Strangers Lurking in Your Life
As National Geographic prepares to look at the issue of undercover videos, it often is under the guise of what seems to be, not always what is. Many things if getting a glimpse of it appear bad, even when not. Then there’s over the top cruelty, which is inexcusable.
There are some that view what you do is wrong but what I do is ok even if the same thing because intention matters. As all of these issues are swirling around there’s others tossed in. As a niche market, with no one to do it for us, much of my day is working on marketing, learning better ways to do so, talking with people about what they want, and realizing what they don’t. Those last two do not always meet.
I have previously touched on the use of drones as a means of trespass. I see people enter properties under false pretenses and have seen the harassment that ensues because of a difference of opinion. The difference of opinion is food choices – eating meat, or not. There are many ways to get to that point – the use of cages or confinement, the culling of animals that don’t fit a specific program, the raising of any animal in volume (even though that is demanded by consumer purchasing!).
Do you want strangers around your kids? Peering in your living room? Flying over your outdoor time, recording what you do? Never mind privacy, never mind they might be criminals looking. It’s ok – as long as you’re not doing anything wrong. And the only one determining that is the stranger deciding what he wants to show.
Consider this exchange from a friend, Sam Wildman, who farms much differently than we do:
Then I was informed that its wrong to care for pigs to the best of my ability (confinement farm) because it is not natural for pigs to be taken care of by people.
I was also told that my choice was understood by (said person) but they had no choice but believe I was lying to them. All this was said to my face as I explained the reasons for modern day pig farming.
Then (said person) asked a family (appeared to be Amish) if “their kind” were willing to eat meat from people who don’t care for the world or the pigs. The father of this family replied, “absolutely, they can raise pigs better, safer and healthier than many people in the world.
The truth doesn’t matter as long as the walls of condemnation are so high to prevent seeing over. Monsanto doesn’t raise pigs. Or antibiotics. There are challenges to all types of farming and consumers today want a wide range of products. Not all want what we do – some want what we do but cheaper (which means more volume!). Others just want low cost groceries convenient at the store and safe.
Others want to change your food choices entirely, to only a vegan diet. They do this with pictures of the worst of the worse. If we took a 30 second clip of drivers plowing into crowds, killing people, driving through buildings – all which does happen – and only that was replayed, those seeing just that without a basis for the rest of the drivers on the road would think cars are bad. Most people would come to a conclusion of safety measures, increased driver training and a host of other solutions rather than give up the cars and walk.
Some want you to walk. The wide range of choices today in the food supply are so taken for granted we want to force change by elimination of other people’s choices because it isn’t our choice.
It’s why we don’t condemn what Charles does – people want to buy the pork from his hogs. When we get expanded and set up, we’ll have 30-40 at a time, raised in a different manner for our customers. Customers that want to know how the pigs were raised. Customers who want a more personal experience than picking up a package of meat at the grocery store. Many like the basics – that’s not our market, but it *is* food choices in action.
Some think any time an animal gets sick it should be treated then ‘tossed out’ for *them* to eat, even when for 99% of the animal’s life it was raised the same way as the ones that did not get sick. Is it worth $5 per pound difference? $10/pound? Some say yes. I haven’t found any that seriously want to pay that difference in action.
Still, there are a wide range of food choices, and people that provide them. We will, in time, have some no antibiotic ever animals. Don’t look for them at restaurants – the only place to get them is direct with us!
Food choices allow farm choices. Sometimes those choices are criticized at either end. It’s criticized to treat animals with antibiotics but cruelty to not treat them. Either way, the outside perception is condemnation. We do the best we can by our animals, and planning the best system we can going in to our expansion.
Is that enough? For our animals, for our customers and for us – we think so. For those who don’t want the use of any animals, nothing short of ceasing to raise livestock is enough.
We prefer food choices – including peppers and pork, rosemary and rabbits, tomatoes and turkeys. What we raise, and how we raise it, fills a demand. So does Charles.
Restaurants may use cheap marketing tactics but only direct can you buy what we grow. We’re exclusive to a few, and have room for 2014 – get a spot now before they’re gone. For reasons of security and biosecurity, strangers aren’t welcome on our place.
Customers are, with transparency many only speak of.