You can try your hardest to point the facts and information out to someone in a conversation. However if while you’re trying to calmly relate to them, and they are acting like a toddler that’s two hours past due for a nap and incapable of listening, how much do you think this idea will work?
I recently posted several replies to vegan animal rights groups on twitter. They were quick replies, just a photo of myself with a pig and a dairy heifer with a quick blurb about how they are treated humanely in almost every context.
Mostly other people involved in the agriculture industry liked the photos with little interaction, however the swine post I had a reply to.
While I’m still not sure of the practices this user is trying to point out in the tweet, I definitely knew that nothing would change their mind based on their twitter feed. I could show them a pig farm, and they would still yell abuse and cruelty.
I could send them information about production practices and why there are certain management choices in their housing. But in the end this user had already formed their opinion and was clinging to the fact that meat was a horrible, blood sucking, money greedy industry.
A quick look through their tweets and replies told me that I wasn’t the only person they had posted these types of replies to. Multiple retweets of animal rights and liberation groups, and several mean replies to pro-agriculture groups.
I thought long and hard about what I could do as a response, and I realized that I didn’t have one. What I was trying so hard to convey with a quick photo of myself and a show pig this user would forever think was evil. I could’ve given them more facts, more photos, or even a sarcastic comment about their (lack of) grammar usage. Would any of this had helped change their views?
While we can try our hardest to inform and educate and share about what happens in the agriculture industry, some people simply don’t care to know. They don’t care about animal welfare, the five freedoms, that producers love and care for their livelihood. They believe unwaveringly the propaganda that animals rights groups posts because that’s what they want to believe.
As hard as it was, I simply didn’t answer this user, because I knew nothing would come of it. Trying to share information with someone who is unwilling to receive would be like trying to make a pig grow wings.
Sometimes we need to save our energy instead trying to sway opinions. It won’t happen. Flip the situation around, if someone was trying to convince you that the meat industry was horrible but you knew the truth, how much good would it do for you to have a reply to a tweet saying the same thing?
Everyone has the right to their opinions, beliefs, and life choices. While educating consumers who simply don’t know what goes on in the agriculture industry is a passion of mine, trying to change the opinions of those who aren’t open to listening is not.