An independent mindset is a necessary trait in production agriculture. Beware, this trait is now being tapped into by animal rights organizations to “divide and conquer.” This technique was successfully used in Florida when the first gestation stall ban was put on the ballot; it continues today with HSUS latest video release.
HSUS believes the beef industry should be calling out the dairy industry for these inhumane practices. I have to ask the question; if we all raise animals for food, what makes one sector of animal agriculture more superior to another? Rather than letting smooth-talking animal rights activists guide us – agriculture needs to work together collectively against these causes. First, we have to have our animals in the proper condition when they’re sold – and hold those who don’t accountable. Secondly, we (read YOU) need to put a face on animal agriculture so consumers can understand these are isolated incidents.
Be prepared; it’s gruesome and is another image against agriculture that’s being seared into the minds of consumers. As an animal lover, I can hardly stand to watch it – but I know it’s not the norm. Consumers don’t differentiate between farmers, ranchers, auction houses, or processors. How do you think these images go over with a person who has never been on a farm? I shudder to imagine how many levels the respect for agriculture has been lowered from these images.
See http://hsus.org/farm/news/ournews/dairy_cow_abuses_timeline_062508.html for the footage. “In May, an HSUS investigator worked at the Portales Livestock Auction and documented cows and calves being mistreated and tormented in order to get them to stand and walk into the auction ring. During the time covered by the investigation, New Mexico brand inspectors were present at the auctions and apparently saw much of the abuse. In advance of today’s public release, The HSUS also provided information on the investigation to the New Mexico Livestock Board and the USDA, as well as to national industry leaders.”
If you’re in animal agriculture, use this as an opportunity to discuss the issue with colleagues in a different animal sector to ensure you understand each other. If you’re in grains or another part of ag, don’t think your extinct. Tomorrow it will be plants with feelings (see article on this blog) or biotech poisoning the world. It’s time for us to stand together, elbows locked, and let people know what agriculture is about.