This morning, in what in my opinion is an act of sheer desperation, a "undercover video" showing some indefensible animal abuse on a farm in Ohio (allegedly) was released. The timing couldn't have been better for HSUS. With just over a month left to collect nearly 1/2 a million signatures for their ballot initiative, they are woefully short (like, less than half) and in desperate need of a boost. Will this video play to the heart strings of the uneducated consumer, or will people employ some critical thinking skills when it comes to this type of release. When was it shot? Why not take it immediately to the proper authorities, rather than try the farmer in the court of public opinion? Figure that last one out for yourself.
When a release like this occurs, it is imperative that ALL of agriculture stand with a common voice and condemn the actions. Not just cattle folks, or dairymen, or vets. ALL OF US. From apples to potatoes and corn to cucumbers, this should enrage us all. This is a direct attack on agriculture, farming, our families, and our way of life. We need to realize, these people are out to destroy everything we do on a daily basis. I don't care what crop you raise, you need to take the time to talk to anyone who will listen and help dispel this garbage. And this doesn't just go for the animal care issues. Whether it's the EPA trying to ban Atrazine (corn guys take note), labor issues (fruit folks like me aren't real happy with this), or animal care issues, we all have a vested interest, and we need to take the time to stand up and say it. Enough is enough. Period.
What is shown in those videos is sickening, indenfensiable, and inexcusable. However, calling for a ban on farms or farming practices is ridiculous. A few years ago, when I was still in high school, a teacher was caught having, well, "inappropriate" relationships with a few young ladies at the school. This guy was a pervert, and was kicked out of school and punished. But at any point did people suggest closing schools? How about male teachers for male students and female for female only classrooms? Are you nuts? This would have never happened. So why are we demonizing an entire industry over a very few bad actors.
Farmers everywhere should be angry and upset over these events, and they need to show it. It's time to stop quietly driving the tractor and waiting for someone else to fix your problems. It's time to step up, or be stepped on.