I think agriculture is battling one of the hardest, most silent battles of all. Emotional advertising. I’ve wrote about this before, but I don’t think people realize how hard it is for agriculture to stand up to emotion. We can’t show a hog smiling as it’s going into the slaughter house. We can’t show people getting the nutrition from the food we raise. We have to rely on facts and evidence.
Unlike the opposing.
They can use everything we do to our animals, for their health, against us by using emotional words to make others feel sympathetic and sad. Even just showing the eyes of an animal with sad music can draw people in.
How can a farmer compete with that? How can we use emotion to show what we are doing is right? We can’t. Nothing we do is sad or emotional. And if we do show something emotional (like the birth of a new animal) we are criticized for then butchering that animal for meat. “How can you love something and then just send it off to be butchered!!!”
That is where agriculture is stuck. We can’t show corn growing, play sad music, and expect to get the same reaction.
The opposing is using our own lively hoods against us. Things we do to help the animals is used against us to make people feel compassionate for the ‘harsh’ treatment the animals receive. We can’t even use new technology to help feed people across the world because that is ‘selfish of us to use technology in today’s food system’.
It’s a frustrating problem, but one that all farmer’s can overcome. We’ve survived droughts, the depression, and the farm crisis. We can survive this. We just need to stick together and make sure that people ARE receiving the facts. Take them to your farm and show them what you do. Tell them why you do the things you do. Make sure they feel at ease with everything you’re doing. Explain to them what happens if you don’t do what you do. Keep a smile on your face and remember that what you’re doing is worth so much more than they will ever know.