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Students Respond To Vegan Columnist

kyle-kranz.jpg On Dec. 1, an article titled, "You truly are what you eat," appeared in The Collegian, the student newspaper at South Dakota State University (SDSU). The opinion piece was written by Kyle Kranz, a regular contributor who offers vegan perspectives on healthy eating. His article stirred up some controversy among the agriculture students on campus, and I think you will see why.

“I am going to get right to the meat of the issue,” wrote Kranz. “Nearly everyone knows that cruelty almost beyond measure is happening at factory farms where the animals are excluded from many state animal cruelty laws. From the hand castrating of live piglets that sometimes also rips out intestines, to the stun guns that don't always work, to the cows that are still alive when they reach the belly ripper, this is going on. Whether you purposefully remain ignorant, acknowledge and ignore it, or actually do something about it, unfortunately it is happening.”

Kranz goes on to add, “You truly are what you eat. Your body's cells are constantly dying and being replaced by new ones. Everything from your skin, your muscles and even your thoughts are created from the food you consume. Do you want your organs and your ideas made of the rotting dead flesh of animals that died in some of the worst conditions possible?”

I hate to repeat such falsities, but I think it’s important for the agriculture community to be aware of the myths being written about our industry. I talked to SDSU ag education student Sara Berg about her thoughts on the article and how her peers responded to it.

n1498080100_30036019_3774.jpg “Shortly after reading the article, several of us students met to write a letter and worked for nearly four hours putting together a response,” Berg says. “When my grandfather was farming our place near Baltic, SD, I’m sure the thought of animal rights, vegetarianism or GMO-corn never crossed his mind, but today we must face reality; it’s a huge issue. The only way to get the truth out into the world is to spread the word ourselves.”

In addition, animal science student Jace Hollenbeck will be starting a new column entitled, “Meat Myths,” which will appear in The Collegian and will focus on answering questions about meat as a healthy addition to a well-balanced diet. Farmers and ranchers can certainly be very proud of these young people who so eloquently addressed the falsifications found in the opinion piece. What do you think of the comments made in the opinion piece? How would you have responded to Kranz' statements?

Congratulations to Bob Neese for winning yesterday's BEEF Daily Christmas give-away! Neese will receive a set of cowboy-themed notecards, perfect for sending Christmas greetings to loved ones. Congratulations again and thanks to all who participated! Stay tuned for more gifts in the days leading up to Christmas!