Friday, February 14, 2014

To the Man Who Knows Me Better Than I Know Me

This is what it's all about. Yesterday, I heard a little ruckus around the Animal Science building that PETA had set up a tent outside the Student Union Building on campus (Texas Tech). So, one of my teammates, Kevin, and I decided we would venture over to main campus and give it a look.

Little did we know we would spend about an hour inside the tent conversing with this man and his colleagues:





 This is Austin. He's a PETA2 representative, meaning he is a part of the 'college division' of PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. He stood outside holding a sign stating "Make it through and get FREE STUFF!" luring students into a tent labeled "What they never told you..."

I'll explain exactly the details of our experience, include a few quotes, and then give my grand synopsis. Buckle down and hold on, here we go:

So, upon arriving Kevin and I pretended to be ordinary students (disregard Kevin's boots, belt buckle, and livestock judging hat), Austin invited us inside for a tour of the tent. He took us through a winding sequence of 8 foot tall posters of dead animals, slaughter houses, and animals in their "natural habitats".




Here is Austin showing us how pigs and cattle are raised. Then, we turned the corner and found a farrowing crate.

Note: for anyone that doesn't know, a farrowing crate is a crate that mother pigs (sows) are kept in when they have their babies. Sows can weigh up to 500 pounds, when born the piglets weigh about 2 pounds. The sows are kept in the crate, so that when they lay down, the piglets have a place to escape to so they don't get squished!




Here is a typical farrowing crate. The piglets can run around and be safe! Sure, the sow is confined to a small area for a couple weeks, but, I think all mothers sacrifice a whole lot for their kids! At least the sows get to sleep all night long.

Back to my story. Austin demonstrated how a farrowing crate worked, then preceded to tell us a statistic that was shockingly false. This is when Kevin stepped in and asked Austin "where did you get your statistic?", Austin avoided our question and simply told us to "visit a farm, you'll see this practice everywhere." Our "undercover" status broke loose when Kevin and I reacted quickly, stating that we both lived on farms, and that his information was false. We explained to Austin about family farms, and why farrowing crates were used to keep pigs safe. At this time, Austin backed away, and the "head" guy, Dave, stepped in to give us a chat. Here's Dave:



Dave talked with us for a few minutes about farming practices. He tried to inform us that beating animals was a common practice, we told Dave that we were farmers and this was not true. About this time, a new wave of students came in. Dave and Austin both excused themselves from our delightful conversation to inform innocent students of PETA's false scares and untruthful statistics.

Folks, I'm a relatively level-headed person. But I have a passion for agriculture and watching this man falsely accuse MY industry took anger management to a whole new level.

I stood up on my tippy toes, mustered my strength, quieted my anger, and yelled:
"I'm a farmer. If you have any questions about farms, ask me, not them."

Two things then happened: 
        1. Dave and Austin got real mad.
        2. Two girls on opposite ends of the tents turned around and yelled "me too! This is ridiculous."

Victory. Most of the students then left the tent, and the two girls: Danielle, a hog producer, and Dianne, another dairy girl, joined Kevin and I for our talk.

The four of us ag students then talked for about 45 minutes with Dave about agriculture. It's all too long to mention, but here are a few quotes that deserve to be heard:

Dave: "The American Heart Association states eating meat is bad for you, and can cause cancer."

Danielle: "So, you're saying that all you want is for meat production to end and the world to be vegans."
Dave: "Yes, in a perfect world, there would be no production animals or meat consumption, only vegans."
Thanks for admitting what we already knew: PETA is solely on a mission to end animal agriculture. I guess PETA has to have some mission, now that their "save the puppies and kitties" ploy has fallen through. Murdering nearly 30,000 dogs and cats at the PETA headquarters doesn't go over very well.

Dave: (while talking about his farm experience - which is visiting ONE farm) "I know about farming, I know what you guys do, I do this for a living, I talk to college students."
Emily: "Correction, we do this for a living, we go to farms."

Emily: "Look, we know we are never going to change your mind. We will respect your decision to be vegan, as long as you respect us: the four farmers you met that treat their animals right." 
Dave: "I will never respect you. I know you beat your animals."
Oh yeah Dave, I forgot, thanks for your help on the dairy last week.

Then, Dave revealed his true colors:
Dianne: "Look, my family and I live 30 minutes from here, come out with me to my farm, and see that we do not mistreat our animals."
Dave: "I would, except I am going to Austin in a couple days, I don't have time."
Emily: "Oh you'll be going right through my hometown, you're more than welcome to stop in and see our dairy, and how we do not mistreat our animals."
Dave: "I don't want to see your farms, I don't have time."

The truth is: Dave probably did have time. Students don't stay on campus 24 hours of the day, I'm certain he had more than enough time to tour Dianne's family dairy, or our family dairy. Dave turned down two offers to tour a farm (thus, doubling his on-farm experience), because he doesn't want to see the truth - that farmers ARE good to their animals. For Dave, it's much more fun to take an isolated incidence and falsely publicize cases of neglect as common practice.

