Any time cowboys come to town, one can expect vegan activists to come trolling. While attending the 2016 Cattle Industry and Convention in San Diego a few weeks ago, there were two protests (that I’m aware of) just outside of the convention hall where more than 6,700 cattlemen and women had gathered. On my way to a meeting, I snapped a photo of one of those protests, which featured a lit statement, “Beef = Death.”
Posting it on social media, I used the protest as an opportunity to write about what the beef industry means to me. Here is what I wrote:
“Beef = complete & nourishing protein source; plentiful beef by-products like insulin, deodorant, crayons, makeup, baseballs, belts, boots, and more; a livelihood for ranchers who manage lands that are too rocky or rough for crop production or homes; and a way of life that’s rich in tradition, self-reliance, passion, and respect for the responsibility and caring of animals. Beef = death? I don’t think so.”
It didn’t take long before the vegan crowd showed up on my Instagram feed. Usually I ignore the filth that these folks so angrily throw at me, but on that particular day, I didn’t appreciate being called a murdering hypocrite. I decided to respond to one of the Internet trolls, reminding him that even vegans use beef by-products, correcting his misinformation on water use in beef production, and kindly asking him to troll elsewhere after he told me to, “Enjoy your dead flesh, and always remember that their blood is on your hands.”
I’m telling you, these folks are sometimes exhausting, and I don't kid myself that I could ever change their mind on the subject. However, it’s a good reminder that there are a growing number of affluent consumers who truly believe this nonsense and are under the impression that every cow can live peacefully at farm sanctuaries or be turned out to live in the wild and fend for themselves.
The take-home I always get from interacting with these folks is that they are very angry and extremely emotional. It appears there might be a link between these meatless folks and their mental health. B12 deficiency perhaps?
A new study from the University of Graz in Austria has found that vegetarians are unhealthier and more mentally disturbed than meat lovers.
According to the study, vegetarians are more often ill and have a lower quality of living than meat eaters. What’s more, vegetarians are more likely to have cancer and heart attacks. Even worse, they are more prone to psychological disorders than meat eaters, and are consequently, a greater burden on the health care system.
To make these conclusions, scientists evaluated date from the Austrian Health Interview Survey and European Health Interview Survey, which evaluated 1,320 people sorted into four groups including: vegetarians, meat-eaters with lots of fruits and vegetables, little meat-eaters, and big meat-eaters.
The study concluded that, “Vegetarians have twice as many allergies as big meat-eaters do (30.6% to 16.7%) and they showed 166% higher cancer rates (4.8% to 1.8%). Moreover the scientists found that vegans had a 150% higher rate of heart attacks (1.5% to 0.6%). In total the scientists looked at 18 different chronic illnesses. Compared to the big meat-eaters, vegetarians were hit harder in 14 of the 18 illnesses (78%) which included asthma, diabetes, migraines and osteoporosis.
According to the article, “In the analysis, the University of Graz found that vegetarians were also twice as likely to suffer from anxiety or depressions than big meat eaters (9.4% to 4.5%). That result was confirmed by the University of Hildesheim, which found that vegetarians suffered significantly more from depressions, anxiety, psychosomatic complaints and eating disorders. The U of Graz scientists also found that vegetarians are impacted more by illnesses and visit the doctor more frequently.”
The next time a vegan activist trolls on your social media account, take into account that they are making a huge personal sacrifice in the name of ethics, environment and health that is ultimately not the way humans were designed to eat and function. The science, nutrition and facts are on your side, and we must continue to share the benefits of beef, the pros of cattle ranching, and the facts about how beef gets from pasture to plate with our consumers. Don’t let an angry activist get in your way; just keep moving forward to promote beef and protect our industry.
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Penton Agriculture.
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