Friday, November 07, 2008

Consumers need permission to live as hypocrites

Following the success of Proposition 2 in California earlier this week, livestock farmers are wondering how to accommodate or simply to understand the demands of their customers.

Prop 2, which passed by more than 60 percent, requires livestock farmers to supply certain livestock with a minimum of space for movement. Most notably, the proposition was also directed toward poultry production, a first in the United States.

The increasing interest in animal welfare, including the welfare of agricultural livestock destined for slaughter, is not a passing fad, according to Dr. Wes Jamison, a researcher at the University of Florida specializing in agricultural politics. Jamison spoke with a reporter for Brownfield Ag News at a conference in Lincoln, Neb. Friday.

"The other side has figured out the language to sell these initiatives," Jamison said, and it's important that agriculturalists learn this language as well.

For urban consumers, animals have assumed an entirely new role and are widely regarded as members of the family, Jamison said. That viewpoint has been extended to agricultural animals, and farmers need to understand that and respond in kind. They must demonstrate to consumers its OK to love animals and to eat them.

You have to give them permission to live as hypocrites, Jamison said.

For the full story at Brownfield click here and here.

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