by Ken Root
Animal Agriculture is under attack and the idea that consumers will see the truth and respond favorably to farmers is no longer possible.
So, the Animal Agriculture Alliance took a step toward an unlikely ally. The Anti-Poverty Activists in Massachusetts, a state that just passed a California type law that will raise the cost of producing food.
Hannah Thompson Weeman is a spokesperson for the Animal Agriculture Alliance. She spoke with Radio Oklahoma Farm Broadcaster Ron Hays about efforts to combat the Humane Society of the U.S. as they try to eliminate food animal production in this country.
“They always find new ways to push that goal, which is to putting farmers and ranchers out of business,” Thompson-Weeman said about animal right activists. “They’ve gotten savvier and savvier over the years which makes it a challenge for us to get out ahead of their messaging.”
One reality that makes it difficult to fight these organizations, which came to light late this past year in a pivotal vote in Massachusetts that has had ringing effects for agriculture, is that the average consumer is simply so far removed from the farm these days.
“Our general consumer is very disconnected from what we do,” Thompson-Weeman asserted. “They haven’t seen it; they haven’t been exposed to it. So, unfortunately they are very susceptible to the myths and misinformation being spread by groups like HSUS.
However, she says the tides may be turning with the birth of a new partnership. She says a relationship between the agriculture and the anti-poverty communities has begun to form, as they both understand the importance of consumers’ accessibility to safe, affordable food. She says, if the ag industry’s opponents should make similar attempts to hinder production in other states, the lessons learned and the friends gained in Massachusetts will give the Alliance a leg up in the ensuing fight.