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.