But that isn’t want I want to talk to you about today. Today, I am passionately tapping away at keyboard due to a facebook page and all its postings that was brought to my attention by the” I am Agriculture Proud” page that I follow! They are awesome advocates for the industry! You should check them out!
Yesterday, they shared a link to a different page called “Veganism is the Future," with intentions of exposing a whole bunch of misinformed criticism about our industry.
Now before I go any further, I would just like to clarify that I have nothing against individuals who practice vegetarianism or veganism! In fact, a few of my high school friends practice a meat free diet, and that’s their own choice. They are still awesome people; I just have a few “beefs” with their alternative lifestyle. But anyway, back to what I was saying. I am very interested in what those who oppose agriculture and meat production are saying about our industry so I thought I would take a look at this very “anti-meat consumption” platform. To tell you the truth, not a lot of what I saw surprised me. A lot of the pictures, comments and hoopla that are on that page are pretty predictable…. “Meat is murder, animals have souls too, farms are abusive to animals… yada yada yada.” …Nothing that we haven’t heard before. There was one post however that irritated me more than the rest.
Within the agriculture world, there are a lot of blogs that are starting to pop up that are a lot like mine and advocate for a lot of the same things. This veganism facebook page that I speak of however took a post from one of my fellow bloggers, which was intended to have a cheerful, celebratory connotation and twisted it around to make beef and dairy producers look like monsters.
Dairy Carrie, who is a strong and positive spokesperson for the Dairy industry, posted a picture about a week ago, welcoming an adorable new born bull calf into the world. She posted it on her facebook page with many comments of excitement and admiration from other agri- enthusiasts, but when “Veganism is the Future” got a hold of it, they pretty much shamed her for daring to think that her new born calf that will eventually be sent to market, is cute!
For starters, they posted the image with false information (surprise, surprise) about the calf being slaughtered between the ages 16 weeks and one year, and then the comments came a-flowing! Hundreds of people who looked at the picture through the Veganism facebook page all seemed to say the exact same thing. “If he is so cute, then how can you possibly be okay with eating him?” Now, keep in mind that I am using the liberty of paraphrasing here but this is the root of my whole issue with this post.
Carrie did however get the chance to correct the false information about the age of slaughter and the link was reposed saying the calf will live to be about 14- 18 months old, which is fair enough information. I am all about openness within the industry behind slaughter ages and practices, but the reasons behind these practices need to be better understood. I could go on a rant about carcass quality and health reasons behind slaughter ages, but that isn’t what I’m trying to focus on today!
I really want to know- what is so wrong with appreciation? – Appreciation for the beauty of Mother Nature, or the spunky innocence or a new born animal? What is wrong with thinking a calf that is intended for slaughter is adorable? I know I do it! I know lots people who do, and I think it’s completely okay!
Let me explain why:
Like I have said time and time again, 99.99% of people involved in agriculture love animals. We love their personalities, we love their spunky attitudes and we love their company, but we also love what they do for this planet! – In many ways!
Every time my family brings a new calf into this world, a few things run through my mind:
1. That is one cute baby!
2. We are going to do our best to take care of you, you little squirt, and most importantly,
3. You are going to fill someone’s empty belly one day!
Being brought up around animals, you get acquainted pretty darn quickly with the circle of life and how each element is incredibly important in keeping this big planet running. The truth is, people in this world need to eat, and I (along with millions of others involved in agriculture) aim to feed them!
Every new born calf on every ranch all over the world is brought into this world with one specific purpose, of which I believe to be very noble. This world is spiraling into a world food crisis and these calves are being brought into this world to combat that exact fact. Whether they are cute to look at or not, they are being brought into this world to sustain life, and that makes me want to appreciate the crap out of them!
Thank you, thank you, thank you, you adorable little speckled calf! One day, you are going to fill someone’s empty stomach! In the meantime though, I will do my best to make sure all of your days are filled with health, happiness and endless frolicking through grassy pastures! You are going to contribute to this world in the future, but until then, please, continue to look cute and make me smile!
If you don’t eat meat, you don’t eat meat. If you think my appreciation for a calf’s ability to be cute is wrong, then it is what it is, but if you think that it is wrong to appreciate something before you consume it, you better thing twice next time you eat a beautiful, ripe red tomato! After all, a tomato plant can be equally or more so aesthetically pleasing than a calf, although both are brought into this world to do the same thing.
And as for Dairy Carrie, keep on rockin’ in the free world! You’re new calves are beautiful!
(Check out her blog! It’s awesome!)