This week Humane Watch has asked Nebraska ranchers and farmers to submit a picture of them doing what we do and a little story. To check it out click this link http://humanewatch.org/index.php/site/post/we_are_nebraska_farmers_and_ranchers/ .
(I did submit a pic it is the one of the rainbow and cattle grazing if you care to look at it again, pretty sure I included it in a post last summer)
Let me tell you I never thought a picture of a rancher standing over a new born calf would raise such a stink so fast. The man was nudging the calf with is foot (appeared to me as he was doing so gently) to get the calf to stand as his mother who appeared to be a little overly protective stood by a few feet away waiting for him to give her a chance to take him. Those who have had first hand experience with testy mothers know that bending over to help the calf up is a dangerous thing to do as 1-you can lose sight of the cow and 2 - you are portraying yourself as more of a threat to the cow. However I can see as those who have never been around livestock could see this man as "kicking, stomping, standing on" and any other act of un-kindness and harm to this calf. The comments eventually turned extremely unkind and with very colorful language and as a consequence the post was deleted.
I think it is true with anything that we have to be very careful when presenting information to the public especially when this info is at the grasp of those you don't believe that we should use animals for anything (food, fiber, pets, search and rescue, medicine). It is easy to take a comment or picture and turn something as innocent as a child standing next to a group of calves into child abuse because he/she is near "wild" cows. I don't think that we need to stop telling our stories because we are fearful of the unintended and twisted comments by those who don't believe in our choice to consume meat. I think we need to be careful in our words, deliberate in our pictures, and clear in our messages. When responding to ridicule it is easy to fire back and with anger and frustration in our words but we need to remember to respect others opinions just as we have our opinions but we need to be well armed with facts, data and statistics that can defend what we do is done with the well being of our livestock coming first and foremost. There are "bad guys" in every industry trying to make a quick buck at the expense of everything and everyone in their way. These people are the minority and there are state and national laws protecting animals from abuse (some states it is a felony if convicted), but like catching and convicting a murderer it takes time to get enough evidance and support to make a clear cut case that will win in court.
|Here is the picture to look for!! One of my personal favorites!|