Are there corrupt people in every profession or trade? Yes. There are bad apples in every race or every gender or religion or anything else people want to use to divide us. We have to all understand that we are talking about the extremes or radicals, not the normal population. Social media did not come with an owner’s manual. Social media came too fast for all of us. It forced cable news media to lean to one side or another of a topic to “entertain” a captive audience and sell ads to stay in business. We as citizens haven’t learned how to filter broadcast and social media bias and it is costing our country in a big way.
The movements that have turned so many people against the very police officers that protect us is amazing. Police officers protect and serve. Military soldiers do the same. Firefighters, teachers, doctors, nurses and other professions serve the people of our country every day.
Farmers, ranchers, and veterinarians have decided to fulfill a calling to serve mankind by producing food. Yet every day they are attacked by animal rights groups using broadcast and social media to paint an entire group of people that produce food for our citizens as bad. It seems harmless until you see people leave farming and ranching because of the negativity and increased cost due to increased, unnecessary regulation. We see people’s trust in farmers, ranchers and veterinarians falsely and needlessly eroded by activist groups due to social media amplification which results in higher cost of food production and subsequently higher food prices. But most of all, it makes me ache to see the people that suffer the most are those that will not be able to afford food tomorrow.
Like everybody, farmers, ranchers and veterinarians are not perfect. They work hard to do things better every day. Nothing hurts farmers, ranchers and veterinarians more than learning that an individual has done something unethical by abusing animals, land, air, people or anything else in agriculture. However, when the media paints these acts to represent our entire food supply system, it is no different than throwing an entire religion or sex or race or profession under the bus due to an individual act.
People in our country need food, shelter, medical care, safety and we need to start having each other’s backs. Farmers work hard to produce safe food and veterinarians work hard to keep animals healthy. Other service professions work hard to provide safety, peace, healthy communities and much more.
We can’t allow activists to use social and broadcast media to increase hunger and violence in this country anymore.
Stop and think about how repeating the thoughts you see on your favorite network or social media feed will help or hurt you, your family or your neighbor. We must think about how knee jerk reactions and blindly following ideology from social media could hurt people who will need our help long-term in this country. We are blessed to live where you can be anything you want in life, and if you stumble, we will pick you up. But don’t you worry. Farmers, ranchers, and veterinarians are here to serve and care about other Americans as they do for their own family and the animals they raise. Always here, always ready: providing food for our neighbors in America.
Dan Thomson, Riley County, Kansas