So Dave, the offer still stands: you are welcome to tour our dairy anytime. You're wrong now, and you'll be wrong then, we don't mistreat our animals. Just like the majority of farmers and ranchers in America. Dave, I know you'll keep telling lies the rest of your life, so I guess that means it's up to me to balance it out. I'll keep exposing the truth behind the "glass walls of production agriculture", come on out, and I'll give you the tour.

112 comments:

  1. I love this! Way to stand up for yourselves and our industry!

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    1. I had this problem about 25 years ago. We all need to step up and stop the lies! This vegan person was writing for a community college. Every message he gave was out of this world. It was several editorials. Several of us farmers corrected him. The best was about supplying milk to at the time needy people in Africa. He said the milk would be a spoiled and that farmers were getting rich from poor people. I answered "haven't you heard of dried milk." He could not answer. These vegans will use so many lies to try to sell out farmers.

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  2. Thank you for taking the time to try and educate the PETA people. I applaud the effort, & I completely understand the anger management issue...I have the same problem. Thanks again for your efforts!

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  3. Thank you for standing up for agriculture!! Sounds like you did a great job!

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  4. Awesome! Good for you for keeping your cool. I don't know if I would of been able to.

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  5. Way to go! You'll never change their minds, but if you can draw a crowd, you'll embarrass them in their false efforts. A little humiliation goes a long ways, especially if it get repeated a few times.

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  6. When I was a college student at LSU, they flat out lied about the Animal labs in one of the buildings. Someone asked them why they lied (after the media was gone) and they implied - they get paid to lie to do whatever it takes to stop animal labs. Ever since that then I had no respect at all.

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    1. They care nothing about being respected, only in succeeding in their mission. As with the rest of their ideology and political actions, Ends Justify Means. Farmers & Farm kids need to read Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" and learn our enemies tactics. (And note to whom Alinsky dedicated the book.)

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  7. For future reference, when they tell you they want the world to eat vegan and to end animal agriculture, ask if they care more about animals that people because there is litteraly not enough farmable land to produce that many crops and people would starve to death.

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    1. Aside from animals that are living and eating ONLY from land that isn't able to be arable, animals are not productive converters of feed. If people start eating rabbits, squirrels, etc… then maybe you could argue this.

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    2. Rabbit? Yummy! People do eat what you mention, EVERY DAY!

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    3. Why are all the gutless (& obviously ignorant) promoters of PETA-speak Anonymous, Anonymous?

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    4. land is far more valuable to farm than to produce livestock on. it also acrues more money being leased to farmers than ranchers. Livestock are produced on land that cannot be efficiently farmed. Ranchers are not livestock farmers, they are grass farmers. So they are the ONLY effective converters of grass (cellulose) to foodstuffs that can be consumed by people. (not the same anonymous as above, i just don't want to make account.)

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    5. Let's just see what kind of corn crop you get from western South Dakota, Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming. It would also be interesting to see how the rich corn and bean fields would fare going decade after decade without manure. It can be done today...with oil.

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  8. PETA and HSUS are cut from the same cloth, and any type of livestock-related agriculture is despised. As a proponent of humane horse slaughter, I have caught their believers' wrath on social media. We have had dog-breeding issues in our rural town and I have been threatened because of my stance on one's right to earn a living. My sister took my niece and a couple of her friends to a music festival last year, and was horrified to see PETA set up, displaying propaganda on the 'rape of dairy cattle' and the 'grieving cows who have their children (calves) ripped away from them'. As the daughter of a dairy farmer, she listened to their drivel and then started correcting them. They asked her to leave their tent. PETA does not want to know the truth about REAL agricultural practices. Truth does not garner donations and publicity for them.

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    1. So true! PETA and HSUS (like all gun control organizations) are usually made up of liars from the political left, and their ignorant 'useful idiot' membership.
      TRUTH does not matter to them; like all leftist goons, all that matters is money and power over others.
      And like all proven liars, nothing PETA and HUS says should be believed until it can be verified by unbiased evidence.

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  9. besides eating the meat, how about the by-products. Leather shoes, belts, furniture. Do they know where insulin comes from? Do you know how jello is made? Factories are built on agricultural land, to create products that enhance peoples lifestyles. So you may not eat meat, but indirectly you are using animals. I have never met true vegan or vegetarian, and PETA are liars. .

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    1. AGREED! I read an animal activists facebook page, slamming farmers for taking calves away from their moms so soon after birth, and guess what she does for a living? She is a self-proclaimed "vegan". She PAINTS! Guess what PAINT is? AN ANIMAL BY-PRODUCT! Hypocrite!

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    2. Actually, most diabetics use synthetic insulin nowadays, due to the high incidence of allergic reactions caused by insulin from cow and pigs.

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    3. Yes, true, Anonymous. And synthetic insulin is genetically modified.

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  10. Good for you! Ag needs spokespeople who are not afraid to speak out when it matters. As a farmer, I for one, thank you very much.

