Keeping my Cool with Vegans on Twitter

It is not new news that Vegan Activists are busy on social media these days. Months ago they made a huge group effort to take over the farmer driven #farm365 movement on Twitter. #farm365 was started by Andrew Campbell, an Ontario dairy farmer as a way for farmers to show (with pictures) what their daily life is like on the farm. What started as a great way to show consumers how their food is really produced in a completely open and transparent way, quickly spiralled down into offensive attacks from vegan groups trolling twitter. See more here: https://www.realagriculture.com/2015/01/farmers-speak-perspectives-farm365-activist-backlash/

Since the moment I started taking part in #farm365, I have had countless tweets attacking me, my family and my profession.

 So why do I continue to take part? It is really quite simple – I believe in the purpose of #farm365. I believe that people have forgotten what everyday farmers look like. They have forgotten that we are kind, caring, compassionate people that feed what we grow to our families with pride. We care about the land we are in charge of. We are not swayed by mega-corporations trying to sell us one seed/chemical or another. We make our own decisions, and stand by them. 

When the vegans come a-trolling, sometimes it is hard to keep my cool. I have no interest in trying to change their minds. I know they are set on their choices, just as I am set on mine. I know that the vast majority of people won’t be swayed by them either – especially when they are at their most hateful. I know it is best to walk away and probably hit the BLOCK button. That being said, some days it is really hard not to engage them. It is hard not to stand up for myself, my values and my morals. I want to shout from the rooftops that we care deeply for our animals, and ensure their eventual death is pain-free and respectful. But they don’t care. They only see death, and to them the death of an animal is possibly more important than the death of a human. It is certainly more important to them than the respect of a fellow human. 

So sometimes I crumble. Sometimes I engage. It never works. I have tried being respectful. I have tried being witty. It. Does. Not. Work. 

Today I crumbled. I engaged. Luckily they have learned to not threaten violence, or Twitter will suspend their accounts. This was a calm and respectful interaction with them. Believe me, they get much, much worse. Here is a little snapshot of today’s crumble:

   

       

So again, I have learned my lesson. Do not engage. But knowing that still doesn’t lessen the knife-like feeling in my gut everytime one of their brethren favorites or re-tweets one of these. 

So for all you eat meat-eaters out there – those of you that are watching on Twitter or Facebook or reading blogs like this one: thank you for every Like, Favorite, Share, or Re-Tweet. Thank you for every honest question you have asked of farmers like me. Thank you for wanting to know more. My engagement with you far out weighs days like today. Your support balances the hate. Some days we need it.