Message in a bottle needs uncorking

May 31, 2012

Much is made these days of our need to connect with consumers and do a better job of “telling our story” in animal agriculture. Yet, despite substantial investment in producing messages that resonate with the public, those who raise animals for food remain frustrated at being painted as profit-driven barons devoid of consideration for animals, people and the environment. For some, the go-to response has been to blame animal protection groups or a public that is out of touch with the realities of farming for the disconnect. Lost in such rhetoric is the concept of introspection. Unfortunately, some of us seem incapable of it, a state worsened by the growing propensity to vilify anyone, including members of our own communities, with the audacity to question our methods, if not our mission.  Engaging concerns is often dismissed as “caving” to external pressures.  Could it be that we are ultimately our own worst enemy in the battle Steve Kopperud described for “the hearts and minds of consumers?”

Click here to read the full text of Dr. Candace Croney's post in Feedstuff's FoodLink. Acccessed June 4, 2012, at