We’ve all heard the phrase, “there’s no such thing as a stupid question.” It suggests that just because one person may know less than others about a topic, they should not be afraid to ask. The person who has the courage to ask may be doing a service to many others who are too timid to ask.
People today have many questions about where their food comes from. Curiosity is the driver that leads people to explore, ask questions, and ultimately to understand something new. During my more than two decades as a veterinarian, I’ve come to realize how much I enjoy helping satisfy peoples’ curiosity about animal agriculture. That’s part of my job now and that’s my message today: I’d like to hear from you.
You have a right to honest answers to questions about food production. I understand that the consolidation, integration and application of technology in the food system prompts questions. Does the technology used now compared to decades ago actually benefit society? How have the changes affected animal care and agriculture’s environmental footprint? I’d like to be a resource in providing answers to your questions, based on my experience as a veterinarian, as a mother focused on providing healthy meals to my family, and on solid data.
Public interest in protein consumption is skyrocketing and we depend on animals for protein more than any other source, so it’s important for you to have access to information about how meat. milk and eggs are produced. Data from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey show how important food animals are to our protein intake. 46 percent of the total protein intake of survey participants was meat and eggs. If we add dairy, it jumps to 62 percent. So, we have an obligation to ensure the animals we depend upon are ethically cared for and to minimize animal agriculture’s environmental footprint.
Animal nutritional products, vaccines and antibiotics play a role in ethical care, along with appropriate feed, housing and transportation. Animal care is evolving in some really positive ways and everyone deserves a window into that evolution. My job gives me the opportunity to help the public, our customers, and stakeholders better understand animal care and the products used to aid animal health.
Why am I willing to take on any question? Because a healthy, affordable food supply is important to all of us. In fact, I first aspired to be a veterinarian after seeing firsthand the hunger and malnutrition overseas. I loved working with animals and knew my calling was to help address hunger. Now I believe my calling has expanded to increase understanding of the food system and specifically of our main source of protein – meat, eggs and dairy. I appreciate the opportunity and remain committed to an open, honest dialogue. Why should you trust me to tell the truth? Well, you’ll have to be the judge of that, but if you ever have reason to doubt it because of something I’ve said or written, I’d like to hear from you. I will never intentionally mislead or misinform anyone. If you’d like to learn more about me or my job, I share my story in the video below.
See more videos here.