If there is one thing I love, it’s freedom. The best part of living in the United States is certainly our First Amendment protections for free speech. There has been a lot of conversation lately on social media regarding food production. And certainly a lot of discussion about how conventional farmers should treat the organic and animal rights folks. People want us to be civil and nice to each other. They want us to promote choices. Everyone can exist together in harmony. Conventional farmers, organic farmers, ranchers, and HSUS are supposed to hold hands and come together.
But, unfortunately, there is a lot of misinformation and purposeful lies surrounding our food production in the United States. Right now, it seems like only one side of the story is being told.
If you want to see what I mean, take a look at the “8 Cruelest Foods You Eat,” which was prominently featured on Yahoo!’s news page this week. The feature is full of horrific stories, half truths, and condemnation. Yahoo! is willing to not only call meat eaters cruel, but cast stones at the entire industry of animal agriculture.
I’ve posted on my blog lots of times now about HSUS and the tactics the organization takes to shut down animal agriculture. From misleading Americans to donate money, to spending millions of dollars on expensive ballot proposals and lawsuits, the organization is not going to tell the truth about animal agriculture.
Following the Stanford study there was an outcry from the organic folks. They don’t buy conventional food because its going to make you and your kids sick, it poisons the Earth, and those evil corporate farms are giving us all diseases. It wasn’t just about a choice, it was about shutting down conventional agriculture.
With the advent of the “green” movement, we continually hear how modern agriculture is cruel to our animals, poisoning our planet, and making us sick.
Unfortunately, this is the message a lot of Americans hear. Most people are so far removed from agriculture that they have no reference point and no way of deciding if the information they encounter is fact or just plain ridiculous. When you keep hearing the same mantra over and over again, especially from sources that you find at least somewhat credible, the bad information starts to stick.
I’ve said it before: sensationalism sells. And if it sells, someone is lining their pockets. You better believe that HSUS and other animal rights groups have individuals making a killing on lawsuits and campaigns. You better believe that organic farmers want to you be afraid of conventional food — it helps their sales too. Just because someone plays the part of being concerned about the environment, caring about animals, or a simpler way of life does not mean they aren’t taking it to the bank.
My goal here is to be an AGvocate for conventional agriculture. I want to make sure the whole story is told and bring perspective on the other side. I want to make sure people know that conventional farming is not destroying the Earth and not abusing animals. We’re family farmers. We care about the land. We care about our animals. We’re passionate about what we do.
If you want to buy organic food, then buy it. I won’t pretend to like it, but you have your choice. I just want to make sure that you aren’t making the choice because you’ve been told it’s safer, more nutritious, better for your kids, or better for the Earth. After all, you’re the one forking over extra money to pay for something that isn’t necessary.
Choices are great, but only if you know the whole story and have all the information. Then your choice really means something. I will continue to debunk the marketing gimmicks of those against conventional agriculture. If that means I’m not “playing nice,” then so be it. Trust me, these folks are not going to stop attacking us, bringing lawsuits, and paying for ballot proposals to shut us down.
Agriculture needs to tell it’s story. Always.
By the way, if you want to have a discussion about agriculture, I recommend heading over the the US Farmers and Ranchers Alliance’s Food Dialogue page. It is an excellent resource and you will find arguments on both sides of everything.