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  11. Proud of all of your for standing up agriculture. Thank you for documenting it. Will be sharing. Keep it up.

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  12. Well done! I wish more of our Animal Science student had your initiative (to meet them in their lair) and confront their lies in public!

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  13. Round of applause! It is amazing how even when stating the fact - like black and white, no gray area available fact - people will still call you a liar. I just don't understand that mentality. And kudos, even more to taking that deep breath, trying to maintain a level head and attempting to engage. That is the most difficult part of conversing about farm/food, but in my opinion if we deliver the message with respect we will get respect. Maybe not from the loudest of detractors, but those who are watching from the sidelines will notice.

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  14. I consider one of my greatest achievements was to sell rose veal scallopine to a pair of militant animal rights activists who wanted to picket my stand at a farmers market. I don't think they were prepared to be informed and they actually came to the farm for a visit to see that veal can be humanely raised.

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    1. Do you have a blog? This is a gap in my knowledge and I have had the same concerns about veal. I am a new farm wife, and I'm trying to come up to speed on my knowledge. Please visit my page on Facebook if you can and if you have a blog that explains this, please send me the link.

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    2. Hey City Life to Farm Life I'm the daughter of a veal farmer. Check out these websites http://mapleviewagri.ca/ (our farm's website) and http://www.ontariovealappeal.ca/ (the Ontario Veal Associations website). They should be helpful. Feel free to message/add me on facebook (hopefully the link works). A couple things I always tell people about veal is that by the time the bull calves are sent to the butcher they are big, scary, have horns and aren't calves anymore. Also veal is actually one of the oldest animals at the time that it is butchered (older than lamb, pork, and chicken)!

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  15. Thank you for standing up for this industry. They are closed-minded and don't want to know the truth because they know they are wrong!! It sounds like the one farm he visited was a bad apple (or he was lying about that too) and visiting your farms would prove him wrong!

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  16. How wonderful! Very ballsy of you and much needed! It's amazing that he was not willing even to check it out for himself. Sometimes I think people like that need to fend for themselves in the food department for 10 days and then tell us how we should farm.

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  17. Thank you for speaking up, that was very brave of you and your friends. There are enough worthy causes in the world why do they choose to spew lies and hatred while refusing to become educated.

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  18. Nicely done! If you ever get to Indiana, let me know. Some FFA and 4-H members might enjoy hearing this.

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  19. Thank you so much for standing up to them, and telling them the truth, even if they didn't want to listen! Loved your blog post. So glad someone had the courage to confront them. Great job!

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  20. Thank you so much for telling him off. I find myself struggling between peta when the show up to my county and state fair, Standing up for the good farmers out there is so incredibly important!

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  21. To the lovely lady who wrote this article and EVERYONE who reads it:
    I am a Senior in Animal Science/production at Purdue University. I was raised on a small hobby farm in NW IN. Throughout my studies and my research, I have come into a lot of contact with the public perceptions of what we do as aniimal agriculturists throughout my time here at Purdue. The most important thing to know when dealing with PETA or any other activist group is that EDUCATION can bridge that gap. Just like the student from the dairy in the article did, invite them to see it, or read it, or experience it. Most will not agree to come just like the man in this article did. If people knew what ACTUALLY happened on farms and why we do what we do they would understand that we take the best care of our animals that is humanly possible! Keep your integrity and keep exposing the truth! We are all in this together! I dont know your background but I am telling you that you handled this RIGHT! And we need more people like you in animal agriculture! Boiler Up! And may you continue this great work you have started! :)

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    1. I do live on a dairy farm where we have crops and fat cattle too and not EVERYONE beats their animals, PETA is a joke always has been. This just makes my blood boil.

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    2. I just have a quick question--on dairy farms, what do you do with the calves? I assume that you have to be continually breeding the cows in order to continue to get them to produce milk, but that keeping many of the calves (especially the males) would not be very economically feasible.

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    3. Male calves become veal (usually "rosy veal" which is pasture-fed veal). Or, if their parentage is amazing, they become a dairy bull (very rare).

      Female calves are raised as more milk cows.

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    4. In my family farms' case we buy the bull calves from local dairies to use as market steers. Raise them from calves to market weight & get sold when they reach market weight (about 18-24 months)

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    5. Actually, most male calves go to become steers for market - not veal. Each breed can have certain benefits, for instance, Holsteins perform extremely efficiently on high grain diets, Jerseys are supposed to be tender, etc. :)

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  22. Thank you! Your reaction was perfect! I wish there were farm kids on every campus they tried to go to! Thank you for standing up for agriculture and for sharing it here. :)
    Kelly Walter

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  23. Thank you for educating these People even though they will probably never change their mind it opens up eyes to others!

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  24. Hey Emily, my name is Sacha from peta2! I see that you misquoted me a few times in your blog.

