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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Veganism, Big Ag and Farmland


So I saw this article on Huffington Post this morning titled, "Veganism is a Woman's Lifestyle." Not knowing what to expect, I clicked through. It had an infographic and I LOVE INFOGRAPHICS even when they aren't centered around sports, agriculture or meat.
 
My cart sort of looks like I'm a vegan!
See? We eat veggies and fruits too!

 I'm not going to repost it here but you can easily go over and see the graphics for yourself. The results, based on a survey of more than 8,000 vegans, were interesting yet unsurprising:
  • 51% became vegan after seeing a film, education video or movie
  • 69% became vegan on behalf of animals
  • Americans consume 1/6 of the total meat consumed worldwide (the U.S. produces 30% of the world's food with only 2.5% of the world's population).
  • 79% and 59% of vegans and vegetarians, respectively, are female
  • Celebrity herbivores include Al Gore, Usher and Bill Clinton, all who adopted the lifestyle for health benefits - they must not know about the 29 cuts of lean beef!
  • Some of the most influential films that veganism adoption is based on are: Food Inc., Supersize Me and Forks Over Knives.
Those movies, I'll use Food Inc. as an example, depict animal abuse as the norm and demonize any farm that is large, uses technology or is efficient with their land, resources and livestock. If you are a large operation, apparently you don't care about animal welfare. I often wonder why 'Big Ag' is bad. Obviously, these assumptions are not true.
 
Guess what? Farmers and ranchers - large and small, organic and conventional, beef and potatoes - care about their land, families and yes, their livestock. I own farm animals and I care about their well-being. I have worked on what animal rights activists would deem a 'factory farm' yet I saw no one filming me riding pastures in the pouring down rain to count cows and make sure that sick cattle were found and provided with care. Methinks there is a bias but that's sort of a given considering the moniker 'Big Ag.'

Need further proof that farmers and ranchers from all types of operations truly care? Have you heard about the new film Farmland by Academy Award-winning director James Moll? It releases in theaters on May 1 and will open your eyes to the similarities between all types of farming and ranching.
 

 
Questions that will be answered while you watch the film:
  • Do organic producers use pesticides? [spoiler alert, yes]
  • Are large operations family owned?
  • Are organic farms and ranches small compared to conventional counterparts?
  • What do farmers and ranchers think about undercover videos?
  • Do farmers have choices regarding seed purchases?
If you are able to, I strongly urge every reader who sees this post or hears about Farmland, to go see the movie. It will be opening nationwide on May 1 and regardless if you are a longtime farmer, new to the agriculture scene or are looking for more information about food, you will learn something from this film and I guarantee you'll leave feeling inspired and good about the food we produce in the U.S.
 
If you've already seen the film, I'd love to hear your impressions! I have heard varied opinions and of course have my own :)
 
Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~
 
 
 

5 comments:

  1. I can't wait to see it! Interesting stats from Huffington too!

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    1. I wasn't super surprised at the HuffPo stats but yes, they were interesting! Hope you enjoy the movie when it comes out!

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  2. I can't wait to see Farmland!!! We've already discussed getting a group of people together and making a night of it!

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    1. Great to hear Myla! I really think you will enjoy it; I appreciated the honesty of the entire documentary!

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  3. Looking forward to Farmland! I'm so glad to see something that promises to be a little less biased. Food Inc nearly had me throwing things at the screen. lol
    Off to look at the Huffpo article. Thanks for sharing!

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