The “militant vegans” whose “hearts are just black” should be held to account when they attack primary producers on social media, one cattle stud operator says.
Over Christmas, three bull calves and one bullock were killed by lightning at the Onward Murray Grey Stud near Dorrigo on the NSW Australia mid-north coast.
Onward owner Sue Francis said she found the dead animals while checking an electric fence for possible faults.
It was after she posted pictures of the dead animals and wrote about the loss that a storm erupted on the stud’s Facebook page.
“I know that my page is on the radar of some of the more militant vegan groups. I know they follow the page,” Ms Francis said.
“If they are offended by something, which happens quite regularly they jump on and start putting out their misinformation and their criticism of what we do.”
Facebook page makes the connection
Ms Francis has maintained the Facebook page, using it to explain “our day-to-day life and what it entails” and connect with the “urban” part of the community.
“With that post following the lightning strike story, that post took on a life of its own and I didn’t have time to moderate it at all,” she explained.
Tackling the issues
Ms Francis argued the industry as a whole had to be more active in countering the stance taken by some opponents of the industry.
“We do need to put our stories out there. I don’t think they are taking it seriously at all. I think they are trying to sweep it under the carpet and it is not the way to tackle such an issue,” she said.
“I think our parent bodies have to be more aware and far more proactive in showing the positive and truthful side.
“I think our industry bodies are falling behind in raising consumer awareness. We cannot let this ill-informed minority go uncontested.”
While Ms Francis was critical of industry representatives, she had been buoyed by fellow producers who also took to her Facebook page.
“Fellow producers came in and stood up for our industry,” she said.
Producers show support
“Perhaps not always in the most polite manner — but at times I think the anger was well deserved and justified.
“Some of the producers have been on there debating beautifully what we do and why we do it.”
Despite this recent chapter causing angst for Ms Francis, she planned to continue her writing on Facebook.
She said if a particular comment affected her, a day on the tractor allowed her to think it through.
“I go from being angry to thinking through a constructive debate and coming up with a rebuttal and by the end of the day I am in a cheerful headspace.”