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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hatred In The Most Flattering Form


I've been in a writing rut lately. Between my full-time real job, blogging for the NCBA Young Producer's Council, freelancing and finishing my thesis corrections, Buzzard's Beat has been neglected. Thinking of blog fodder is difficult when my brain is dried up - looks like #drought12 isn't just affecting the crops. I love to blog but don't want to spit mindless chatter out into the web-verse just for the sake of blogging.

Well, we're in luck because a few days ago some fodder showed up in my inbox.

I want to preface this entire post by stating that I am a very headstrong and vocal advocate person. By blogging, writing and promoting agriculture I am putting myself out there for people to criticize, hate, loathe, gossip about, yell at etc. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but I have never engaged in such malicious attacks as what I experienced today. We are all still human beings and as such, deserve common courtesy, even from those who despise us.

So, without further ado.

I received an email from an Ethan Smith, [ethan smith's email address], that was very simple in its nature. It was only 28 words but those few words conveyed a malevolent hatred that I've never experienced before.

Subject: Swine

It would please me greatly to learn that you had been s*******d with the hottest of hot irons, you disgusting, ugly hick. It would be your just desserts.

He didn't even sign it. #Rude.

After I stopped shaking and regained my composure, I Googled the terms "animal activist" and "Ethan Smith" for obvious reasons:
1) The subject line was 'Swine'; this is clearly someone who likes pigs (funny, I do too) and wants them to be treated humanely (again, I do too).
2) I'm trying to put two and two together - this certain someone doesn't like that I support modern ag; especially pork production.
3) Someone who is vocal and ballsy enough to send such a hateful email probably has presence in other areas, too.

What I found, among many other Ethan Smith's (quite a popular name), is an author and animal rights advocate. I am not certain if this is the same Ethan Smith and in no way am I blaming that author for the nasty email. I'll let you do some searching to ascertain the truth for yourself. I'm just informing the public of what Google found.

The very sad thing in this instance is not the email itself but the complete disregard for open lines of communication. I haven't the slightest idea what I wrote that prompted the email. My column for SwineWeb.com was about a feed purchasing website and I haven't blogged about hogs in awhile. It seems that the mysterious Mr. Smith may have stumbled upon some of my past handiwork and been so angered by my apparent disgusting nature and ugly physical characteristics that he blasted off this email without thinking. My regret is that Mr. Smith didn't provide the opportunity for open dialogue. Instead, he didn't tell me what caused him to be ticked off and simply wished me some pretty violent bodily harm.

Mr. Smith is obviously a very passionate person. I admire that. I have nothing but for respect for people who are passionate about their causes and devote that passion to instituting change. I consider myself a very passionate person so I can understand how Mr. Smith felt in that my views may have been impinging upon his own. Kudos, Mr. Smith for speaking up for what you believe in; I’ll never criticize someone for having a backbone.

The point of this post is to let advocates know that haters are gonna hate; but don’t stop pursuing your passion, whatever it may be. If you are 150% pro-GMO then share the facts and engage your audience. Grass-finished beef? Go for it – let the world know you’re proud to be a beef producer and you provide your animals with the utmost care. You are making a difference. For every hater out there, there’s someone on your side. Let not the negative Nancys of the world bring down your aspirations and good intentions.

I'll wrap this up by stating that not everyone is overly open-minded but we can all be courteous to each other. Hate is not the way to deal with people who have opposing viewpoints. While I was brought up in a house where it was common to keep your mouth shut unless you had something nice to say, in today's media based society it's difficult to censor yourself when inundated with thoughts and opinions that are in the very least, upsetting.

My advice to anyone who experiences the same hateful feedback is to smile and say, "Wow, I'm making enough of a ripple with my message that someone felt the need to put me in my place."

I'll pray for your Mr. Smith - that no person ever speaks to your wife or children the way you just spoke to me. Pray that peace comes upon you and that you appreciate how very lucky you are to live in a society that allows you to speak your mind without any repercussions whatsoever.

Advocates, I’m sharing this one experience (because I’m sure there will be more) for the simple fact that if it happens to you, you'll know that you don't deserve that treatment and you shouldn't stop advocating for your cause. Be proud.

God Bless,
~ Buzzard ~

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

And the winner is.........

Winner winner chicken dinner free boots from Boot Barn!

So the entries have been tallied and it's time to announce the lucky name who is going to take home a pair of boots from Boot Barn.

But first, some fodder. I wrote down all the names of the commenters in numerical order as they came in; between the two blog posts, there were over 80 entries! Thanks for reading and checking out Boot Barn's style.

I was really excited to be able to give away a pair of boots - I really love my Shyanne boots and I know that Hyatt likes his Cody James black square toes a lot too. I would like to once again thank Rachel from Boot Barn for her support in this giveaway - you rock!

Ok Ok - I used random.org to select the winning number - here's proof of which comment number won

And number 39 corresponds to.......

Anna Wagner! Congratulations!

Anna - please email me your mailing address along with the size and style of Shyanne or Cody James boots you want!

Thanks to everyone for joining in on the fun - I need to find some more fun stuff to giveaway!

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~  

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Stepping out of my comfort zone in new Boot Barn boots!


I’ve been a very traditional boot owner for about 25 years. My first pair of boots were some round toed soft pink Justins that I outgrew before the age of two (I hate pink but my mom thought they were adorbs). Every pair since that has been round toed until 2005 when I joined the square toed bandwagon. Today, I have no less than six pairs of boots, none of which are too extravagant, fancy or girly.

Enter pair #7:  Shyanne boots from Boot Barn. Not as wide as my other boots but still a square toe nonetheless - #winning.

I have to admit I was skeptical to stepping outside of my comfort zone, but after trying them on and wearing them with both khakis and jeans I’ve got to say they look pretty dang sharp.  See what I mean?



I’ve worn these boots on several different occasions over the past three weeks and I have to say I have not been disappointed. They look great with jeans or khakis; I doubt I’ll ever wear them with a dress, but I am sure they would still look good (any volunteers to borrow my boots and sport a dress?) and even though they have a bit of an elevated heel, they are super comfortable to walk in. Additionally, they have some cushion on the inside so I’m confident that if I were wearing them for 12+ hours/day at a rodeo or stockshow my feet wouldn’t get sore or worn out. 

These are the Shyanne Butterfly Inlay boots (they also come in brown and pink). 

Look at the awesome turquoise details – I don’t know many ladies that don’t like turquoise. The lesson I've learned in this whole experience is not to be close-minded about anything. I stepped outside of my comfort zone and found something new that I like!

You all know what is coming now, don't ya!? If you want to win a pair of these sweet boots all you have to do is enter:

1. Follow Buzzard's Beat and leave a comment including which pair of Cody James or Shyanne boots you'd choose if you won
2. Like Boot Barn on Facebook and leave a separate comment 
3. Follow Boot Barn on Twitter (@bootbarn) and leave a separate comment
4. Follow me on Twitter (@brandibuzzard) and leave a separate comment
5. Blog or tweet about the giveaway and leave a separate comment. (Make sure to include @brandibuzzard and @bootbarn in the tweet)! 

THE WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON WEDNESDAY JULY 11 - SO DON'T FORGET TO CHECK OUT THE BLOG!

I know that many of you who entered last week will probably want to enter again, and that's fine, you'll still need to comment. This is my first giveaway and hopefully I'll figure out some way to make it more 'user-friendly'. Any suggestions on that?

Update: It's been brought to my attention that some people don't know if they're eligible to win. The only people who cannot win are other bloggers who are giving away Boot Barn boots. All others are fair! 

Good luck!

Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~