Friday, November 27, 2009

Any volunteers to call the HSUS or PETA?

I thought the rest of the world knew that pigs weren’t to blame for the spread of the H1N1 virus. Apparently nobody called the HSUS or PETA to share this news.

They are using H1N1 as another reason people should choose not to eat meat. You can even watch an hour long presentation on their website blaming “factory farms” for the emergence of this strain.

From the HSUS website:
“Crowding pigs into factory farms likely led to the emergence of the H1N1 swine flu pandemic. So far, millions of people have been infected and thousands have died. Learn the inside story on the origins of swine flu and ways we can help prevent flu pandemics in the future.

“The price of factory farmed meat doesn't reflect its true cost. This pandemic may be part of the price we're all paying for products from filthy industrial pig factories.

“. . . the best way to reduce the risk of future outbreaks may be to follow the advice of the American Public Health Association and declare "no more factory farms."

But, in another section of their site about the H1N1 and safety of pets, they inform that other animals that have contracted H1N1 have caught it from a human.

Hmmm? Don’t worry about your pets, but farm animals are evil—yes I’m drawing my own conclusion. No need for any HSUS member to call me.

PETA is up to similar tactics. They’re now calling it the pork flu at events and handing out masks as well as handing out starter kits to make the switch to eating vegan. And to appeal to the artsy crowd, they’re sponsoring a “swine flu haiku” contest.
Give me a Rolaid.

Neither group has gone as far as to say you’ll contract the flu by eating meat, but the average person reading on their site would make that assumption.

Here’s what they’re saying about agriculture’s role in H1N1 and other health issues.

“Hans-Gerhard Wagner of the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization has acknowledged that factory farms create an “opportunity for emerging disease.” The meat, egg and dairy industries keep diseased animals in crowded, filthy conditions and feed them a steady diet of drugs to keep them alive. It shouldn’t come as a shock that factory farms provide the ideal conditions for drug-resistant “superbugs” to develop.

How about this billboard from PETA: “Your demand for meat creates disease.” It’s in the UK. How would you like to see that up against a “Beef: It's what's for dinner” billboard?

These groups see some chinks in our armor and that their message is starting to gain some traction. Now more than ever it’s time for producers and the organizations that represent us to start sharing reality and calling these guys out when they spread lies.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Give Thanks

Tomorrow is the day to "Thank a Farmer" on your Facebook, Twitter, Blog or other social networking sites.

We're going to try to make this a trending topic from 10 a.m. to noon (CST) using the hashtag #thankafarmer.

I know many of you have participated in the Give Thanks program. This is one more way to get the word out about the importance of agriculture. If you haven't posted a note on the NCBA Thank A Farmer site, today's the day. If you aren't on Twitter, but want to participate, shoot me a note. I'm happy to help show you the ropes.

American's take for granted their safe, cheap food supply. We spend a lower percentage of our paychecks on food than anyone else on the planet. People who aren't connected to the land don't realize the work that our farmers do so they can enjoy a holiday feast or a snack on the run.

Thank a farmer and tell the world how important they are.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Meat is not just murder any more

Here’s a new book out that you’ll want to stuff in your family’s stockings this Christmas.

Jonathan Safran Foer a well known fiction writer, and darling of the book critics, has written a new book called “Eating Animals” examining his issues with eating meat and the food industry in general.

I have often seen animal activists call us murderers. But this guy says the slaughter of animals for food production is genocide.

The ante has been upped.

This guy has a platform and a way with words that could be deadly to our industry because he believes that we all have blood on our hands.

In an interview with Paul Shapiro, who runs the HSUS’ factory farming initiative, Foer takes shots at animal agriculture and factory farms.

These excerpts are taken from the HSUS website.

“It is unacceptable to be indifferent bout genocide, or callous environmental destruction, or animal cruelty (when done anywhere that isn’t a farm.) Indifference toward factory farming should be equally unacceptable.

"If animal agriculture isn't the most important problem in the world right now—it's the #1 cause of global warming, #1 cause of animal suffering, a decisive factor in the creation of zoonotic diseases like bird and swine flu, and so on—it is the problem with the most deafening silence surrounding it.

“The real horror of factory farming is not found in the instance, but the rule. . . . It's a shame that most people's exposure to the meat industry comes through horror videos of slaughterhouses. . . . And unfortunately, they can conceal something that is far more horrible: the everyday, systematized cruelty and destruction.

“In a way, videos of animals being tortured are a distraction that the meat industry is probably happy to have, as they suggest that the fault is with workers. The fault is not with workers, but the system itself. It is straightforwardly impossible to raise the number of animals we are currently raising for food without making their lives miserable. The misery is built into the system.

“Another system could take this system's place. But a movement toward small, family farms will require people to eat much, much less meat. And that's not going to happen any time too soon. In the meantime, the most important thing is to come to terms with the dominance and destruction of factory farming, and reject it. "

See anything you disagree with here? See anything he’s flat wrong about?

Guys like Foer and the HSUS say they’re only after the big guys. They are proponents of local eating and supporting family farms where things are done right. But anyone disparaging any part of the food system brings the whole system down.

This week the USDA released its report showing that 14.6 million American households went hungry last year.

The anti meat agenda doesn’t ever talk about how to replace the nutrients and protein lost if animals were phased out of the diet. The environmental extremists don’t talk about how to solve food distribution issues if suddenly everyone was eating local.

How many more people would the adoption of an anti-meat, radical environmental agenda make insecure?

Would they call people dying of starvation because of the policies they pushed genocide?