Nutrition: The Next Activist Battleground?

Supply chain challenges, client misconceptions, animal rights activism…the obstacles the animal agriculture group faces are appreciable, and I spend most of my time in these columns specializing in them. At our current Virtual Stakeholders Summit, the Animal Ag Alliance determined to deal with how we are able to flip these obstacles into alternatives to safe a shiny future for animal agriculture. 

One of the alternatives that got here up just a few occasions all through numerous discussions was the necessity to higher articulate the distinctive dietary worth of meat, poultry, dairy and eggs. With a lot dialog round sustainable diet and a few voices calling for everybody to ditch meat to save lots of the planet, all of us have to get extra comfy speaking about diet. 

“My diet courses taught me that animal-source meals provide high-quality protein and bioavailable Vitamin A, Vitamin D3, B12, iron, iodine, zinc, calcium, folic acid and key important fatty acids that may be domestically troublesome to realize in ample portions from plant-source meals alone,” famous Alison Van Eenennaam, PhD, UC-Davis, in her Virtual Summit session about how animal agriculture can extra successfully talk its worth amidst the rise in various protein choices. 

Registered dietitian Kim Kirchherr additionally spoke about diet in meals selections, stating, “Think about worth and values… what are folks getting for the {dollars} that they are spending and the energy that they are consuming?”

Animal proteins are a dietary powerhouse, and we now have to have the ability to clarify that to customers on the lookout for wholesome, nutritious choices – particularly with a lot misinformation on the market. The significance of that is underscored by a current research stating that after being proven content material supposed to make them really feel responsible about meat, individuals nonetheless selected to devour meals with meat – they simply selected more healthy meat choices (grilled vs. fried hen, for instance). 

One of the research’s authors defined, “Research reveals that when our ethical requirements and self-serving needs come into battle, our self-interest usually wins. As we discovered, when folks really feel responsible over animal welfare points, they don’t are likely to keep away from meat — as an alternative, they go along with a more healthy choice to justify their way of life.” 

Claims that animal welfare is one thing folks ought to really feel responsible about apart, this research illustrates how necessary diet is in customers’ meals selections and why we’d like to ensure we’re reaffirming their beliefs about meat’s function in a nutritious diet. 

The research’s authors concluded “messages [from those hoping to curb meat consumption] ought to concurrently induce guilt by highlighting animals’ humanlike emotions and counteract in style beliefs about meat’s dietary worth.” I’m certain we’ll see activist teams settle for that problem and focus extra on messaging about diet, which implies we have to do the identical. 

More from Hannah Thompson-Weeman:

Stand Up For Animal Ag: Policies Loom That Could Impact Your Farm

Get Ready to Step Up Sustainability Efforts This Year

What’s Next for Animal Activism in 2021 and What Can We Do About It?

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