I’m so glad today is Veterans Day and we made it past Nov. 8.
If you didn’t notice, the United States just made it through a nasty, dirty, and divisive election. The campaigns were less about thoughtful and meaningful conversations about the important issues facing our country, and more about big personalities, sex scandals, and criminal investigations. Whether your preferred candidate won or not, you probably came out of it with some strained relationships, hard feelings, and perhaps even a dismal view of our country’s future.
But what bugged me most about election night was the blunt and unequivocal disdain for rural America that was on display.
News pundits, journalists and celebrities all expressed their own frustration with the results by blaming rural voters. Former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Taran Killam, obviously upset by the vote totals, tweeted “rural=so stupid.” His sentiments were far from alone, as we heard popular news media blasting rural voters over and over again as being “uneducated” and not supporting the candidate of their choosing.
An undercover video from an animal farm operation has gone viral and is causing a sensation on social media. The video is allegedly secret footage from a dairy farm in New Zealand. It purports to depict a cow that has just given birth in a field. Her hind legs are being propped up by a tractor with chains clamped onto her hips. Nearby lies her dead calf. According to words accompanying the video, the cow was left hanging on the tractor for about half an hour before the farmer came back and started dragging her as her front legs collapsed. The video ends with the words “Drop Dairy.” Its source is a group named Farm Watch.
We don’t have dairy cows on our farm. Aside from our family dog and the occasional barn cat, we don’t have any domesticated animals on our farm and never have in the past. But I personally know a few dairy farmers, and I have met quite a few through social media and blogging. While I am certain there are cases of legitimate abusive circumstances on farms, none of the people I know would ever have the temperament or ability to purposefully mistreat or harm one of their animals. Not to mention, as I have learned from my friends in animal agriculture, proper animal care and welfare is the best way to ensure that an animal and farm remain profitable.
Therefore, after initially viewing the video and feeling uncomfortable about what I had seen, I immediately turned to the source that I trust the most when it comes to dairy cows: dairy farmers.
Finish reading here.
[This article was originally published on AGDAILY as a guest column.]