Stop the Food Fights!

Posted on August 28, 2018

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Why must the food fights continue?

A growing number of opinion pieces, such as the recent article in The Globe and Mail by Peter Singer titled, “With veganism on the rise, is meat cooked?” have set out to attack animal agriculture. This particular article is riddled with inaccuracies and misconstrued data in an effort to shame people away from consuming animal protein.

My question to Mr. Singer or others who feel it’s their life mission to have everyone stop consuming animal protein is, “Why?” If someone chooses to consume a food I dislike, I don’t pounce on them in a shotgun style of attack. Imagine how far this conversation would go, “Why are you eating broccoli? The land used to grow that broccoli could have been used to grow carrots.  Carrots have higher amounts of Vitamin A, so please stop consuming that broccoli!”

Similarly no one should crap on someone else’s choice to consume animal proteins. You may think, “Hey, that’s your view,” but it’s also the view of Health Canada, which lists meat and dairy as part of a healthy, balanced diet. As an adult male, Health Canada recommends I consume roughly one-quarter of my diet in animal proteins. I value the recommendations of nutritional science, and do my best to feed myself and my family in that way.

My family and I produce a variety of foods on our farm, from grains and oilseeds to eggs and beef.  All these foods are produced to meet the demands of different consumer choices. Environmental sustainability and the health and comfort of our chickens and cattle are among our highest priorities. In fact, every decision that we make not only considers the current task at hand, but how that will affect future generations. Because we have access to nutrient-rich manure, this reduces the requirements of different fertilizers on our land when we grow our crops. We own land that is not suitable for grain production, thus cattle graze it. It would be environmentally disastrous to put that land back in grain or oilseed production, so instead the grass is converted into beef.

There is a lack of understanding among the general public about current farming and ranching systems. Unfortunately, agricultural illiteracy has led to food crusaders who feel the need to fight for a new path that doesn’t need to be made.

There is vast diversity among Canadian consumers, and all should have the ability and the right to make their own food choices. On my family’s farm we’re ensuring that these demands can be met, and we proudly stand behind all of it.

Let’s stop these silly food fights and, instead, appreciate the fact that we have so many safe and healthy food choices in this country!

Clinton Monchuk
Executive Director, Farm & Food Care SK