Why some farmers bite

This might be the Australian Year of the Farmer but, sadly, it hasn’t stopped some rather nasty exchanges on Facebook between farmers and some others claiming to champion the causes of animal welfare and the environment.

Deeply personal vitriol: “You are a disgusting farmers wife!” gets mixed with more gentle: “i agree Lucy, although i dont eat meat i appreciate ethical and moral farming practice re: meat, but live export will be abolished”.

If you were in a room with someone screaming obscenities at you, it would be hard to concentrate on having a sensible conversation with the person discussing live exports and online it’s the same with one big difference – we tend to try to defend ourselves and end up in a virtual shouting match that we wouldn’t entertain face-to-face.

I get it – of course I feel the outrage that comes with being labelled unfairly by strangers.

But the vitriolic types deserve the same treatment in cyberspace as they would anywhere else, in my opinion. Once, I would have leapt in to defend myself. These days, I just let them go and have a proper conversation with the quieter people who actually want to talk to me.

3 thoughts on “Why some farmers bite

  1. Well said as always. It’s important that you can manage to somehow ignore or shrug off the bitter people. I’ve often seen people quit using social media because of it, and at times given up on blogs or forums because you just couldn’t be heard above the noise -it’s a problem on good blogs that get popular. Writers don’t like to moderate too heavily, as that’s seen as censoring and can stifle debate, but then you get to the point where the comments are nonsensical and there’s no real discussion.

    Real people need to maintain their presence and not let the shouting zealots take over the space.

  2. As usual Marion, you’ve got me thinking… It is so quick and easy to judge or get self righteous about something..I have been guilty myself. To listen, and that is to really “actively” listen, means opening your mind, heart and ears, even when you are being challenged as to what you believe.. It implies a level of care and concern and a willingness to enter into a relationship of sorts with another human.. Words are so often used to insult, to wound, to gain power, to cover fear…. they are powerful things that can’t be taken back and sometimes we don’t want to take responsibility for using them once we’ve spat them out.
    I urge you to keep up the good work, for there is so much for us to gain from what you give us…there are so many who are listening

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