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3 Ways Ag Responded To CMT’s Meat-Free Call To Action

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CMT calls for listeners to go meatless in a tweet. Agriculture responds, but did we do it effectively?

I’ve long been a fan of country music. Real country represents hard-working, down-to-earth, dirt-road-living Americans like many of us in agriculture. From the classics like Johnny Cash and Loretta Lynn, to '90s crooners like Garth Brooks and George Strait, to modern-day country artists like Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert, these folks help tell the stories of everyday people like you and me. There’s nothing like working in the barn or riding in the tractor and hearing a song about your life on the radio. That’s what country music does.

It’s unfortunate to see country music lose its roots with the likes of vegan princess Carrie Underwood and waif-thin, serial dater Taylor Swift, who are simply singing pop music in the country genre. But I’m even more disappointed to see that the channels that support these artists are losing their cool, as well.

Yesterday, CMT tweeted, “Happy #WorldVegetarianDay! Can you go meat-free today or did you already eat bacon? Either way, our #CMTvideos are on now & delish!”

I’m sure the folks at CMT didn’t realize the backlash they would receive by asking folks about going meatless, but that’s exactly what happened as the agricultural community responded with gusto. Here are three ways the industry responded and my thoughts on the most constructive tweets from members of our ranching community.

1. Calling for a ban or a boycott.

This probably wasn’t the most productive way to get our message across. Many tweets were demanding a boycott of CMT as a result of this tweet, but I think it makes us come across as angry vigilantes. The tweet, while insulting, wasn’t malicious.

In response to one tweet about a ban, CMT responded with, “We gave both options in a fun tweet. We love all eating choices and appreciate ranching families.”

I think CMT got the message without a boycott. Ranching families are clearly the fan base of many country artists. Not supporting these folks isn’t the brightest idea.

2. Encouraging folks to eat meat for your health.

Instead of slinging mud or reacting in an angry fashion, many tried to reframe the conversation to talk about the healthfulness of meat in the diet. I thought this was effective.

@AgUnited4SD tweeted, “Today is the start of October Pork month. Maybe you should celebrate that and farm families raising our bacon instead?!?!”

@DosterJohn wrote, “Now come on, watching #CMTvideos is like eating a juicy ribeye not sautéed tofu!”

@BrandiBuzzard writes, “Dairy, meat and protein are smart choices.”

@AgProudRyan tweeteed, “Meat is a nutrient dense, low calorie source of essential nutrients.”

3. Reminding folks about America’s farmers and ranchers.

The West wasn’t won on a salad. I think it was great to see folks talk about the impact farmers and ranchers have on the U.S. economy, as well as how they are the backbone of this nation.

Caci Nance (@scfarmwife) tweeted, “Going meatless has a negative impact on our economy. 105,589,667lbs of meat not consumed! That figure is if everyone in the U.S. doesn't eat 5 oz of meat/day. Translated into $ it's $235,464,957 in lost income/day.”

@CelesteHarned wrote, “Really? Has @blakeshelton seen this?! I'm ashamed of you CMT for promoting going veg & turning your back on farmers & ranchers!”

@AnnaLPeek tweeted, “@CMT Why not support the hard working rural Americans who raise our nations protein? A good share of country music listeners.”

How did you respond to this tweet? Now that you know about it, will you respond and how? Which tweets were the most constructive? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

And just for fun, here is a great blog post listing 7 reasons to never quit eating meat.

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Discuss this Blog Entry 11

Russ. (not verified)
on Oct 3, 2013

Are we being too sensitive. I raise beef and barely eat anything but beef. But who do you think raises the vegetables that the vegans eat.....farmers right?

on Oct 3, 2013

Good point Russ, and most Farmers also raise some cattle. I think the beef industry is just so sick of being slammed. It just seems to be coming from every direction and ranchers are some of the most hard working unappreciated people in the U.S right now. However I do believe there are more meat eating country singers than not and I figure people like Blake Shelton will probably voice their opinions about this and CMT will have to take notice and say whoops!!

