The Animal Agriculture Alliance recently released a new campaign highlighting the importance of animal protein in a healthy, balanced diet. The Meat Matters campaign includes a webpage with fast facts and resources along with an eye-catching Meat Matters guide, social media graphics and a pledge encouraging participants to tell their friends why they believe meat matters. The campaign works to debunk myths and misinformation spread by groups that push for a meatless diet.
Online food fight?
On the third day of the campaign we caught the animal rights activists’ attention on Twitter and were slammed with every vulgar word you could think of. The hateful language came in all at once from about five different accounts and lasted an hour before the food fight was over. A few days later hateful comments started pouring in on our Instagram. I couldn’t actually hear what they were saying, but the tone made you want to cover your ears…because we all know complaining loudly gives you instant credibility, right?
The Meat Matters campaign is about consumer choice. The choice for you and I to have the ability to choose what types of foods we want to include in our diets. If we want to include lean, protein-packed meat alongside our veggies then we should have the choice to do so and feel confident about our choice. If others don’t want to eat meat, then they should have the choice to do so as well without pushing their beliefs onto others.
In a social media food fight it can be tempting to lose your temper or even forfeit to avoid the stress, but it is important to stand your ground, remain passionate and positive about agriculture.
One person who has experienced one of the most intense backlash from activists is the Canadian dairy farmer behind the “farm365” hashtag. His name is Andrew Campbell and his goal was to share his daily experiences as a dairy farmer and drive conversations with consumers about agriculture and food. Campbell was shocked by the response he received, with thousands of other farmers from around the world joining in and using the hashtag to share their own stories.
Campbell’s effort quickly drew the attention of animal rights activists, and the #farm365 hashtag was flooded with gruesome images, misinformation and lies about animal agriculture. Despite the online harassment and direct threats, Campbell refused to forfeit and lose sight of his mission. He continued to post positive and engaging photos every day of 2015. Campbell will be speaking at our annual Stakeholders Summit this May to share his experience and advice on social media engagement.
So remember, no matter how messy the food fight might get, keep calm and agvocate on!