    First of all, my name is not Dave. Dave also works with the peta2 tent, but I'm the one you were talking to. Secondly, I never talked about the American Heart Association; I said the American Dietetic Association has been quoted saying Vegan and Vegetarian diets are suitable for people from all walks of life, even pregnant women (http://www.eatright.org/About/Content.aspx?id=8357). It's the PCRM who said that studies have shown men and women who don't consume animal products are 40% less likely to develop cancer than their meat eating counterparts (http://www.pcrm.org/health/cancer-resources/diet-cancer/facts/meat-consumption-and-cancer-risk). If you go into Sam's Place in the SUB, you'll actually see a pamphlet with the same statistics, put out by your very own Texas Tech!

    I'm sorry if you misinterpreted what I said at all. Telling someone that they beat animals would be extremely rude. What I probably said is that I have an unwavering stance on animal abuse, and that using animals for food constitutes as abuse in my book! The world is a lot bigger than just your family's farm. When you told me that y'all would have around 1,200 cattle at a time, I wasn't surprised, but some of these industrialized farms have upwards of 55,000+ animals at a time! With over half the government subsidies going to less than 10% of farms in the US, these numbers no longer seem all that ridiculous.

    Unfortunately, I'm not a student at the school. You're not wrong when you say students don't go to school 24 hours a day, but I am busy and do work all of the time. Fortunately, my team and I do have time to go visit your family's farm! If you want to shoot me an email at vsachav@yahoo.com, we're going to be in Austin until Wednesday and then we'll be coming through again for a day the following week. It was really nice talking to you, gaining perspective from small time farmers is great, but I hope next time we meet you'll bring a notebook with you. That way, I can have you write down all the sources I was saying! Please contact me about visiting your family's farm!

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    1. besides eating the meat, how about the by-products. Leather shoes, belts, furniture. Do they know where insulin comes from? Do you know how jello is made? Factories are built on agricultural land, to create products that enhance peoples lifestyles. So you may not eat meat, but indirectly you are using animals. I have never met true vegan or vegetarian

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    2. http://m.youtube.com/home

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    3. this guy probably didn't even write this. his higher up wrote this to cover his ass because dave f----ed up.




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    4. Agriculture will always be one of the best sustainable resources humanity has, with out it, we would not be able to live the way that so many live. Its not with out the back breaking work and sacrifices that so many people set out to do early every morning. I applaud every one of you that has chosen this path.

      With that being said. I come from a father that is a 3rd generation cattle rancher with my brother in line for 4th. Having grown up on that ranch along with all the other farms in the family I have seen my fare share of both points being made. It is true that there are so many (along with my father) farmers that try there best to take care of the animals that help put the food on there tables. But, there are those that dont. My heart breaks every time I think about the many times that producers would ask my father to let them bring there cattle out so they would once again fatten them up. We would watch these cattle that could hardly make it off the ramp walk onto the fields and instantly start to eat. Having them there was always a bitter sweet thing. The first day you would see there stomachs swell with the new food, but by that night and morning we would go out having to drag dozens of cattle that had died.

      I know so many of you want to defend and educate people on agriculture. I admire all of you that are going out and getting an education on agriculture because there are so many things to learn. With that being said there are so many things that can and eventually will change. I know that if i have this story to tell then there are probably so many others that have similar ones. I know for myself i became so closed minded on the idea of vegan and knowing that what the people around me where saying was correct. All I wanted to say was that there is always room for change. Maybe not all of you will ever choice to have a vegan life style, but for every "angry vegan" I have seen and heard people constantly put down the life style of a vegan. They are taking a stand for the treatment of animals. They are taking a stand for the animals you take care of. The animals that I know sometimes becomes more like pets. You so desperately are trying to say that not all farms beat there animals, but you know there are lots out there that do. They are the farms we need to stand up to, the ones we need to change.

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    5. I have no reason to believe someone from PETA. PETA has proven to me that they are willing to LIE to push their agenda of death. (" We will find good homes for these puppies" and they take them to the killing van and they are DEAD in less than 30min).

      PETA objects to the ownership of any animal. They feel that animals are better off DEAD, than as a pet, or a service animal or a pleasure animal. But at the same time, they oppose T/N/R for feral cats because they will not be 'properly cared for'. Let's see you can't own a cat, but cats can't live in a feral colony either. HUH? It seems that the only cat they want is a DEAD one.

      Accosting a blind person working with their guide dog is LOW.

      Just like the 'story' you are telling here.

      I applaud the students that stood up for our farmers and ranchers.

      I am an urban consumer.

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  25. You guys should post pictures of your farms!! All the pictures you ever see are ones where the conditions are horrible. Why not start showing ones where the conditions are good?

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  26. I am 60 years young and grew up on a farm, this is just the thing that gets me to a complete 212 degrees boiling point. My animals lived a better life than me sometimes. Have you ever been out in cold, wet freezing weather to help a mother calve at 3am? I just had a go round with a young snip of a man regarding this very topic of which they know little if anything about farming and yet PETA sends these young people out to do their dirty work and I am so sick of it. It will never stop as they just get more little recruits and it is a vicious cycle. Stand up for the American Farm and Ranches who do the right thing and keep trying to get them to come to your farm, although a snowball in hell stands a better chance. Thanks for at least trying to get him out there. They don't want the truth, it would not look good on their image and would take away the impact. Maybe they could get more involved with the BLM AND STOP ILLEGAL ROUND UPS! That is cruelty at it's finest.