Frank Schlichting (not verified)
on Oct 3, 2013

We raise beef and mostly eat moose.........why not they are in the backyard and are free? The article goes to show how little city folks have in common with those that live in the country. Just because you wear a cowboy hat and sing whinney songs to simple music doesn't make a "cowboy" I have lived in the country all my life and raised cattle yet I don't own a cowboy hat or listen to country music. I find it too depressing.

Lee K (not verified)
on Oct 3, 2013

Just shut up and sing! I don't care what there political views are I don't care what you eat I don't care who or what you sleep with. I am not going to change my views or my lifestyle for an entertainer for anyone as an entertainer you have one job entertain me once you no longer do that I have no use for you and the more ignorant things you say as an entertainer the less I pay attention. I is simple I didn't need you before you became an entertainer I certainly won't miss you we I turn the radio or the TV off.
Most of the entertainers believe they are more important than they are, It's not like if you don't get your daily entertainment you will die! with out food you will die! Maybe instead of constantly pounding on the farmers and the ranchers that put there heart and sole into producing the best product available to the world you show us the respect we deserve. Never mind the fact that our kids have a better moral upbringing and a better work ethic than almost any other profession, I one of our kids goes to apply for a job the farm kid will usually get the job because they know how to apply themselves they don't have to be shown how to work. I ask you what would you prefer an entertainer who does nothing more than talk of a family that lives and works together tword an actual achievable goal?

on Oct 3, 2013

Stopped watching CMT long ago because the music they play now stinks. Just another reason to keep the radio on instead.

Jimmy Parham (not verified)
on Oct 3, 2013

CMT sux even more now than it did before. Stick to playing music. Leave politics alone when you don't have any idea what you are talking about. Who cares what these little know nothing girls think. They have no idea what is like to farm or even live in the country.

Thom Katt (not verified)
on Oct 3, 2013

CMT is owned by the MTV Networks Music & Logo Group. That connection pretty much garuntees staff at CMT is going to lean toward direction of the bed wetting liberals where you will find many more vegetarians. As agriculture becomes more efficient, agrarians shrink as a portion of society. Thus we must all become more vocal or face being margianlized to the detriment of mankind. "For the first time in history, we have to fight them to feed them" Scott Hays, President, Missouri Pork Association.

on Oct 4, 2013

It's the typical hs from people who are in positions in business's that have no concept of real life. They tend to follow blindly ideological trends of the day thus becoming so misguided (and misguiding youth along the way) that they loose any sensible reasoning capability. Makes me sick every time I read about another public figure or media misguiding young people down the wrong road.

m.l.slender (not verified)
on Oct 5, 2013

They may not eat beef, but they don't hesitate to smear by products from cattle all over their faces. Make-up is a by product. Did they brush their teeth? By products from cattle are in toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, medicine,syringes, tires, the list is endless. God Bless cattle!!

Bea Elliott (not verified)
on Oct 6, 2013

Hi m.I.slender - Just to clear up a misnomer - There are thousands of alternative health and beauty products that are made specifically without the use of animal/slaughterhouse remains and/or experiments and testing. And maybe too, because vegetables and fruits help add that healthy-glow, there's no need to "smear" packinghouse waste onto one's face?

on Oct 6, 2013

One segment of the Ag community cannot fight other sectors or we all lose. Beef, chicken, pork, and turkey producers have to support GMO crop producers and organic farmers and ranchers as one inter-connected system of food production. What we cannot allow is mis-information and downright libel from by people who are ignorant of the relevant facts. Education has to be the order of the day for all sectors of American Agriculture.

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BEEF Daily Blog is produced by rancher Amanda Radke, one of the U.S. beef industry’s top social media “agvocates.”

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Amanda Radke

A fifth-generation rancher from Mitchell, SD, Amanda grew up on a purebred Limousin cattle operation in which she and husband Tyler are active. She graduated with a degree in agriculture journalism...

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