Why Doesn't The Mainstream Media Report On Animal Rights Issues?

Animal rights issues impact animals, the environment, and human health. So why aren't they covered as widely in the media?
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Animals are suffering - yet the mainstream media largely ignores it (Photo: Adobe. Do not use without permission)

Animals are suffering - yet the mainstream media largely ignores it (Photo: Adobe. Do not use without permission)

Stories about animal rights and welfare issues don’t get the coverage from mainstream media they deserve. 

Many people don’t truly comprehend the extent of how animal agriculture impacts our lives and the lives of trillions of animals every single year.

Big ag and factory farms are profiting at the expense of animal suffering, human health, and the degradation of natural ecosystems and our environment.

Our current food system is the biggest contributor to climate change yet most people are unable to make that connection.

Media reporting

One of the reasons people don’t truly understand the global impact of factory farming is because the issues surrounding it don’t get the mainstream coverage needed to educate consumers that don’t pay attention to animal rights issues.

Before the film Cowspiracy came out, most people never even considered a connection existed. The idea that someone's dietary choices and purchases at the grocery store directly impacted climate change never crossed their minds. And why would it have?

Even the most prominent organizations in the world dealing with environmental and health issues neglected to discuss the connection between the consumption of meat and its dire impact on everything surrounding us.

So why has the topic been ignored by a vast majority of traditional media outlets?

Culpability

While The Guardian has done a fantastic job highlighting the impact meat and dairy have on the environment, why do most other organizations - even ones that cover climate change issues - ignore the fact that our current food system is one of the main culprits?

It’s quite simple really.

People don’t want to feel culpable. No one wants to be forced to self reflect or accept that their actions are contributing to the problem. And if the mainstream media started covering these issues, that’s exactly what will happen.

Viewers will be forced to ask themselves uncomfortable questions and the feelings of guilt and shame will be directed at the media for making them come to grips with the difficult reality that their choices at the dinner table actually matter.

In a digital world that is over-saturated with content and a population with so many choices for information that our attention spans are now extremely limited, organizations that rely on advertising dollars (based on traffic and clicks) can’t afford to lose readers because of content that makes them feel bad about their choices and actions.

If that happens, the readers might not come back.

Time for change

It doesn’t have to be that way and content doesn’t need to be created to shame people into change. Educating people with facts, data, and reality-based content is what will slowly but surely change the tide and bring about real change.

With plant-based consumption on the rise, people are now more willing than ever before to consider altering their diets and habits. As more food companies create products that satisfy the needs and habits of large populations, the demand for actual meat will go down as new products become more scalable and undercut the prices that meat-eaters are used to paying for their food.

If you stop to think of all the progress made in the plant-based food industry just in the past five years alone, you’ll realize we are rocketing toward a world where animal agriculture will be obsolete. Combine the growing popularity (and acceptance) of plant-based meats with the imminent arrival of clean meat, and the reality of animal agriculture coming to an end is more real than ever before.

Getting there more quickly

It may not seem fast enough for some activists who demand animal liberation now, but the conversation (and consumption!) of plant-based foods is now happening by people that never would have dreamed of enjoying veggie burgers just one generation ago.

This widespread and growing acceptance will lead to people being more willing to learn more about the reasons why plant-based living is becoming more popular. 

Change is happening and it’s happening quickly.

And with more and more media organizations willing to discuss the cause in an open, relatable way that doesn’t shame people for their choices but educates them into making better ones, we will be able to get there even faster. 

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