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    1. Bea…I have just also posted below. Again, I am an animal rights activist/advocate who is grateful for anyone who practices farming humanely as I know it is unrealistic to ask for a meat free world. But my advocate/activist friends ARE on the front lines of the BLM Roundups. Facing off withe police, documenting and facing arrest and prosecution. It is cruelty indeed, you are so right. Please know there are people out there risking their lives to stop it. hope that makes you feel a bit better! And I thank you for being a humane farmer. All the best…signed…someone who chooses to live life cruelty free!

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  27. Some of you may humanely raise your animals on your small farms and I commend you. Truly and sincerely.But there is documented footage of grave cruelty and mistreatment of innocent animals…please google it…that motivates these people to speak out for those who cannot speak for themselves…the animals. It has become such a polarizing hot button topic on both sides that it breaks my heart. I am an animal rights advocate. I am vegan. I also know farming and the consumption of meat is not going away tomorrow so I am grateful for every farmer who practices humanely. Please don't turn this into an us against them. Be as peaceful as you can…learn from the grave mistakes of the big factory farms and simply share your side of the story and hopefully we can all just have a civil dialogue. Thx for listening.

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    1. another anonymous no nothing. Farming in Ontario, 20 some years, ag college cattle major. no one I have ever known treats their animals the way you claim. I have been in Europe, Australia as well as North America. You are wrong, go to a farm some time for a month and learn, you sure need it!

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  28. A farrowing crate is cruelty. She is not allowed to stand or move around for a long period of time. In nature there are no crates and the piglets survive just fine without being squished. I grew up on a farm in west texas and love animals. I've also seen lots of animal cruelty around our area.

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    1. wrong. they can stand... see mine do it every year. and yes their mobility is limited for the 18-20 days a year they are in one. The rest of the year mine are out on pasture (3 sows/ acre) with shelters and heated water supply. Guess north Texas is better than west but we already knew that :P. Yes in nature the piglets don't get squished as much, but they have the chance to run away. When you need to separate sows so they can deliver their litters without mixing them up it gets a little more tricky when you have limited space. The piglets tend to huddle near walls that block the wind and the sow lays down there as well and they can't get away. They have started making new systems that have a sort of shelf all around it to bounce the momma away from the walls, but it hasn't been widespread due to the need for a "roof" to keep the mom from climbing out. In England they use huts out in fields with an open door or sometimes a barn with multiple rooms but they run into trouble with sows going in the wrong room/hut and killing off the competition while momma is away.

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    2. Would you also like to know that a sow that wasn't put in her crate and had 15 babies ate 12 of them? Pretty good survival rate! Cruel, just cruel to NOT put them in crates, get the sows out of the snow and into a nice heated place where it is better and less stressful on the piglets.

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    3. my uncle used to farrow in the pasture and he would have at LEAST 30% death loss due to predators. Which is less humane? To have a sow in a crate fed and comfortable for 3 weeks or out in the cold to see how many piglets she will lose to lager animals.

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    4. Hey, Anonymous, where in West Texas did you grow up? What kind of farm did you have? What specific cruelty did you witness? I'd love to hear about it all! Sounds fascinating!

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  29. Keep sharing your story! Human and animals are completely different, but that does not mean we do not treat animals with respect. Great job Emily!

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  30. That you stand up for your life's work and try to educate them is wonderful. That you are proud of your life is equally wonderful. To have used your name and be transparent is commendable. If you notice so many of the opponents' comments above only signed their names as anonymous....which reeks of cowardice, ignorance, and shame. If you are going to take a stand do it in name, with honor, and with transparency. We may not agree with your stance but we sure will respect your courage to take that stand. Anonymous equates to nothing. I am proud to have lived in a farming community, raised with farmers kids, and had farmers & ranchers for relatives. Those of you who chose to believe what you hear without knowing the facts (including fabricated facts) need to do the research yourselves. Walk in their shoes before you judge them on ignorance and lies. There are always bad apples in any industry....you don't judge everyone by one event or one bad apple. Thank you all for your farms, your ranches and your sacrifices so the world doesn't starve.

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  31. PETA has tried and tried to make agriculture a 'bad' thing. They came to campus one evening while I was a student there (1997, I think) and had a PETA speaker share their 'knowledge' to whoever would listen. The majority of the animal science students went to this informational gathering. It was GREAT - we - the animal science students - put the speaker in his place because we had evidence and supported what we shared with him. He left with his tail tucked between his legs. People need to know that farm animals are treated better than the people raising them! If the animals are beat and treated bad, their meat is not desirable and will be not be graded as high as it should. Agriculturalists and PETA will have to agree to disagree. The people in the word telling the truth don't need elaborate pictures, movies and tents to get their point across. It is only those people who spread lies and spew their propaganda to the uneducated people of the world that need the pictures, movies and tents. God bless you for standing up to the lies and propaganda and for supporting our industry!!!

