Throughout the year Gayle and I have chatted back and forth on social media and kept the connection we made in the "windy city." However it was not until today that I came to find out ...
Gayle is a VEGETARIAN!
My initial thought when reading her blog today was ~ WOW !!! REALLY??? Was she pulling some sort of prank on all of us and then in the end was some secret message? NOPE! The only message that I took from her blog was this ~ That Gayle Anderson supports Animal Agriculture, That Gayle Anderson believes in my families way of life, cattle ranching. That Gayle Anderson is a true, blue, honest farmer! A young woman not afraid to hide her preferences in food choices - because that is what it is a food choice, a taste choice, what makes her tummy feel good. Meat just doesn't fit the bill for her but it does not mean she doesn't support what I do each and every day.
I have a new impression of Vegetarians, they are not bad people, in this instance, a good friend, a fellow farmer, and someone who if you ask me maybe is a better spokesperson for the Beef industry than many of us who eat burgers, steaks and ribs !!! As we know there are those out there who wish to end animal agriculture and believe the world should be meat free but then there are those who maybe just dont like the taste or for some medical reason cannot eat animal protein ~ start the conversations, make friends, and most importantly as we are learning more and more within Agvocacy cirlces - LISTEN. You might just be surprised in what you hear and learn.
My hat is off to Gayle ~ Thank you for being someone I can learn from in telling my AG story just a bit better. For helping me to be more open to new ideas and for making me aware.
To continue to follow Gayle and her blog check out http://www.idahofarmwife.net/
~~~~~~~~~~~~ And here is Gayle's Story , Enjoy!!!!
I’m a vegetarian who supports the animal Ag industry 110%! Just because I don’t eat meat, doesn’t mean that I want to force my food choices on everyone else, but that is not the case with others, so please read on. But first, let me share that I’ve been a vegetarian all my life and it’s not because of any certain beliefs or convictions, I just don’t like meat. As my mom tells the story, I quit drinking milk at 4 months old and later refused to eat any kind of meat. After many trips to the doctor to see what was wrong with me, she finally let me eat what I wanted. Frankly being a vegetarian is a pain in the you-know-what, but it is just the way I am. Being a non-meat eater has its challenges, like when packing my very first lunch for Farmer Joe (as a new farm-wife) and wanting to be sweet, I made a tuna-fish and bologna sandwich (yes together) as I thought they are both disgusting so I’m sure they go together…. Well that was the wrong assumption! =) And it was the very first day of harvest too, oops poor guy. However, I've since improved my culinary skills as my family loves their beef, (T-bone steaks in particular), pork and poultry. So now that I’ve bared my soul and shared an embarrassing story on myself, you are probably wondering why am I telling you this? Well this blog is about the freedom of choice and the important goal to preserve this right. Whether or not you are aware, there is a real threat to your freedom of choice on what you put on your dinner table if your meals are centered around meat. Anytime one sector of Ag is affected, there is a trickle down effect on the rest of Agriculture, so this vegetarian wants to speak out on behalf of the animal Ag sector.
A movement is well underway by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the uninformed consumer is being duped into helping them with their goal to make meat so expensive that people cannot afford to put it on their dinner table. This organization works behind the scenes to get the consumer to vote for legislation that negatively impacts agriculture. Can you imagine the Thanksgiving holiday without a turkey or Easter without a ham?
Many believe that HSUS is the parent organization for all humane societies, but that is not true. Here is a video based upon real facts and legislation that has been passed in many states. Idaho appears to be one of their next targets to enact legislation under the guise of "animal cruelty" laws and there was a direct quote from HSUS that said they would be funding a "multimillion dollar ballot initiative and hire paid staff to gather signatures". As I said before, whether it is crops or animals, they are a farmer's paycheck, so we make sure to take care of our paycheck as best we can. I believe I can truthfully say that 99.99% of farmers and ranchers treat their animals with care, respect and humanely. We do not like to see animal abuse anymore than anyone else does, but we concede there are a few bad apples out there as in any organization and we are aware that when an abuse surfaces, that it give Agriculture a black eye. We personally know many ranchers and they take pride in their operations and well being of their animals. For instance, cows will be taken to the mountains during the summer, because it is cooler for them and in the Fall they will be rounded up. Often times ranchers in this area will also move their cows to a lower elevation to winter them as the temperature is milder and easier on the cows.
So where does H$U$ get money from? Well watch the video and read on.....
This is a direct quote from Humane Watch, "HSUS puts some serious money every year into pension plans for its executives. Since 2004 (when “Humane Wayne” Pacelle took over), the HSUS pension slush fund has grown by more than $8.5 million. Instead of helping dogs and cats in pet shelters, that money will be fattening the wallets of HSUS big shots after they retire." To read more check out, HumaneWatch, a website created to report on the abuses of HSUS.
What to do? If you donate to HSUS then STOP, give the money to your local humane society where the money will go directly to helping animals. Then think very carefully on what kinds of ballot measures you are signing, think even more carefully on the way you vote when it comes to animal cruelty laws or laws that talk about "animal rights" as those laws, once enacted, create financial difficulty for those farmers and ranchers who are involved in animal agriculture. If you have questions, please call the State or official organizations for the Beef, Pork, Poultry industry to ask about effects these laws have on their sector and if you still need more information, they could most likely get you in touch with a producer to get their insights and views. But I can almost guarantee that if you, the consumer call their organization and explain that you are a voter and want to know the real story about proposed legislation or ballots coming up, you will get their attention as our councils are very aware of what is being circulated out there.
In conclusion, if people vote without knowing how legislation will affect the Ag industry (and its impact on affordable food) then the results are a lot like my first sandwich making attempt... in that the intent was to do good, but by me lacking the knowledge needed, the end result was disastrous. So as the election season officially rolls around, be an informed voter and if you feel that protecting your dinner table choice is important, then tell others and better yet - send in a letter to your newspaper editor.
Want to read more about other farmers and ranchers? If so then I invite you to check out this site: Farmer Inc, The Real Story .