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Friday, March 26, 2010

America's Image of Agriculture...

...seems to be quite skewed from the truth. The following is a quote from a state HSUS director in response to my comments about the HSUS's spending habits.

"The HSUS campaigns are supported by vegetarians and meat-eaters alike, in fact most of our members are not vegetarians, and we accept the fact that most Americans eat animals. The industry can only be expected to go so far as the public wants it to go, and many standard industry practices today are clearly out of step with the sentiments of most Americans who do not want to see the animals they eat treated inhumanely. This is where HSUS focuses the bulk of our farm animal resources.
The HSUS is a big tent organization -- we're comprised of vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. We recognize the fact that most Americans eat animals, and we support efforts by individuals, corporations, voters and lawmakers to help reduce the suffering of these animals. At the same time, while most Americans eat animals, they do not want to see them treated inhumanely. The industry can only be expected to go so far as the public wants it to go, and many standard industry practices today are clearly out of step with the sentiments of most Americans."

"We support a variety of reasonable efforts to help reduce animal suffering. If consumers want to avoid eating animals, we'll provide them with the information they need to make that decision. If they want to reduce the number of animals they eat, we'll give them recipes and other useful information. And if they want to avoid products that cause the most animal suffering (e.g., by switching from battery cage eggs to cage-free eggs), we applaud that too, and give them the info they need on where they can find those products. This is the range of motion for the bulk of the American public, and we are comfortable working in all of these ways."


There is one statement made here that really makes me wonder. The industry can only be expected to go so far as the public wants it to go, and many standard industry practices today are clearly out of step with the sentiments of most Americans who do not want to see the animals they eat treated inhumanely.

Emotions sell. That is why the 99.9% of America's livestock producers that spend 365 days of every year never get their story told in the media. Animal Rights organizations take the few instances of abuse and flash those images again and again, pulling at the heartstrings of consumers. Passing on the message that livestock production and harvest is inhumane and cruel. The real story, the truth, never sells.

This is why it is so important that we as producers step up and share our story. The story that we are not out there to drive in a profit, no matter the cost. Critics will continue to use what sells, Emotion and dramatized circumstances. We must learn how to take the truth and make it sale. Show American consumers that we are Farmers and Ranchers and our "standard industry practices" are not what is shown in Animal Rights propaganda and biased media.