One of the more interesting changes in my business over the last year has been the opportunity to present stress management programs for farmers. At first this didn’t seem to be a good match for me. I’m a city-girl, very much removed from the world of agriculture. However, here’s the thing: people are people. We are all trying to live our lives, raise our kids, and keep our heads above water financially … and we all have stress.
It has been an honor to share my knowledge with farmers. The knowledge they’ve shared with me has been incredible. What I didn’t know about agriculture could fill one of those huge silos you drive by on the highway.
I’ve met hundreds of farmers this year in the stress management programs – even more on Twitter and Facebook, and had the opportunity to visit two farms. One thing I know for sure is that farmers are under amazing pressure and stress.
Which is why the video just released about animal cruelty on an Ohio dairy farm is so upsetting. I watched exactly 33 seconds of this video. It is disgusting.
But, excuse me, are we to assume this abuse is common practice on dairy farms?
I cannot for a minute imagine any one of the farmers I’ve met kicking or smacking an animal in the head for what appears to be pure enjoyment. That is just ridiculous. Shame on anyone who believes the honest, hardworking farm families of this country would be so evil.
So, why does this rile me up so much? I guess it is the Girl Scout in me. There are groups whose mission is to end animal agriculture in America. Yes, they’d like us all to be vegetarians. It isn’t honest or fair (one of the lines in the Girl Scout law) to attack the people at the heart of our nation to further this mission.
Yes, as a country we are alienated from agriculture. Most of us have no idea how our food is produced. We are not however alienated from people. Would you suspect your neighbor, co-worker, or the checker at the grocery store of animal cruelty? Why are we so easily lead to believe it of people who have committed their entire lives to the care of the land and their animals?
So this Girl Scout is standing up and saying, “Hey! Stop picking on my friends!”
If you see or read something alarming about what happens on farms, check it out before you believe it. Even better ask a farmer on Agchat.
It isn’t fair to have good people attacked and I’d like you to help make it a litter better. Could you please – send a “Thank A Farmer” message out today on Facebook or Twitter. Our farm friends need to know we are thinking of them!
Hey farmers, please know there are people out here who honor and value you and your hard work to put #food on our tables. That’s why I ThankAFarmer!
Eliz Greene survived a massive heart attack while seven-months pregnant with twins, struggled to lose the 80 pounds gained during her pregnancy, and searched for a way to hold on to the perspective and passion she found in her near-death experience. Drawing on her background as an adaptive movement specialist, Eliz developed simple strategies and tips to help other busy women be more active, eat better and manage your stress.
As the Director of the Embrace Your Heart Wellness Initiative, Eliz travels the country energizing and inspiring audiences in keynotes and workshops on women’s heart health. She writes one of the top 50 health and wellness blogs. Find more at www.EmbraceYourHeart.com.