Letters to the editor

Time for a fact check

I was dismayed at the callousness and complete lack of regard towards farmers, farming families and farming communities, demonstrated by D. Bellamy (BT, Aug 15) purportedly on behalf of the PETA organisation.

Even worse was his complete ignorance of the wider farming industries. I have been a beef cattle farmer for more than 50 years, far longer than PETA has been in existence. 

I have known farmers and their families from many areas of Australia and I feel I, like my farming peers, are better placed to comment intelligently and honestly about farming practices, particularly sustainability and eco-friendly practices.

A quick look at Mr Bellamy’s LinkedIn profile shows that his background is that of an academic and not a man who has spent any time on the land or breaking his back with farm work.

Firstly, animal production cannot single handedly be held accountable for climate change.

To suggest so is disingenuous and Mr Bellamy uses it to step firmly onto his soap box and denounce an industry he has no knowledge of. 

It is well established that the dominant contributor to climate change is fossil fuel combustion, an element glaringly absent from animal production. Disregarding this fact, Mr Bellamy then uses his circular argument to come up with his preposterous theory – animal production causes climate change which then causes droughts, fires and floods.  

Then, to delve even further into the realms of ludicrousness, Mr Bellamy suggests that consumption of meat, milk or eggs causes a number of health issues. What rubbish – poor diet and a lack of exercise, stress and lifestyle choices cause these same health issues. 

While Mr Bellamy may be a doctor of philosophy, he does not seem to be qualified to offer expert medical evidence on this subject, although that does not seem to hinder him.

Mr Bellamy, to cement his lack of knowledge and malice, accuses the long-suffering farmers of crying “floods of hypocritical tears”.  Mr Bellamy clearly has no idea of the hardship suffered by farmers, the mental and physical toll of a natural disaster and the flow on effects for their families and the farming communities. 

Mr Bellamy has clearly not had to actually watch animals suffer before his eyes and be helpless to save them.

He has not had to watch local stores and suppliers close shop because the farmers can no longer afford to pay. 

He has not seen basic services withdrawn from farming communities, as families, devasted by natural disaster, give up hope and move away.

Farmers are generally the last group to put their hand out for assistance from the government. We are proud people and we look out for our own. 

In rural communities, we help each other and we do what we can to be self-sustaining but sometimes our best efforts are not enough and farmers should not be made to feel guilty or greedy for accepting the payments the government offers, which, in most cases will be too little, too late.

To add final insult to injury, Mr Bellamy then postulates that those hardworking farmers who keep trying to rebuild their lives after a natural disaster should be charged. 

Thankfully, there is no such law in Australia. For Mr Bellamy, he should be equally thankful that there is no criminal charge for inanity.

- D.Hardgrave, Barney View

D. Bellamy from PETA  – I got to the end of your second paragraph then the four letter word PETA caught my eye, I yawned over the rest of the drivel then proceeded to take a big bite out of my delicious steak with my pearly whites that were put in my head for the very thing. Could only chuckle at what the poor thing is missing out on in life, no wonder they are bitter.

- B. Oppermann, Veresdale Scrub

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