It’s been an interesting week on the blog. While the government was on furlough, we talked about an ongoing industry issue — the ELD mandate and its implications on the transportation of livestock. With talking points in hand, we’re ready to visit with Congress and educate them about the realities of properly handling animals on the road and how this mandate could cause more harm than good.
I also shared a list of business moguls who are investing in clean meats and vegan companies. Soon, my inbox was filled with a mix of angry hate mail and suggestions from producers on how the industry can better respond to a crisis and address misconceptions that go viral in the media.
As promised, there is more to the story that I want to share, particularly on these vegan activists who love nothing more than to harass, irritate and disrupt the lives of folks who just genuinely want to eat well and learn more about where their food comes from.
Take, for example, Switzerland. While the topic of immigration reform in the United States is a heated debate with no compromise in sight, the Swiss have made it clear — it’s tough to become a citizen of their country. See if this story gives you a chuckle like it did me.
Yahoo! News recently reported the story of a Dutch vegan who applied for a Swiss passport only to have her application denied because the locals found her too annoying.
Yes, you read that right. Too annoying.
According to the article, “Nancy Holten, a vegan and animal rights activist, has campaigned against the use of cowbells in the village and her actions have annoyed the locals. The resident’s committee argued that if she does not accept Swiss traditions and the Swiss way of life, she should not be able to become an official national.
“Holten, who describes herself as a freelance journalist, model and drama student, has also campaigned against a number of other Swiss traditions like hunting, pig races and the noisy church bells in town. She was previously rejected for citizenship in 2015 after residents voted to block her initial application.”
I think most of us could agree that these activists can certainly become annoying really fast, but more alarming is how quickly they turn to violence and anger in their online bullying.
A-list actor, Chris Pratt, is getting a taste of this following a recent post he shared on Instagram. The Hollywood heart throb has recently invested in sheep and spends his free time tending to his livestock on his farm. He shared an image of lamb meat and wrote this message:
“Look at all this glorious food! We will eat off him for a month. His wool is becoming yarn as we speak. He lived a very good life. He was groomed and shorn, his hooves medicated, dewormed, no antibiotics necessary. Surrounded by laughing loving humans, including children to whom they provided such joy. Nuzzled, pet and loved every day. No stressful travel to his final destination. Trauma Free. Just a touch of a USDA certified wand to his head and he goes to sleep. The other sheep don’t even notice. It’s like unplugging a TV. Then Wocka my butcher works his magic.
"Right now the meat is for friends, family and gifts. Soon though it may be available to my followers as we test recipes and open up to market. Gotta get some things dialed in first. I have found a new passion to add to my many others. #farmlife and Jack loves it! You’ll know where to sprinkle my ashes. I’ll tell you that.”
How cool to see a celebrity discover the simplicity that farm life has to offer, even more wonderful that he appreciates the circle of life and is teaching it to his son, Jack. Not surprisingly though, his excited message received a ton of negative feedback, with people calling him a scumbag, murderer, an evil narcissist, a disgusting animal and a selfish animal abuser, among other unmentionable names. Some even suggested he should slaughter his child like the goats.
The good news is, these folks tend to be irrational and difficult to take seriously. The bad news is, they aren’t afraid to speak often and speak loudly about their disdain for animal agriculture. Whether simply annoying or downright scary, I think it’s best to engage with our average consumers and turn a blind eye to the crazy ones; however, it’s good to be aware about their rhetoric so we can better counteract the negative messages they are blasting all over the internet.
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.