Happy to be here
Hey y’all, I’m Mayzie Purviance Cremer and this is Activists vs. Agriculture, a regular column in place to correct agricultural misinformation.
Growing up in the age of social media, I was exposed to many people on Twitter and Facebook who spread blatant lies about the agricultural industry. I thought these people hated agriculture with an informed passion – and it fired me up. I was hung up on this issue for many months, angrily preaching the message that agriculture wasn’t the enemy.
After taking some communication and journalism classes, I was taught something every news writer is told at one time or another: write at a fifth-grade level. I was taken aback by this statement at first – but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense.
I started thinking about every time I had used Google Scholar for an assignment and how much my classmates and I had loathed reading non-fiction books as kids. I’m not ashamed to admit I didn’t want to read those long, scientific essays. I mean, let’s be honest here, who really does?
I can tell you who definitely doesn’t: the 89 percent of Americans who aren’t employed within the agricultural industry in some way, shape, form or fashion.
After having extensive conversations with a handful of my elders in the agricultural community, I concluded this disconnect wasn’t at the fault of the agriculturally ignorant public, it was at the fault of the 11 percent of Americans who are considered professionals in the agricultural industry.
Not to pour salt on a wound, but agriculturists don’t do a great job of communicating their findings to the public. I mean, think about yourself, an ag industry professional, do you have time to really do this properly? And with activist organizations such as People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the Humane Society of the U.S. screaming as loud as they can about the bad, the untrue and the ugly about the ag industry, it’s easy for consumers to be misinformed.
After having this realization, I had another epiphany: why not hear from the anti-ags?
In June 2017, I joined a handful of animal rights, vegan and anti-ag Facebook groups and have joined many more since. I also keep up with anti-ag organizations all over social media and on their respective websites. Since 2017, I’ve observed anti-ags in silence, just to see what they’re “really” saying about agriculture, and let me tell you: Agricultural ignorance is running rampant.
So how do we fix this problem? By spitting out scientific data that could go over the head of consumers and potentially even an experienced agriculturist? By poking fun at anti-ags online for a cheap laugh or a “like?” By shrugging our shoulders and ignoring it?
No, we help the anti-ags down from their “AG IS EVIL” soap boxes and we correct it – in a warm, welcoming, educational way.
After years of silent observation, I decided to combine my love of writing with my appreciation for agriculture and start writing Activists vs. Agriculture. In this column, I try my best to explain agriculture in all facets in hopes that an ill-informed consumer may learn something about the industry.
I want to provoke curiosity and healthy debate with anti-ags. And most importantly, I strive to inspire you to communicate agriculture in any way you can.
I hope I can reach all these goals in writing this column, and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. If you’d like to learn more about my column or read from my archives, visit activistsvsagriculture.com.