I was shocked and disappointed to open my son’s homework folder recently and find propaganda promoting "Meatless Monday".
Once I was past the initial shock I began to reflect on what the implications are in a broader sense. Many including myself have given much lip service in the recent months/years regarding the fact that there are organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) that would like to end animal agriculture.
Most of us listen but most likely are not too concerned that anything like this could happen in our neighborhood. Not in rural northeast MO. Not one of the top cow states in the nation where the majority of the population can tie their financial existence directly to agriculture. Unfortunately it is happening in these places.
Our school district was apologetic and I believe it was an oversight from those who did not know the facts or consequences. I commend them for working with us and sending home information the following week discussing the benefits of animal protein in your diet.
The fact that they were uneducated rest on the shoulders of all of us in the beef industry for not educating them by being proactive instead of reactive after the fact. The truly frightening thing is how did it come to be our school district was given the information to start with and what happens when a similar letter is sent home to children in St. Charles county? People there may not be as offended and may take to heart the false information presented to them.
I agree that anything in excess can be harmful but this can be said of water. I would like to thank all those who called and expressed their concern both to me and officials in the school district but I would also like this to be a call to action for us to be more proactive in promoting the facts behind a healthy diet.
Know the facts and promote the production efficiency that our industry displays. Take time to educate yourself so you can educate others when asked on an airplane or in the feed store. Know where/who to get the information from. I for one don’t want to run from the data and science but want to stand behind it to defend what I and the people I work with everyday do to help feed the world a healthy food product.