Communication is good – miscommunication not so much. So often I see consumers seeking answers about their food supply – which I think is AWESOME!! It’s about time IMO! But then it goes wrong.
The current antibiotic issue is one. There’s a dozen or more farmers- beef, pork, chicken, sheep, rabbit – saying they don’t use antibiotics on healthy animals, don’t believe it does what’s represented on tv & it’s too expensive to use on healthy animals. They DO treat sick animals. Then the criticism starts.
“They shouldn’t ever be used.” So what if there’s an animal sick, let it die so H$U$ can say how farmers don’t care about their animals?! Let a promising animal you’ve planned for up to a year suffer because someone 1,000 doesn’t want antibiotics used?
I’m among those who don’t use antibiotics unless needed. But when it’s said then the tv shows are brought up. “Factory farms” use it…the tv said.
The CBS tv show also used “factory farms” about US hog farms but not about the same sized farms elsewhere. They used “factory farms” for confinement of turkey but not other confinement of turkeys the reporter agreed with. There was no masks or other protection worn for these “horribly unhealthy” places. Still others assert that anyone who raises animals for food is a “factory farm” – whether 10 or 10,000 all use antibiotics and are out to “get” consumers by producing unhealthy food.
Now hammer away on those false accusations for about 10-15-20 years. Then comes Ms. Consumer whose closest contact with a farm is the food on the plate – food that comes from the store or a restaurant. They watch a tv show and approach a farmer not with curiosity about food but accusations about using methods that the farmer has never used!
So what does the farmer do? Deny it happens? There’s bad actors in every industry – always has been always will be. So go after the bad actors. Don’t condemn the majority who live life every day dictated by care of their animals.
Equally, the consumer will usually be welcomed if recognizing this. Ask. Don’t accuse. “I saw this show…but want to find out what’s really going on.”
It seems every week in the news there’s reports of a teacher somewhere taking inappropriate measures with a child. Yet most don’t react as hostilly at teachers as they do farmers.
The majority in any walk of life are not out to “get you”. The majority of farmers welcome consumer interaction about what they do. There’s videos that take you inside farms from the comfort of your home.
And there’s the minority of people who simply want to attack others. Communication is needed. Consumer support is needed and for that information is needed.