By Heather Lang
This is not a billboard many ever thought they would see in North Dakota and yet here it is in the heart of beef cattle country – Dickinson, N.D. Why in Dickinson? Why here in North Dakota? This article explains why they picked cattle country to advertise with this billboard. The idea of PETA not coming to our state or trying to invoke emotions and thoughts into not only our heads but our childrens’ heads is absurd. They have been doing it for years. Not as ‘in your face’ as this message but yes, they have been slowly moving in on all parts of agriculture for quite some time.
Myth: Humans and animals should be created equal
Fact: I never thought that I would have to explain why humans and animals are NOT created equal. Never. But our society as a whole has begun to put animals and humans on the same "pedestal." Granted humans and animals have similarities; both need food, shelter and water to survive, but this does not make them the same. As humans our role on earth is to create, love, be an active, productive member of society, use our intellect and imagination to build things once thought to be unimaginable. We are making conscious daily decisions if we want to contribute to technology, science, medicine, arts, or anything else for that matter.
The purpose of livestock is to breed and then grow to provide us with meat (protein), or be used to make medicines to keep humans alive (such as insulin for diabetics). Some livestock hides are used to make clothing (belts, boots) or the athletic equipment (football) your child plays with. We need animals daily; for things you probably didn’t realize came from animal parts such as toothpaste, hair conditioner, rubber on the tires of your children’s school bus that gets them there safely. Animals definitely have worth, but they are NOT EQUAL to humans.
Myth: Farmers and ranchers are cruel to their animals
Fact: Taking care of our animals is not just something that is morally and ethically right to do, but it is our business. Agriculture is one of the most regulated businesses out there and it doesn’t matter if you are on the larger scale or smaller scale. There are also multiple in-depth guidelines for all areas of animal care. Most farmers and ranchers stay in close contact with their vet to ensure their animals are in good health. Ranchers test the livestock’s food to guarantee they are receiving all the nutrients and the correct amounts of each of those nutrients. Healthy animals are our business. If we didn’t continuously provide excellent care for the animals we would not be able to stay in business.
It’s never bad to question where your food comes from, but you should base your food choices on fact, NOT FEAR.