Perspective: Why my ‘Eat Beef’ messaging isn’t filling anymore


Agriculture advocacy can often sense like going for walks on slender ice. We under no circumstances know what messaging will resonate with shoppers, a lot less if anything we come to feel passionate about will offend someone and avoid an open up conversation from currently being had.

As advocates, we have to have an understanding of that the way we talk and converse with many others really should not be the very same as everybody else. How are we to reach the assorted purchaser base we have if we all inform the correct similar story?

We must be respectful of the fact that not every person has the similar perspective, and we should really refrain from preaching or criticizing much too harshly about the dos and don’ts of advocacy to other people who are simply just hoping to share their journey in agriculture. That is why I no more time use the term “Eat Beef” in my advocacy. But it’s not that I do not approve of people today employing it (heck, my social media channel is termed Ladies Consume Beef Much too) — I only truly feel that I want to be extra powerful in my communication, and this is what I have picked to change about my messaging.

To begin with, I know this may well stir up some impassioned emotions. “Eat Beef” is not derogatory, and unquestionably is not offensive by any stretch of the creativity. It just simply doesn’t fit with my narrative as an advocate any longer, and in this article is why:

I did not eat meat a lot rising up. I ate it because my mom or dad cooked it, but I definitely did not enjoy the style of meat when I was more youthful. Even nevertheless, I have days when I don’t want meat. I want veggies and rice, or I just want shrimp or other proteins. As a newbie rancher and beef advocate, ironically, I really don’t normally have beef on my plate.

Graphic courtesy of Markie Hageman

A further reason I have is that some people do not have access to the beef that I do or that you do. There are a whole lot of explanations a mother, or a solitary college or university guy, does not go out and obtain beef for foods. It’s possible it’s too expensive it’s possible they really do not have the indicates to cook it correctly perhaps they can only afford to pay for Major Ramen this week or it’s possible their young ones will not take in it and food stuff squander is a true issue, so why deal with it?

We don’t know our consumers’ everyday living stories. We presume everybody eats beef like we do. But, that is completely completely wrong.

To me, utilizing the phrase “Eat Beef” feels like a directive. It puts force on people to acquire beef since that is the only way they can assist the marketplace. It makes it feel like that is the only very good option they have at the grocery shop. It may location disgrace on folks for their possibilities that they are completely cost-free to make — a little something activists like to do to meat eaters, and I never want to stoop to their degree.

Do people actually come to feel this way? Maybe not. But I really don’t want to risk chasing away a properly fine opportunity to have a successful dialogue with an individual only simply because I informed them to try to eat the protein of my selecting. There is presently enough disconnect involving the producer and consumer that I really do not want to muddy the waters any even more.

Do I want you to eat beef? Indeed! Completely! But, if you never want to try to eat it, then I won’t dictate your eating plan. Do I hope you assist our group even if you really don’t take in beef? Sure … this is something I do want to press for far more. I want far more persons to support other people’s selections, even if it is not just one they would individually make.

If you are passionate about telling people to “Eat Beef,” then, by all signifies, do not halt it for the reason that of this short article (I am not the beef advocacy police), but I hope this aids some individuals to comprehend my standpoint and why I am individually picking to eliminate it from my messaging.

Markie Hageman majored in agribusiness at Fort Hays State College. She is actively associated in her point out Cattlemen’s Association, Youthful Farmers chapter, and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. Her articles can be found here.

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