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  32. Do these people really think that we can feed the world with the animals in their so called natural environment. So they would rather see people starve to death..maybe not in this country, but even our own military that we have to keep fed while supporting our country. What about all these wild hogs that are in their so called natural environment. They are and they are causing a lot of destruction, and they will eat and destroy all these vegans food. We farm and we take care of our animals better than ourselves sometimes cause they are our livelihood! Sorry, so much to say on this topic.When the schools, military, prisons, third world countries can't afford their meals cause farms are raising everything the way it was back in the early 1900's, then peta can feel good about a great job done...starving people to death! Bravo

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    1. Yes, you keep telling yourself there is any logic in this, the only thing battery animal production keeps - is prices low for producers. Big ag is not a friend of the family farmer. Keeping meat prices low for institutional use should not be the goal. Quality food is expensive, as it should be, farmers deserve a decent living. Meat doesn't have to be a staple. There are plenty of other cheap sustainable protein sources, steak and white-meat only chicken nuggets are NOT. If you want to harvest the wild hogs and sell to eat, you have an efficient use of resources… there is already more than enough food produced on this planet to feed us all. What we need to focus on is who is controlling that food.

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  33. Bravo, Emily, Bravo - keep telling your story and stay passionate. Agriculture, and a world of hungry people, depend on people like you!

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  34. dave needs a good slap upside the head. that's just not right

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  35. PETA is funded in part by the soybean industry ..the more vegetarians the better....joke ...how can you tell if someone is a vegan...not nessesary they will tell you

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  36. Overall, people today are too many generations away from the farm. The only people I've ever met that had a problem with agriculture are the people who have no ties to a farm. They have never bottle fed a calf when it's mother rejected it or gotten up at 4:30 in the morning to break ice on water troughs so their animals don't become dehydrated or spent the summer at their grandparents farm baling hay.

    I didn't grow up on a farm, but I can at least recognize and appreciate the efforts put forth by those who work on them. I say God bless the farmers and the ranchers. If only the rest of the world had their work ethic and their appreciation for the blessings God puts in our lives.

    If you've never lived it, you may never get it. And that's just sad.

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  37. Way to go! I grew up in the country and we had pigs that my brothers showed in AG shows! Plus it was a farming community and you will love this one of the cows got out and was running down mainstreet and someone put a picture on facebook! It is only 2000 people so they got the cow and got it back to the owner! That's what farming people do! Keep up the good work! I eat red meat all the time and I have not died yet from it ! maybe those two guys need a steak dinner! might change their minds! lol

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  38. Thank you for documenting this. If you don't fight back, expose their lies, they'll win. The incremental loss of freedoms won't be noticed right away, but someday a man will come to your doorstep and tell you they're from the government and they're here to help.
    They will be lying.

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  39. Presenting the truth about agriculture is an important task. I agree that most of the "misleading information" comes from those who have never stepped foot on a farm. The videos and pictures that are obtained showing cruelty to animals is most often skewed. People from these organizations get themselves inside under false pretenses. Then once inside they "set up" the scenes they want to capture. What is hard for me to comprehend is how these people can mistreat themselves horribly--to the point that I see as self cruelty. I would never put my animals through the pain of having their bodies covered with tattoos--we keep it to a minimum--like a couple 1/4 inch letters in their ears!!

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  40. This was a great post thank you for sharing and getting the word out there and confronting these people trying to take out agriculture!!

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  41. You don't mistreat or hurt them and that is good news, but you still kill them you know! You breed them only to kill them, and I cannot accept that. And this is just my opinion.

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    1. PETA kills innocent dogs and cats for no purpose. Instead of creating no kill shelters, they spend that money on protests and celeb photo shoots. This information is out on the web...google it... and surprise it is not coming from a biased group of people. I am a farmer with a BS in Animal Science and an MS in Animal Science. The animals we kill feed the world, the animals PETA kills, die in vain.

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  42. Amen!!! I love this so much. Another thing that could be mentioned if you're ever confronted with "All cows should be free to live in the wild. They deserve it," is that the Angus beef that makes the majority of consumer meats wouldn't have survived for the past 100 or so years without humans raising these cows. They have so many genetic diseases that, in the wild, they would have likely died off by now. We have kept the species going.

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  43. great read, I've had similar arguments with friends of mine who were misinformed. The sad thing is, where I come from in Saskatchewan our cities are small in comparison to Texas and these people are hardly removed from agriculture but are still ignorant.

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  44. email "dave" (sacha) at this address:
    vsachav@yahoo.com

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  45. PETA (People eating tasty animals)....that's what I always thought it stood for :) Being a farm kid myself, I applause you guys!

