Jan. 15 2020 08:45 AM

    Live it; don’t preach it. Scare tactics are harmful to all of us.

    We all know that PETA has an affinity for fabricated and overexaggerated photos, videos, and situations to make every farmer look evil. It relies on celebrity endorsements and donations from people who think its goal is to end animal cruelty. Most people have no idea that its actual agenda is to end all human/animal interaction.

    PETA doesn’t want your sweet 83-year-old neighbor who lives alone to have a cat. PETA wants us all to open our doors and gates and let the animals run free. I mean, I can only think of 323,497 problems with that plan. But honestly, one of its newer campaigns really crosses a line for me. It is pushing the photo below at kids to make them think dairy is gross. And honestly, how dare they?

    I don’t have kids, but it doesn’t take a doctorate degree to understand how picky they can be when it comes to food. It’s hard enough to make sure toddlers get all the nutrients they need in a day without self-serving organizations scaring them with ridiculous graphics like this one.

    Even if they’re not picky eaters, today they may love mac and cheese but tomorrow they won’t eat yellow foods. There’s no logic to it, they’re children. Scaring a child, or shaming a parent, into removing an entire food group from kids’ plates is immoral and inexcusable. Besides, when did shaming someone into doing something ever work toward a long-term solution?

    The photo implies that foods that can spoil are gross. And now I’m really confused. Foods that can spoil are the most natural foods we eat. Think about a food that can’t spoil. I always go directly to marshmallows. I think of them as the cockroach of the food world; if any food would survive a nuclear blast, it’d be marshmallows. They may be the most manufactured food on the planet. That bag you found in the back of your pantry from 2004 is still as good as the day you bought it.

    Dairy products don’t last that long. Meat doesn’t last that long. Vegetables don’t last that long. Because they’re fresh; they’re natural. In a time when everyone’s trying to eat healthier, do you really want to take some of the most natural foods we eat off the table? I could make a graphic filled with rotten looking vegetables and scare kids into never eating cucumbers again, but why?

    If you really want to change minds, try living your life in a way that people want to follow. Be kind, thoughtful, and entertaining. Be a person who people want to be. Don’t shove your agenda down my throat or try to scare me into believing what you believe. Live it; don’t preach it.

    Jessica Peters

    The author dairies in partnership with her parents and brother at Spruce Row Farm in Pennsylvania. Jessica is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, and since 2015, she has been active in promoting dairy in her local community. You can find her and her 250 Jersey cows on Facebook at Spruce Row Dairy or on Instagram at @seejessfarm.