This morning I was fortunate enough to have Temple Grandin as a guest lecturer in one of my classes. She really is an amazing lady and I learned a ton - if anyone has the chance to hear her speak, I'd really encourage you to go.
One of the things that she spoke about was the god-awful job the animal agriculture industry is doing in communicating with the public. More people are swayed by the misinformation in books like Skinny Bitch than are actually informed by accurate sources. This is largely a transparency issue - the animal agriculture industry has a real tendency to want to hide from the public rather than risk having to explain themselves.
Dr. Grandin said that in order to regain the ground we've lost to the RARAs, we need to be transparent about the processes, issues, and ethics of our industry.
I know that this has been an extremely polarizing issue here in the past, but I really wanted to share this video that we watched in my class this morning. It is a tour of a slaughter plant so it is mildly graphic, but I think it will go a long way in helping people to see that it isn't such a terrible and abusive process.
We tell people all the time that they need to be better informed about where their food comes from, but then we fail to provide them with accurate and unbiased sources for that information. The RARAs aren't helping, but I think that the current push against animal agriculture is largely caused by a failure on our part to communicate as we should.
"Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
First, SO jealous that you got to hear her speak! I would love love love that opportunity!
Second, this is the reason I want to get into PR in the animal agriculture industry. In May, I'll graduate with a degree in Animal Agribusiness and I have 10+ years of competitive speech and debate experience - plus, I love teaching. I'm hoping I can make at least some of a difference.
It's SO sad how much of a disconnect there is between our producers and consumers....I really believe things wouldn't be so 'scary' if people were simply more educated. The American Association of Animal Scientists just launched a great site for kids (and adults), animalsmart.com - it's aim is to help teach 'em young where their food comes from!
To be loved by a horse should fill us with awe, for we hath not deserved it.