The idea for this poll came to me because of a rather poignant comment by a reader. The comment, like so many other things I’ve read and heard in the past year, gave me reason to pause and consider things a bit differently.
I have always loved meat. And while I’ve pointed out my granddad seemed to think he needed more meat and potatoes than I do, i have never given serious consideration to being a vegetarian. Now, that’s not to say I have an issue with anyone who chooses that diet. On the contrary, I say more power to them. It’s not just meat for me, I truly love cheese too.
I also have to say that despite allergies, I’ve always enjoyed being around animals. The care pets receive and the care livestock receive is important to me. In the rare cases where I’ve seen mistreated animals (and I must say on some international trips it seemed far more common), my heart goes out to the animal and I would like to find a way to help.
Growing up, I remember my sister donating her time at a local humane society here in Memphis. It’s really clear cause I remember the t-shirt volunteers got. It was a lot more recently when I learned that noble cause wasn’t a local part of the Humane Society of the United States. I’ve learned they have a lot of arguments with farmers — and not that they pick out a couple of bad ones in a bunch, they seem to paint a lot of farmers with the same brush about animal welfare. I don’t like that.
I don’t know Lana other than through blog postings, etc so I’m not sure whether Lana and I agree on everything, but I know I clearly like to have meat and dairy as part of my diet. And I like my vegetables too, love fish too. I am an omnivore. I think a broad diet provides a valuable components for my health and I love the diversity of tastes. I also trust the vast majority of farmers go about their jobs diligently and thoughtfully. They respect the role they have in providing our food and I respect their dedication.
While I was in the process of publishing this blog, I saw several friends mention http://choose2choose.com/ in their tweets. Good reminder that we may need to make choices and take action to provide for continued choices.
Following is the comment on my blog that gave me the thoughts of doing this post. I’d like to put it out here in the public forum for discussion. Please note the concepts brought up in this are likely to encourage debate. I ask that all perspectives be treated with respect.
We live on a family farm, and my husband farms 2,000 acres and raises feeder cattle with his father in northwest Indiana. I am extremely concerned about The Humane Society of the United States and their agenda to make our country a vegan one. I am totally fine with people choosing to not eat meat; it goes with our basic rights in this country. I am NOT fine with someone telling me I cannot eat meat or trying to pass laws that make eating meat produced by American farmer impossible or too expensive to afford.
I think there are enough meat-eaters in this country to keep our jobs of raising meat safe, BUT this will only be true if these people who choose to eat meat stand up for themselves and the farmers who responsibly raise this food staple. If we remain the silent majority, the very well financed, loud minority will pass laws under our noses that make eating pork, chicken, and beef impossible. Look at California, Michigan, and now Ohio. This is not a state issue any more; it is an issue of national concern.
I am curious to hear what other people think of this situation and, more importantly, what organizations, groups, and individuals are doing to protect the rights of farmers in other communities throughout our nation.
Benton County, Indiana