Recently, I participated in an online video discussion with an Animal Welfare class from an eastern U.S. university. The purpose of the class was to give class attendees a farmer’s perspective on pig issues related to animal welfare. There were two of us, myself and another farmer from Indiana. We were given a few questions ahead of time, but we also answered questions directly from the class about pig farming. By the end of the class period, it was apparent there was a definite flavor of animal rights views within the classroom. Later, as I pondered about the class discussion, I thought very hard about the animal right’s perspective and agenda. I really wanted to “see” animal welfare issues through their eyes.
I think what is most frustrating for farmers is how do we communicate our experiences so others also feel and see the same experiences.