Why the media doesn’t talk about animal rights

Many people do not fully understand how animal husbandry affects our lives and the lives of trillions of animals every year. Our current food system is the biggest contributor to climate change, yet most people fail to make that connection.

One of the reasons people don’t understand the global impact of factory farming is that the issues associated with it don’t receive the broad coverage needed to educate consumers who don’t pay enough attention to animal rights issues.

Until the release of the movie Cattleplot, most people did not even think about the existence of a connection. The idea that one’s dietary choices and grocery shopping directly affects climate change never crossed their minds. And why would it?

Even the most prominent environmental and health organizations in the world have forgotten to discuss the link between meat consumption and its negative impact on everything around us.

While The Guardian has done a fantastic job highlighting the environmental impact of meat and milk, most other organizations – even those that focus on climate change – ignore the meat industry. So why is this topic left without the attention of the vast majority of mainstream media?

In fact, everything is simple. People don’t want to feel guilty. No one wants to be forced to think or admit that their actions are exacerbating the problem. And if the mainstream media starts covering these issues, that is exactly what will happen. Viewers will be forced to ask themselves uncomfortable questions, and guilt and shame will be directed at the media for making them grapple with the difficult reality that their choices at the dinner table do matter.

In a digital world overflowing with content and so much information that our attention is now extremely limited, organizations that exist on advertising money (traffic and clicks) cannot afford to lose readers because of content that makes them feel bad about your choice and actions. If that happens, readers may not come back.

Time for a change

It doesn’t have to be like this, and you don’t have to create content to make people feel guilty. Informing people about facts, data and the real state of affairs is what will slowly but surely change the course of events and lead to real changes.

With the growing popularity of plant-based eating, people are now more than ever ready to consider changing their diet and habits. As more food companies create products that cater to the needs and habits of a large population, the demand for actual meat will decline as new products become more scalable and lower the prices meat consumers are used to paying for their meals.

If you think about all the progress that has been made in the plant-based food industry in just the past five years, you will realize that we are heading for a world where animal farming is obsolete.

It may not seem fast enough for some of the activists who are demanding animal liberation now, but the conversation about plant foods now comes from people who, just a generation ago, didn’t dream of enjoying veggie burgers. This widespread and growing acceptance will make people more willing to learn more about the reasons why plant-based nutrition is becoming more and more popular. 

Change is happening and happening fast. And when more and more media outlets are ready to discuss this issue openly, competently, not shaming people for their choice, but teaching them how to do better, we can do it even faster. 

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