The Myths

Here is a list of the most frequently used myths and tactics used by food lobbyists today. 

Australia can be fed by growing vegetables in our back yard. 

It's great that people want to grow their own food, the educational opportunity it provides children is great. Our population is so much larger than the 1950's, it's just not pragmatic to assume people are willing and able to go back to subsistence (or very rarely self-sustaining) farming. To reject conventional farming in based on an Omni-science yet to be proven. Michael Pollan, the creator of Food Inc is an advocate of this model of farming which has high carbon inputs, low outputs and will never be able to feed everyone. It takes a fair amount of effort to produce enough food in Australia now and into the future.

Conventional food is toxic and potentially dangerous. 

All types of farming use pesticides. All food brought to market has to adhere to strict withholding periods, therefore pesticides are designed not to be persistent in the environment. Our life expectancy has never been higher. However it is wise to follow a healthy diet that is based on scientific evidence which includes variety, moderation and exercise.

“Everyone agrees with me, therefore I am right.” 

Animal Rights and Organic lobbyists will appeal to popularity, stating how mainstream they are and how many millions of dollars their enterprises are worth, but this does not necessarily make them right.

Appeal to your emotion 

It might make one feel better, but it prevents progress towards truly sustainable farming practices. Ondine Sherman of voiceless wrote an article which implies that because people where suffering from the H1N1 flu, it must be the intensive pork farmers fault. Science has proven her wrong. This disease is transferred by migratory water fowl, and does not pass from pig to human, but vice versa. Shame and blame prevents directed scientific study to where it needs to be.

If the comment came from someone who benefits from the industry, it can't be true. 

This is the oldest conspiracy theory out there. Suggesting that all people only act in self-interest at the expense of basic morality is an abhorrent accusation levelled against the vast majority of the population. Doctors, nurses, veterinarians, medical researchers, farmers, teachers and the public service simply wouldn't exist. Animal rights groups believe that these professionals are running a consipracy against the animals as they don't condone the use of animals period. Clive Phillips, professor of Animal Welfare at Queensland University insists that industry lobby groups need to be run by "independant" groups. Industries have the right to promote their businesses. It would be unproductive to have outsiders instead of stakeholders dictating where R&D and marketing dollars go. Industry lobby groups have to be transparent, open and accountable, but when a biotech engineer is on the board of the Organic Industry, I hope he'll let us know.

"As Animal related industries don't agree with me, then they are secretly condoning animal cruelty"  

This is the false dichotomy used of Animal rights lobbyists to create a "your are either with us or against us" scenario. All industries are judged by their worst performers. Dr. Death in Bundaberg didn't convince us to reject conventional medicine, bad policing didn't convince us that we should reject community security outright but vegan lobbyists expect you to reject the use of all animals from the worst examples in the industry. They gain massive media exposure to show case the cruelty of animals which no reasonable person would condone. The suggestions that animal related industry workers turn a blind eye and are silent about animal cruelty is an extreme accusation which falls well outside their professional codes and current animal welfare legislation. The records of abundant quality products that farmers produce, the enjoyment that people get from the recreational use of animals is testament to the high standards of welfare. The definition of "welfare" and "natural" is changed by animal rights to mean the "feelings" of the animal (affective state) and natural to mean only positive behaviour traits.

Involvement in domestic violence will lead one to become an animal abuser and vice versa 

Making the correlation between domestic violence and animal abuse doesn't assume one causes the other. It's no surprise that there are offenders that commit both, however one may end up in prison for violence, but does not necessarily mistreat animals. An animal abuser may end up jail, but does not commit violence crimes against people. Correlation equals causation: we think not.

Vegan food is healthier. 

Diets are a personal matter, it is definitely not one sizes fits all. Highly restrictive diets for omnivores can have its own issues.

The American Medical Association, which calls its dietary recommendations of P.E.T.A (vegan) "irresponsible and potentially dangerous to the health and welfare of Americans"

Organic Food is healthier and better for the environment. 

See Organic

 

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