Have you noticed lately all the ads on TV about how great farmers are treating their animals lately and the use of the word “sustainability”?
I know I have. They seem to have that same warm fuzzy feeling about them. It’s usually shows a multi-generational farm, with of course kids and how proud they are of being farmers.
There’s the Dairy farmer’s ad, showing the little girl bottle feeding a calf, so cute, or the Perdue Harvestland commercial that even has a catching jingle to it. It goes like this: “I (the chicken) think I will go out for a walk outside now; the summer is calling my name. Everyone is smiling, it’s a sunshine day, everyone seems to be happy, it’s a sunshine day”. Then it shows you the happy chickens running around in the bright sunlight. It reminded me of Charlie Sheen on the TV show Two and Half Men composing his ridiculous product jingles, no doubt this would be one he’d do while drinking his scotch on the rocks.
Then of course there’s always McDonalds, who really likes throwing their money into TV, on-line videos with social “influencers” and sponsored content, in promoting their “sustainably sourced” Quarter Pounder. Whatever that means. Then there is A & W promoting their “grass-fed” happy cows. Here are the facts: Grass-fed beef isn’t more sustainable than grain-fed beef. Because grass-fed cows consume a more complex carb and grow more slowly than their grain-fed counterpart, they produce more methane while making the same amount of meat. Up to 400% more methane, to be exact. Also, the beloved local farms and their grass-fed cows are also an immensely land-intensive industry. One grain-fed cow needs three acres of land, a grass-fed cow actually requires nine.
Even the “fake milk” Lactaid producers are getting in on trying to educate how happy their cows are by showing rolling pastures of grazing dairy cows in their commercials. Really? Who buys into this stuff?
So where am I going with all this? Once again, my word for 2020 and now into 2021 is “gullibility”. If you google “what does it mean if someone is gullible?” Here is what it says, and I am sure marketing advertisers count on this concept: “a tendency to be easily manipulated into believing something is true when it isn’t.” Don’t get me wrong, I’d like to believe these advertisers, it’s an easier pill to swallow then the reality of factory farming.
But lets look at the bright side of all this. I think all this propaganda is a sign that the dairy and meat industry see a need to start promoting themselves in a better light. The word is spreading about factory farming. You have to look no further of the injustice of trying to protect farm animals then the passing of Bill 156, AKA “ag gag” bill in Ontario, June 17,2020. This law not only threatens animal welfare by criminalizing those who would speak out for animals, including whistleblowers working on farms and slaughterhouses, or any animal-use facilities, but it also brings in the question of a violation of free speech.
FYI: Canada has such weak laws protecting animals that we have a received a failing “D” grade in the Animal Protection Index https://api.worldanimalprotection.org/country/canada?_ga=2.61976492.1285006960.1612143254-341926190.1612143254 which ranks 50 countries around the world according to their animal welfare policies and legislation. Our grade matches the U.S., Columbia, Brazil, Korea to name a few, while countries like Mexico, Malaysia, Poland got C’s, and the Scandinavian countries, plus the U.K. got B’s. Put’s things in perspective, don’t you think?
The farming industry has proven that it’s not resilient to culture attitude or marketing conditions. For instance, the Canadian Pork Council is asking for about 500 million dollars of public funds in compensation for their loss of revenue due to Covid, along with the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association pushing for funding and government programs to make up for their losses too. Here’s an idea, why doesn’t the Restaurants Canada Association go lobbying to the government for money? With close to 100,000 restaurants in Canada, while employing 1.2 million and serving 22 million customers every day, this industry has taken a pretty good hit during the Pandemic don’t you think? How about helping them out?
In closing, when you see these commercials on TV, which are you going to be? The gullible, who “drinks the Kool-aid”, or the skeptic and see through through their propaganda. I wish I was a bit more gullible; I believe a gullible person has an easier life and may be a happier person in the long run and I envy the concept. But as you read my blogs, there is no doubt I am 99% a skeptic. I wish I wasn’t, plus, as a mother I wish I hadn’t taught my son not to even come close to being gullible. He questions everything, but at least I don’t have to worry about people taking advantage of him, and for that I sleep well at night.
Read more about saying “No to Bailouts for factory farming” and what you can do in writing to Finance Minister Morneau & Agriculture Minister Bibeau at:
9.4% of Cdns are vegetarians (as of 2018) | 8% of the world are also vegetarians | $3.7 Billion will be invested in the plant-based market. | 26% of Millennials are vegetarians
-Check out the 2021 Canadian Animal Kill clock that shows the amount of animals killed for food this year at: https://animalclock.org/ca/
-Read Cindy’s blog on her going vegetarian at: