Today THE group who long ago declared war on modern farming is taking their well-funded campaign to eliminate animal agriculture from the planet to print and social media. You might just see their advertorial. Keep that in mind. This is paid for media hype. They’re taking aim at livestock farmers, dropping cow pies disguised as information left and right.
The livestock farmers – family farmers – who are under attack don’t have the dollars or the time to combat the glossy falsehood spread by the Humane Society of the United States, PETA, Mercy for Animals and others. That’s just what these groups are banking on. They’re hoping the urban markets in which they share their “information” will take it at face value instead of seeking the source – the farmers.
Well, here’s the farmer’s story. Farmers have their farms, their day to day tasks which last from before the sun comes up to after it goes down, and often well into the night. In spite of the work, some have found time to share their lives and their farms via blogs, and I encourage anyone with questions to seek them out and ask questions. No one is hiding anything. We can’t. The demand for transparency from consumers and non-farmers is deafening and so as a community, as one big farm family, we are sharing our best and worst days.
Here are just a few suggestions of farm bloggers to follow. I tossed in a direct link to the posts that exhibit the transparency referred to above.
Sometimes We Are Mean to Our Cows by Dairy Carrie
Why My Hogs Are On A Healthcare Plan by Chris Chinn
Why Our Pigs Don’t Live Outdoors by Minnesota Farm Living
What Happens in a Cattle Feedlot – Explaining Aerial Images by Agriculture Proud
Animal Care posts by Ask the Farmers (name a topic and its been covered!)
Raising Animals – More than Just a Job from U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance
And there are more . . . so many more — farmers who share for the masses to critique, criticize, sometimes empathize, but in the end, hopefully learn something about the farm.
We do not raise livestock so I do not address the topics of antibiotics, hormones, animal care, barns, crates, cages, etc. I have no current personal experience to share. However, on days like today my blood boils on behalf of livestock farmers because money trumps the transparency so many people claim to want.
I grew up on a livestock farm. My time spent caring for cattle shaped my childhood, taught me responsibility and respect for life. Yes, respect for life . . . and death and my role in that cycle. These days, my father and brother care daily for their small herd of beef cows and calves.
Farms are not factories and anyone claiming otherwise probably hasn’t spent enough time on the farm with the people caring for animals to know any different. Farmers do not lack feelings. Their animals are family. The first time I saw my father cry was not at a funeral, but in our mudroom when the calf he rescued from an icy puddle died in his arms after we had spent a full day trying to coax it back to life.
The drumbeat of “ask a farmer” may get annoying but I can’t say it enough. Questions about farms? Please. Ask. A. Farmer.