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  46. Thank you for standing up for agriculture as it REALLY is! I invite the PETA folks to speak directly with Dr. Temple Grandin who designed the majority of livestock handling facilities at slaughterhouses in the US. I also prefer to think of PETA as: People who Eat Tasty Animals!

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  47. I was a vegetarian for 4 years back in the 70's. I ate cheese, eggs and tortillas made with lard. (The best kind.) I just could not go through life without a bratwurst! I grew up in Wisconsin Dairyland. My Uncle Leander had a dairy farm with a very small herd of cows. Each cow was named and loved. Leander cried every time he had to send an animal to market. Sure there are some farmers that are abusive. But look at how many children in this country alone are neglected and abused every day. I wish they were as passionate to protect children as they are to get rid of animals. Without meat eaters what would happen to cattle, pigs, chickens, etc....?

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    1. Um, LARD is pig fat, so you weren't ever a vegetarian. :)

      I know the names of the steers that are in my freezer, and they were all loved, well-fed, and taken to a local slaughterhouse that was spotlessly clean and didn't smell of death. They were killed quickly and cleanly, and didn't suffer. We grew our own hay and vegetables, and bought the rest of what we needed (corn, oats, vegetables and fruit) locally. The deer and moose came to eat at our hay bales when the weather was bad.

      None of our animals (horses, ponies, chickens, cows or goats) were ever mistreated or starved.

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  48. Thank you! Advocates like you are more important now than ever before. We need to educate consumers about the false accusations that have been placed onto the agriculture industry. Be transparent and continue to invite people to your farms. We have nothing to hide!

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  49. If farmers stop raising farm animals for food production, then where will all those animals go - they won't provide an income for anyone. Who will be paying for all the food, shelter, vet care, etc? What does PETA expect will happen to them if they get their wish? Most of the animals would be incapable of surviving on their own in the 'wild' any more.

    I have raised all sorts of animals throughout my lifetime, including pigs, cattle, and chickens that we intended to have slaughtered for meat. They have all been treated humanely, with dignity. I know there are places out there where they are not treated well, but that is the same with everything - good and bad conditions exists. Go after the bad, encourage the good. As for wanting everyone to be vegans - sorry, that's not happening!

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  50. Great job! Your strength of conviction and courage in the face of ignorance is to be commended. We need more people like you who will not condone this type of idiotic logic.

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  51. Thank you! If more people were willing to take a stand and defend our industry, groups like PETA would not be able to gain any traction! Is there some bad apples in the agricultural industry....sure, but show me an industry where there isn't! Again, Thank you, and thanks to the others who stood up and defended what we all work so hard to enjoy!

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  52. Agriculture will always be one of the best sustainable resources humanity has, with out it, we would not be able to live the way that so many live. Its not with out the back breaking work and sacrifices that so many people set out to do early every morning. I applaud every one of you that has chosen this path.

    With that being said. I come from a father that is a 3rd generation cattle rancher with my brother in line for 4th. Having grown up on that ranch along with all the other farms in the family I have seen my fare share of both points being made. It is true that there are so many (along with my father) farmers that try there best to take care of the animals that help put the food on there tables. But, there are those that dont. My heart breaks every time I think about the many times that producers would ask my father to let them bring there cattle out so they would once again fatten them up. We would watch these cattle that could hardly make it off the ramp walk onto the fields and instantly start to eat. Having them there was always a bitter sweet thing. The first day you would see there stomachs swell with the new food, but by that night and morning we would go out having to drag dozens of cattle that had died.

    I know so many of you want to defend and educate people on agriculture. I admire all of you that are going out and getting an education on agriculture because there are so many things to learn. With that being said there are so many things that can and eventually will change. I know that if i have this story to tell then there are probably so many others that have similar ones. I know for myself i became so closed minded on the idea of vegan and knowing that what the people around me where saying was correct. All I wanted to say was that there is always room for change. Maybe not all of you will ever choice to have a vegan life style, but for every "angry vegan" I have seen and heard people constantly put down the life style of a vegan. They are taking a stand for the treatment of animals. They are taking a stand for the animals you take care of. The animals that I know sometimes becomes more like pets. You so desperately are trying to say that not all farms beat there animals, but you know there are lots out there that do. They are the farms we need to stand up to, the ones we need to change.

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  53. Thank you so much for putting this out there!!! I am a from a small town which you would think would be a place where people would understand agriculture. But I guess not I will have to show this to them now just as more proof! Keep Fighting I am right along there with you!

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  55. This just shows how utterly ridiculous people can be. He obviously knew he did not have his facts right and had no intention on learning the truth. As a third generation farm kid this really makes me angry that people are so closed minded and have no idea how agriculture works. Thank you for posting this so others can see the truth.

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  56. There's just people out there thinking that all we are doing is killing the animals and not making/producing their food.

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  57. Jackie dairy, goat, and pig farmerFebruary 17, 2014 at 7:41 PM

    No farms. No food. We can't get all the protein and nutrient we need if we stopped eating animals. I have grown up on a dairy farm and we don't abuse animals or kill them for no reason. Those people don't know what they are talking about.

