It’s Been Said: “We’re so disconnected from this industrial food production system... animals are on factory farms…If you care about animals, there shouldn’t be a difference between a dog and a cow.”
HSUS President Wayne Pacelle appeared as a guest on The Ellen Show to promote his new book “The Bond” and to talk about protecting animals. Among other claims, Pacelle stated that through undercover videos, they found chickens living in small, confined conditions. He also claims that Americans have become disconnected from their food and characterizes farming as “industrial food production… animals are on factory farms.”
USFRA’s farmers and ranchers – whether large, small, organic, natural or conventional – all believe in responsibly caring for their animals and maintaining high standards when it comes to growing and raising food.
USFRA also believes this conversation ignored two critical voices – those of farmers and ranchers who raise and care for farm animals for food and those of Americans who choose to eat poultry/meat. The discussions around proper animal care are important and consumers have a right to know how their food was produced. They should also be given choices when it comes to their food.
The Ellen Show is a popular mainstream outlet and while both DeGeneres and Pacelle are outspoken about their choice to be vegan, USFRA thinks that promoting just one dietary style or one farming method is a disservice. Is it fair for Ellen to compare dogs to cows, since Americans don’t typically have cows as pets or typically eat dogs? And is it fair to talk about dog “heroes” in the same context as farm animals? It’s not fair. This is another attempt to use people’s emotions to take on a non-meat eating or vegetarian agenda.
USFRA agrees that Americans should ask questions about their food and we encourage them to talk to a farmer about how they are raising their animals humanely. Ellen said during the interview, “People just don’t know and we’re not told the information. It’s up to us to seek out the information to understand and that’s, that’s what, uh, you have to do.” Let’s help provide real, accurate stories of farming and ranching told by farmers and ranchers. If you’re a farmer or rancher, let us know how you care for your animals at firstname.lastname@example.org or on our Facebook page. Your voices and experiences need to be heard for a more balanced picture.
In addition, here are some examples of information that may be helpful:
- Our ranchers are committed to providing the highest care for their animals. The Beef Quality Assurance program offers cattle ranchers with ongoing training and tools to support them in giving and maintaining the highest level of care.
- Here is a link with more information about how America’s pork producers are caring for their animals and producing food responsibly. Also, here is a link to a mini-documentary USFRA created on a poultry farmer. It is just one example, but helps bring individual farmer and rancher stories to life.