You’ve heard it. Many times. The consumer is always right. And you dare not question that statement. Ever. Marketers live and die by that statement.
But what if, just what if, the consumer isn’t always right? What if they are right based on the information they have? What if they don’t have all the information and are making important food decisions based on lack of information? Especially when it comes to their food. Does it matter?
Yes, it matters
Because sometimes . . . information consumers don’t have about how their food is raised or grown affects our entire food system. Let’s take a look at the recent initiatives by the state of Massachusetts to outlaw the use of gestation stalls (gestation stalls are individual pens where sows are housed) as well as other animal welfare issues.
The new law in effect in Massachusetts
The new law will prohibit Massachusetts farmers from confining egg-laying hens, breeding pigs and calves raised for veal in spaces that prevent the animals from “lying down, standing up, fully extending its limbs, or turning around freely” — and the sale of products from animals confined in that way.
And it was passed overwhelmingly. 77.7% in favor, 22.3% against.
On the surface, this looks like a great decision and I probably would have voted for it if I was not a farmer. No question about it. This is a law for the benefit of animals, right? But it’s only when you look deeper into the subject that you realize it’s not that simple.
This bill will take effect in 2022 and will prohibit farmers in Massachusetts to raise animals in environments that will prevent them from lying down, standing up, fully extending its limbs or turning around freely. And in addition, the residents of Massachusetts will not be able to buy pork from these type of facilities either. Specifically for pigs, they are addressing gestation (individual) stalls. And this is the part where consumers don’t have all the necessary knowledge about why gestation stalls are used.
Consumers are flooded with propaganda from organizations like HSUS (Humane Society of the United States). They take advantage of small farming states and press for these ballot initiatives that push their agenda–the agenda to significantly reduce and eliminate livestock agriculture.