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Another Video, More Misconceptions

Jun 29, 2011


It seems that every time we turn around, there is an undercover video framing production agriculture for the fall of the Roman Empire, the birth of the Holocaust and the assassination of former President Kennedy. OK, so I am exaggerating, but in truth animal agriculture has seen a spike in animal rights activists posing as farmworkers to film production practices with the intent of portraying meat production around the globe as archaic and cruel. These videos are released to the mainstream media, causing consumers worldwide to doubt that livestock production is humane.
I don’t blame those consumers, because I too have seen the videos and thought to myself, "Wow, that was uncalled for." If a farm girl like me is alarmed by videos framing farms and ranches across the country as animal abusers, I can assure you that the yoga mom living in Chicago will see the clips and turn to fish as the sole source of protein for her family for at least a few days.
Today a video was released by Mercy for Animals (MFA) -- an organization that poses as an "animal welfare" group, but whose extremist intentions are truly to create a vegan nation -- which features a hog farm in rural Iowa. This facility happens to be a national leader in pork production, and one of its farmworkers happened to be an undercover agent for MFA who learned about the benefits of modern livestock production and then used that knowledge to exploit American hog farmers. Do you think there is a connection there? I certainly do.
The video shows farmworkers docking the tails of baby piglets, castrating males and giving the animals vaccinations to keep them healthy. The video also shows workers killing piglets who most likely were suffering from birth defects and health issues. However, they don’t tell you that part in the video.
Many agriculture advocates like me will spend today alarmed and outraged. Unfortunately, we live in a world where individuals are willing to ruin the image of American agriculture despite knowledge of the benefits of modern production practices. However, just as there are activist groups that lack integrity, there are farms that don’t hold themselves to the highest standards of excellence.
The fact is that while activist groups with zero ethics are numerous, farms that lack integrity are very few. The majority of American farms are efficient, sustainable and humane. Maybe agriculture’s best strategy today is to showcase farms that are doing it right. Let’s talk about farmers who care for their animals and love farming with every ounce of their being. Farmers like this one -- take a look.

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COMMENTS (4 Comments)

AnnaGiannini - Mexico, MO
Thank you for your feedback Cindy and Michelle.
5:06 PM Jun 30th
Cindy - Hutchinson, MN
The only deception I see here is yours: this post is offensive on so many levels! Are there advocacy groups who exaggerate, yes. There are those with poor practices on both sides of this topic. You speak disrespectfully to anyone who is not involved in modern production ag - and then you wonder why outsiders do not trust producers? We have to speak respectfully to the audience we wish to educate - this is the first thing any high school English teacher would tell you in the unit on persuasive public speaking. What is more, you must not only learn to speak to this audience respectfully, you must actually respect them. Ultimately,they are the people keeping us in business. What is more, they have the numbers to elect officials who pass the laws that shape our practices (i.e. regulations). Derisive, dismissive, disrespectful attitudes such as you model here only harm modern producers in the long run.
3:33 PM Jun 30th
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