A cattle rancher has written an open letter claiming that ranching is 'based on compassion'.
The piece, which was published in Beef Magazine, refers to a previous article she wrote, listing business moguls who have invested in plant-based products - for example Richard Branson and Bill Gates.
She claimed these items - including clean meat and vegan clothes - are 'based on elitist ideologies and the misguided notion that beef production is not sustainable'.
According to the writer, she was sent hate mail following the publication of this article.
She allegedly received an email saying: "How much longer can you people stay unconscious to the bloody, disgusting and cruel industry you’re in?
"The end IS near. Just go away quietly and stop lying about the unsustainable business you are in.
"Can I hang you by your leg and watch you bleed to death for the last moments of your life? Please tell me.
"Bye and may you all rest in peace and grow a heart with some compassion for animals. If you know what compassion is."
'In the right'
The rancher interpreted the frustration and hurt expressed by vegans towards the systematic killing of animals as a sign she is 'on the right track'.
She added: "Because someone is telling these individuals that they may have been told a lie.
"Someone is brave enough to stand up to the propagandists who are making money from fear mongering and dramatization of an industry they know nothing about.
"And it makes them so mad. It backs them into a corner, and they tend to lash out with violence, not the compassion they try to pretend they are filled with."
The rancher says vegans do not value human life, saying: "How could they when they are willing to talk to a total stranger the way they do...
"I’m a cattle rancher and am unapologetically so.
"I’m compassionate to my core."
The email the rancher claims to receive (if she did indeed receive 'hate mail') contains strongly-held arguments in language which is not conducive to either side understanding each other.
I would argue that this kind of email doesn't further any cause, rather gives people ammunition for their arguments.
Vegans do not hate farmers; they hate animal exploitation.
This is why claims of compassion from someone who makes a living by exploiting and killing animals is so obscene.
Despite many farmers being asked, none have answered this core question: How can you justify killing someone you claim to care about?
Livestock is a product to farmers. If they take care of the animals (and many don't) it is because they stand to profit more from an animal in better condition.
More and more people are waking up to the fact that there is no 'humane' killing - and ending an animal's life to make money is morally abhorrent.
This is why those implicit in the abuse, exploitation, and death will gratefully hang on to emails like the one above - it gives them an opportunity to play the victim.
The recent outpouring by farmers against veganism is a clear sign that times are changing - one day our descendants will surely look back in horror at animal farming - one of humanity's greatest ethical crimes.