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  58. Great post! People need to hear more about PETA's falseness. What THEY do to animals is horrendous.....not what farmers do.

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  59. Thank you for standing up for the rights of animals! As you guys, I also live on a farm and have an autistic brother (sometimes he beats on the animals) and I get really upset with him, so I tell him next time he beats on the animals, I'll beat on him (but I don't believe in physical fighting). He stops for a while, then I have to give him the same warning. Also about everyone in our family lives on a large farm with several animals, and no one ever has or ever will beat their animals, it's just not right!! So thank you for taking a stand to help animals!

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  60. You would have to be suicidal to mistreat pigs. They are smart, they outwrigh you 2:1, they can move surprisingly quickly, and they are OMNIVORES.

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  61. Girl....you rock!!!

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  62. Awesome work! More producers need to put their fears away, stand up and tell their story- The truth! We give our animals a great life in order to provide quality products to the consumer.

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  63. Maybe some of the people in your comments section should research what animal activists believe. A lot of animal rights activists do NOT like PETA because they give is a bad name. 25-30% of farms owned by big name companies such as Tyson actually mistreat their animals and we want to shut them down only them...as long as you treat your animals with respect( not beating them and keeping them in proper setting) we wont give a shit.

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    1. But Gena, Tyson is the one pushing the Animal Rights agenda! They are forcing animal welfare audits onto their suppliers! They have Miyun Park on their advisory committee. Surely you don't mean Tyson!

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  64. Thank you all so much for your comments and questions. I hope you will continue to watch my blog feed. I will continue to communicate openly and honestly.

    In the meantime, be assured that the production practices my family, and dairy farmers across America use are ethically grounded, scientifically verified, and economically viable. Dairy farmers' commitment to providing high-quality milk begins with taking good care of their cows. Through a nutritious diet, good medical care, and healthy living conditions, dairy farmers supply wholesome milk and dairy products every day.

    If you have immediate questions about basic animal care, visit the Animal Agriculture Alliance website for accurate information.

    http://www.animalagalliance.org

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  65. http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2013/03/pork-industry-flack-gestation-crate-ban-show
    This is from smithfields factory, which China s taking over. This is what I have a problem with,not family farms!

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    1. The video with this is very deceiving, it appears to me that it was filmed right before feeding time where pigs are very active and impatient. Those clips are the ones being shown as they discuss it driving them insane. I believe we can make improvements in our practices.http://youtu.be/ohcA5yS3kPU this link I have provided is a more reasonable concept. The sows still get to eat separately keeping them safe. They get to walk around freely and have more social interactions.

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  66. Converted City GirlFebruary 20, 2014 at 2:13 PM

    Thankyou for what you did at the Peta tent. Keeping a level head and trying to educate people about our industry. My daughter attends an agriculture college in Canada and this has definitely made its rounds. It is unfortunate the extreme always look at the worst in an industry. I agree that there is abuse in agriculture just the same as there is in families, workplaces etc. I was a city girl when I married a beef/cattle farmer and did not understand much when I got here about the industry, what an eye opener. It is usually ignorance that causes such radical opinions and are world is definitely full of them. We can be very thankful that we live in North America that we are able to express our opinions so freely. It is sad that when they are expressed a lot are done so with such a one sided education.

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  67. I just wanted to put this in - in response to some above comments about "all" vegans and vegetarians - I'm a vegetarian and have been my whole life. Born and raised. I am NOT associated with PETA or any other fatuous overzealous organization. I totally respect other peoples decisions to eat whatever the hell they want, and I respect farmers for what they do. What you do is the good side of the coin, however, in the world of meat processing. Things have improved since Upton Sinclaire's 'Jungle,' certainly, but the mass-producing meat industry has some elements of what the fools at PETA are against, and is a far less pleasant place. Props to you and your classmates.

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  68. There's a memoir titled A Funny Thing Happened to Me On the Way to the Grave by Jack Douglas. It's extremely peripheral, but he talks about raising hogs (Durocs) during WW II, and how Mother Love is completely absent in swineland - a sow can flop down on her brood and the piglets can squeal all they have breath for and mama won't shift her lard one inch. 11 or 12 out of a litter of 18 surviving to be weaned was about average.

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  70. I love your post. Thanks a lot of for telling the prople about pet education and change their minds that how to care the pet. Good work ...

    _______________
    Puppy training in only 8 Easy Lessons

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  71. PETA is one of the biggest jokes, lying, back stabbing, really stupid people, the people like Dave with his coke bottle glasses and tattoos are the example of real winners that PETA puts out for the public to see and listen to. Sad to says they are a small number not much better than Dave and his crew. THIS WAS VERY WELL DONE EMILY!! Proud of you!!! Learned of your story from a Firefighter in Arkansas, you can probably guess who that is.. Bill Hamm, owner of Circle S Farm Hamms Herefords

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  72. This is a piece of junk! Jack! -Si Robertson

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  73. Also will you take a look at my blog http://truthaboutag.blogspot.com/

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