Guest Post – Kristeena Patsche
Last Thursday, I decided to put all my emotions aside and attend the “Factory Farming in Minnesota: Time for a Change” panel at the Minnesota State University campus in Mankato. I knew agriculture needed representing, even though I didn’t feel I would make an impact. And little did I know that I would find common ground with vegan activists.
Much of the event went just like I suspected – emotional, one-sided, and no evidence to support their claims. But it wasn’t until after the event ended that I realized why I needed to be there …
I saw a group of students toward the front of the auditorium, talking to an older farmer I had known. Interested in what they were talking about, I made my way in their direction, not knowing what I was getting myself into. As I got closer, I realized I was walking into a highly emotional conversation about how we raise our animals and the effects of today’s agriculture practices between a farmer and a group of vegan and vegetarian students, much against modern agriculture, or “factory farming.”
To be honest, I was intimidated by this situation. They weren’t that much younger than me, but I knew their mind was set on their beliefs. That’s when I realized I wasn’t there to change their minds, but rather to have a conversation. I turned to a group of six or so students sitting there and decided it’s time to talk – a real conversation. One where I could hear from them and they could hear from me.
Here’s what I learned …Continue Reading