It’s true to say that most people – vegan or not – have never been to a farm, but while 48 percent of Americans say they never or rarely seek information about where their food was grown or how it was produced,1 vegans tend to go out of their way to find out about food production.
They read books, newspapers, scientific journals and articles, and watch documentaries and news stories about farming. Even though it is not always pleasant to watch and can be deeply upsetting, they face the reality of farming and slaughter, and that reality informs their decision about what they want to eat. As a result, vegans tend to know more about animal farms than most people.
And far from knowing nothing, an increasing number of people who were once animal farmers are becoming vegan and telling the world what farming means for animals. Howard Lyman, a fourth-generation cattle farmer from Montana, Harold Brown, a beef and dairy farmer from Michigan, and Bob Comis, a pig and sheep farmer from New York state have all switched from growing animals to plants. They – and many others – speak out regularly about how animals suffer on farms and why plant-based is the future. With so many more farmers now expressing an interest in making this change, The Rancher Advocacy Program has been established to advise and support them.
Vegans tend to be very well educated about modern farming practices and know a lot more than the average man or woman in the street. The real problem for the industry may actually be that vegans know too much, rather than too little.
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