – or two or three. Visit the farmer blogger site over on the side – read blogs from those real farmers out there who are not stopped from talking.

And thank you to those millions of consumers who are on a search for the truth, and who are exerting food choices. You’re awesome!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. whateverisinthekitchen permalink
    June 30, 2012 7:35 AM

    Now THIS is the kind of blog that should be making Freshly Pressed. You are so right–we don’t have a media culture that actually encourages truth. Having worked for the media for years, I know very well that whoever controls the mouthpiece controls the message. Farmers are as willing to speak as anyone–and probably more willing to stop wasting their time on the stupidity of others when they are told to get out of the conversation. There’s work to do. Let the idiots run their mouths, as my dad would say. My dad, a farmer.

    • July 1, 2012 9:12 AM

      Thanks for visiting and commenting! I think there are platforms that bring a bigger connection with people without changing the message, but if people are honest it doesn’t matter who pays for the forum. Unfortunately, letting others talk has gotten us to where we are – people who don’t know so much that they believe anything. Even if it’s wrong, and rally against things that aren’t what they seem. I’m on one forum that is provided by corporations and farms that do have the funds – but it doesn’t change MY story at all. 🙂


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