The saying, "What they don't know won't hurt them", has more than likely been used by every single one of us. But have you ever stopped to think about how it isn't true? Especially when it comes to agriculture.
Scrolling through Facebook like I do every day, I see posts of all kinds; family vacations, fun times with friends, show cows, people showing cows and people selling cows. Unfortunately, every now and then I run across a post from PETA. All of my farm friends already know what was in that post; twisted truth and misinterpreted information. But what really got my attention wasn't the misleading video, it was the comments below it. People from all around the world saying things like, "This is why I'm vegan!" or "Those poor mistreated animals!" And I thought to myself, "People really believe those things?" Yes! They do! But why??
This where the phrase comes in. In this situation what they don't know actually does hurt them and the people that care for those "poor animals". Every time PETA publishes an article or video more and more people are convinced that the livestock industry is cruel and evil so they should just go vegan. Then they tell their friends and the fire spreads from there. I believe people are so easily convinced because possibly, they've never been on a farm, they've never seen a cow, they don't personally know a farmer and think that food just appears in the grocery store.
Now I'm not saying there is anything wrong with being a vegan because there's not. It's your choice after all. But there is something wrong with false accusations and turning someone away from a hard working family business. What do we as farmers and agriculturists do?
We answer questions, offer information, politely inform others about your job and why you do what you do. It cannot be just a handful of people trying to make the difference. So, I challenge anyone reading this to make a post, answer a question or even ask a question if you're unfamiliar with farming practices and teach maybe just one person, maybe a hundred people, that what they don't know.. well, ya know. ;)