The Comments Section (and more on Chipotle)

I'm having a bad day.

Not like a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad day where everything goes wrong. Just a day where I got on the interweb and lost all faith in humanity.

You want to know what got to me?

The comments section.

I don't know why I do it! But when I read an intriguing article I always go down the discussion section and spend far too much time reading what other people got from the article. As a writer I find it intriguing to see how other people's reactions differ from my own after enjoying the written word.

However, as an intellectual and agriculturalist some people's reactions I can describe only with a *facepalm*

You may have heard they hype about Chipotle sourcing beef from Australia. Right now my emotions make me want to go burn the nearest restaurant, organize a protest and tell them to have a bloody good time eating beef from down under.

They say that burrito is "local farm supporting"

Sure if by "local" you mean Australia.

See I told you the comments section is bad for me.

On the comments section of the Huffington Post article where Chipotle CEO Steve Ells makes this announcement about sourcing beef from Australia, people tell a girl raised on a beef cattle operation she doesn't know what she's talking about. They also attempt to discuss grass-fed pork (don't even get me started on this one) and a chiropractor tries to disguise himself as a medical practitioner. They throw around words like "rumen" and discuss how cows were meant to eat grass (can we just take a moment and appreciate that CORN IS A GRASS. IT'S A FREAKING DOMESTICATED GRASS PEOPLE).

Seeing discussion like this makes me want to throw in the towel. It makes me think "Why the heck do I go to work every day if this is what you think about our industry?"

It makes it extremely easy to lose heart and faith in what I am doing.

It also makes me think people are really stupid. (again, grass. fed. pork.)

But it is also a reminder of how desperately the agriculture industry needs communicators. We need educators and we need people with open minds and a lot of patience to explain how food is produced.

Because for the most part, it's not these people's fault that they don't know that a pig is not a ruminant animal and instead has a monogastric intestinal system so pigs weren't designed to eat grass. They aren't stupid, they just don't know.

It's not their fault that they haven't been exposed to industrial agriculture and never had an interest in taking agriculture courses. I can't be angry with people who haven't had the opportunity to learn about our food system in the way that I have.

However, I can provide opportunities and so can you.

It's not about winning an argument but having a discussion. It's about opening a door and providing an opportunity that they can choose to take or not. It's not going to be easy but for those of us who have the knowledge, it is our responsibility to share it.

So keep calm, find some comic relief and let's embrace opportunities to agvocate on.

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