An Open Letter to ARM & Those Sharing Their Video
As a business person myself, I am fully aware of what a marketing scheme is. It’s a strategy to reach people and turn them into customers of the product or service that the business provides, and even more so, turn them against the competitor. It’s nothing new around here. You know what you’ve done & you think that you have done it well…
There is no way that you don't realize what you have done…because anyone can log onto Facebook and see the comments that are being posted in regards to your video release. I am sure that you are proud of your work. “I will never drink milk or eat beef again!!” I have seen it so many times in the last 24 hours, more times than I could ever count. Congratulations, you got what you wanted. & it makes me sick. It makes me sick that people are jumping to conclusions about an industry that provides the food on our tables. It makes me sick to see people within the agricultural community sharing this propaganda. It makes me sick that people are not taking the time to educate themselves, but instead forming an opinion based on ONE farm.
There are so many things that you probably didn’t know as someone that is clicking ‘share’ with the added description of how ‘horrified’ you are about the agricultural industry. Did you know that men and women across our country are waking up at 5 am to milk cows just to turn around and do it again 12 hours later each and every single day, if not more? Did you know that many of these farmers make sure that their dairy cows have shelter at all times with fans blowing on them during the hot months & protection from the wind during the cold? Did you know that the calves that are being rejected by their mothers at birth are being bottle fed and individually nursed several times a day to keep them alive? Are you aware that dairies are shutting down all across the country, leaving farmers with the cash that they have from their sale and nothing more? I bet that you didn’t.
Because here is the thing, the majority of the public doesn’t know these things and you took advantage of that. You, ARM, took advantage of ignorant minds and portrayed an entire industry as evil because of something that was happening at one large scale farm. Something that was occurring by employees, unknown to the owners. Something that any farmer would be disgusted by because you do not put your time, sweat, blood, and tears into an animal that gives you a livelihood, just to turn around and abuse it.
Can anyone deny these allegations? Can anyone try to defend what was happening in Indiana? The answer is no. Animal cruelty happens just the same as human cruelty. This world is not perfect. And truly, it is disturbing. I believe that there is a special place in hell for all abusers. But here is what you did. Here is where you went wrong. You picked one farm & you made it the example. You trashed the dairy industry, an industry struggling to survive on its own, to begin with, and you gave people even more of a reason to stop supporting their local farmers, their local economies, their friends and their neighbors.
You call yourself an activist, but what you are is a manipulator. You have manipulated the happenings at this farm to be your marketing scheme, and what you have done in the meantime, is aide in the destruction of people’s livelihoods. You are ruining the lives and reputations across the country, one dairy farmer at a time. Grocery stores are pulling Fair Life products off of their shelves. You think that you have gotten your way.
But here is another thing that you probably don’t know. You don’t know that the strength that stands behind the agricultural community is strong. You don't understand that faith is what this business is built on. You don’t realize that it’s times like these where rural America unites and works together to fight against you and your propaganda. You clearly don’t know what you are up against.
So here is my message to you, ARM: you are not activist. You are no better than those 5 employees that were doing the abusing themselves. Because you are abusing your power and your influence. You have provided propaganda to an uneducated world, and they bit. YOU are the problem here.
Most importantly, here is my message to those of you clicking share on the Facebook video in regards to Fair Oaks Farm: you are doing uneducated damage. ARM, as an organization, is rated ONE STAR by the Charity Navigator because of their lack of transparency when it comes to financials and accountability. Whether you agree or disagree with the message, by clicking ‘share,’ you are spreading propaganda and a false representation of the dairy industry. Seeing people that are in the agriculture industry, and even the dairy industry, sharing this video is NOT HELPING. You should be having your industries back.
& here is my message to the public in general: DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH. Educate yourselves. Visit a dairy farm. Fact check the things that you are reading. Ignorance is not bliss and it is up to YOU to form your own opinions. Stop treating the words of Facebook like the words of the bible. You are better than that.
While I am not a dairy farmer, I grew up in a farm family and know how much passion gets put into this work. I was lucky enough to marry into a dairy family, know the conditions of the farm, have spent time in the milk house and around these incredible animals. I have watched dairy farmers in our area sell off their animals and shut down their milking operations one farm at a time. I have seen the struggles first hand of what these farmers are facing and the devastation that these families face as their cows are loaded up on the trailer and sold off.
I am the daughter of a 4th generation farmer. I am the wife of a dairy and beef farmer. I stand behind the ranchers, the dairy farmers, and the grain growers. I am proud of where I come from and the industry that our rural community supports. I am pissed off beyond belief.
May you have the day that you deserve.