Yesterday I was minding my own business when a stranger suddenly punched me in the guts. At least that’s what it felt like when I opened my email to find that Mercy For Animals had released a video showing cows being abused on a Wisconsin dairy farm. While I will not link to the video and give it more views, I will say that video does show things that should have never happened. I’ve said it before and I will continue to say it, no one wants animal abusers out of business more than farmers.
Bad apples happen in any industry, yes a few of the 49,000 dairy farms in our country are not taking care of their cows the way they should. While the news headlines about parents abusing their children vastly outnumber stories of abuse on dairy farms, people know and understand that not all parents are horrible people. Mercy For Animals knows that they can get people to believe that dairy farmers abuse their cows because they know that most people don’t have someone they know that they can ask directly. Unlike 30 years ago, today the average person is 3 generations removed from the farm, Mercy For Animals exploits the disconnect between people like me on the farm and people like you, our customer. Mercy For Animals doesn’t just want abusers to be caught, they want you to stop eating and using animal products. Their goal is for you to become vegan and for all farms that raise animals to be out of business.
The day to day tasks on a dairy farm are not the kind of thing that often makes the news, so when something like this video comes out, it’s often what reminds people that we exist. In the past farmers have not done a very good job talking about what we do with our customers. As a dairy farmer I want everyone who buys dairy products to feel connected to the people who raise the animals that made the milk. I know that the only way to stop groups like Mercy For Animals from painting all farmers with the same brush is to make sure that people can find a farmer to ask their questions to.
This afternoon I sent out a message to all my dairy farming friends in Wisconsin (and beyond!) and asked them to get on social media and start using the #RealWiDairy tag in their posts. They have already started to share photos and posts from their farms on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They want to connect with you. They want to answer your questions. Please take a minute and get the story from the farmers instead of groups like Mercy For Animals.
To make it even easier for you to get connect back to where your dairy products start here are some links for you. Just click on the photo to be taken to the list of posts using #RealWiDairy on these platforms. Find a farmer, ask your questions, know that we care about not just our cows and our farm but our customers.