Tails for Tails Is Irritating, But Smart

Prairie Gleanings

Should ag start bending the truth like HSUS and PETA?

Published on: February 5, 2010

Man, that Humane Society of the United States is sneaky. Even though they irritate me to no end, I have to admit, they're smart.


In January, they entered into a partnership with Yellow Tail wine in what they're calling the "Tails for Tails" campaign. Essentially, Yellow Tail is marking bottles with a note that a percent of the purchase price will go toward HSUS to help save animals.


In the news release, HSUS does a great job of skirting the animal agriculture issue. The word agriculture never appears. Instead, they speak of using the money to help save pets.


I'm not much of a wine drinker, but I know a few. I think this campaign will resonate very well with the average wine consumer. Most are probably upper to middle class, well educated, concerned about the environment, and, above all, willing to support a "good" cause.


For those of us in ag, it's tough to combat this type of campaign. We're too honest. Should we start bending the truth a bit?


Check out this ad from Daisy sour cream (www.daisybrand.com/daisy-downloads/daisy-on-tv.aspx). Note the dairy farm representation: red barn, Holsteins grazing in a sunny pasture and absolutely no shots of a milking parlor. The only correct bit seems to be the semi truck.


It's a majestic picture, but it's just not realistic when compared with today's milk production methods. Is this how we should combat groups like HSUS? After all, it shows some of the truth, but not all of it. HSUS and PETA don't tell the whole truth. They give people what they want: warm fuzzy feelings about saving pets.


Should we give folks warm fuzzy feelings about farming? Maybe they'd be better off thinking John Deere tractors run on smiles and sunshine, not diesel.


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