I’ve long been a fan of country music. Real country represents hard-working, down-to-earth, dirt-road-living Americans like many of us in agriculture. From the classics like Johnny Cash and Loretta Lynn, to '90s crooners like Garth Brooks and George Strait, to modern-day country artists like Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, these folks help tell the stories of everyday people like you and me. There’s nothing like working in the barn or riding in the tractor and hearing a song about your life on the radio. That’s what country music does.
It’s unfortunate to see country music lose its roots with the likes of vegan princess Carrie Underwood and waif-thin, serial dater Taylor Swift, who are simply singing pop music in the country genre. But I’m even more disappointed to see that the channels that support these artists are losing their cool, as well.
I’m sure the folks at CMT didn’t realize the backlash they would receive by asking folks about going meatless, but that’s exactly what happened as the agricultural community responded with gusto. Here are three ways the industry responded and my thoughts on the most constructive tweets from members of our ranching community.
1. Calling for a ban or a boycott.
This probably wasn’t the most productive way to get our message across. Many tweets were demanding a boycott of CMT as a result of this tweet, but I think it makes us come across as angry vigilantes. The tweet, while insulting, wasn’t malicious.
In response to one tweet about a ban, CMT responded with, “We gave both options in a fun tweet. We love all eating choices and appreciate ranching families.”
I think CMT got the message without a boycott. Ranching families are clearly the fan base of many country artists. Not supporting these folks isn’t the brightest idea.
2. Encouraging folks to eat meat for your health.
Instead of slinging mud or reacting in an angry fashion, many tried to reframe the conversation to talk about the healthfulness of meat in the diet. I thought this was effective.
@AgUnited4SD tweeted, “Today is the start of October Pork month. Maybe you should celebrate that and farm families raising our bacon instead?!?!”
@DosterJohn wrote, “Now come on, watching #CMTvideos is like eating a juicy ribeye not sautéed tofu!”
@BrandiBuzzard writes, “Dairy, meat and protein are smart choices.”
@AgProudRyan tweeteed, “Meat is a nutrient dense, low calorie source of essential nutrients.”
3. Reminding folks about America’s farmers and ranchers.
The West wasn’t won on a salad. I think it was great to see folks talk about the impact farmers and ranchers have on the U.S. economy, as well as how they are the backbone of this nation.
Caci Nance (@scfarmwife) tweeted, “Going meatless has a negative impact on our economy. 105,589,667lbs of meat not consumed! That figure is if everyone in the U.S. doesn't eat 5 oz of meat/day. Translated into $ it's $235,464,957 in lost income/day.”
@CelesteHarned wrote, “Really? Has @blakeshelton seen this?! I'm ashamed of you CMT for promoting going veg & turning your back on farmers & ranchers!”
@AnnaLPeek tweeted, “@CMT Why not support the hard working rural Americans who raise our nations protein? A good share of country music listeners.”
How did you respond to this tweet? Now that you know about it, will you respond and how? Which tweets were the most constructive? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
And just for fun, here is a great blog post listing 7 reasons to never quit eating meat.
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