Printed in Feedstuffs Oct 21, 2006
FFA students leading the charge
It is truly amazing that we live in what is considered to be the information age but some of us still struggle to get access to enough credible information to make an informed decision. The 79th National FFA Convention is taking place this week in Indianapolis. Carrie Underwood is scheduled to perform on Wednesday night at what is being called the “Mega Concert.” The concert is sponsored by RFD TV and the National FFA Convention. Someone needs to explain to me why the National FFA organization would allow anyone to perform who has openly promoted an end to animal agriculture.
Yes, this 2005 American Idol star is very open about her agenda to end animal agriculture. In fact, she has been quoted as saying, “Eating meat weirds me out” and she said she would much rather to sing to cows than eat them. In a live discussion posted on the website of the Washington Post in January 2006, Underwood admitted that she regularly works with Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and frequently donates clothes to be auctioned off to assist with fund raising. In February 2006, she was involved in a stamp promotion for the financial benefit of the HSUS. The HSUS logo is prominently displayed on the home page of her website.
I would hope that by now it is not news to anybody that HSUS has a direct mission to abolish animal agriculture and end hunting in this country. As recently as last week Miyun Park, Vice President of Farm Animal Welfare, openly stated their mission: “to get rid of the industry”. The Center for Consumer Freedom reports HSUS’s true mission is to spend millions on programs that seek to economically cripple meat and dairy producers; eliminate the use of animals in biomedical research labs; phase out pet breeding, zoos, and circus animal acts; and demonize hunters as crazed lunatics. Does anyone that helps with fund raising for an organization that is openly against food animal production qualify to perform to our nation’s premiere agricultural organization?
A friend of mine was working in the hospitality area for a summer music concert here in Nebraska called the Comstock Windmill festival. This party in the pasture has truly become a “Who’s Who” of country music. Carrie Underwood was scheduled to perform at this year’s event. One hour before her arrival she phoned to ensure that she would not be subjected to any of the sights or sounds of the bull riding event that was taking place. The chef for the entertainer’s hospitality tent was told that Ms. Underwood demanded a vegetarian buffet. He felt compelled to offer chicken breast in addition to the vegetarian entrees. My friend witnessed Underwood picking up the cover to the chicken breast and going into a tirade that would rival that of a terrible-two-year-old. If that wasn’t enough, she took the stage in fit of rage and suggested to the crowd, standing in the middle of a cow pasture, that everyone should convert to vegetarian diet.
Let’s just say that in a state like Nebraska, where cows outnumber people four to one, her suggestion was not very well received. Our mothers may have taught us that booing is not polite but there comes a point in time when stupidity should be greeted with the appropriate response. My friend said that she had voted for Underwood on American Idol and she wished she had the opportunity to do it all over again because she lost all respect for this entertainer. On a positive note, Trick Pony was the next act to perform and their “eat more beef” message was received with applause that would have put to shame any home crowd after a Super Bowl win.
We all live in the United States of America where we have the right to choose. I am not trying to stymie anybody’s right to choose to be a vegetarian. I am simply saying that the National FFA should have researched the situation a little more thoroughly before hiring her to perform. In fact, I have now been told that some of the executives were a little suspicious of her strange demands such as the 10 black towels that had to be imported from France for her performance. Further investigation into this matter reveals that the powers that be in the National FFA organization are threatening chapters that oppose supporting Underwood in concert. They fear that the organization will not be able to stand the $100,000 fee they are contracted to pay her if tickets aren’t sold to fill seats at the concert.
Aside from all of the emotion that we in animal agriculture interject into a scenario like this, Underwood needs be versed on the benefits of animal protein in the diet. Research studies continue to confirm that meat from animals is necessary for cognitive development in children. It is my goal that before entertainers, with no expertise in the area of nutrition, give dietary advise to our nation’s youth, we tell them to live their own lives and leave our children’s nutrition to the experts.
I have faith that the nations youth involved in agriculture will not take this lying down. In fact a campaign against Underwood’s concert started at South Dakota State University. Without bankrupting the national organization, the students will encourage FFA members to attend the first two portions of the concert and walk out when Underwood is introduced. Sure Underwood has a right to assist animal rights groups that want to abolish animal agriculture but those students who walk out on her concert will be sending her a message about their rights as well. They have a right to say, “L” is for “Leave Country Carrie!” What better way to express their support for an industry that they truly believe in!