My wife made me watch the Golden Globes awards earlier this month. I have a hard time watching actors spewing accolades on each other. As you might expect, some of the winners made very political thank you speeches about climate change, veganism and of course the Trump administration. I didn’t know if I was being entertained or lectured about those issues. Most of the actors were very gracious and accepted their award and others gave five-minute political lectures.
The host, Ricky Gervais, a British comedian, was prepared for the event and said, “So, if you do win an award tonight, don’t use it as a platform to make a political speech. You’re in no position to lecture the public about anything. You know nothing about the real world. Most of you spent less time in school than Greta Thunberg. So, if you win, come up, accept your little award. Thank your agent and your god and go away.” He said something else that I can’t repeat.
The episode had me a bit perplexed. Then I thought of those words that animal agriculture must wrestle with, words that matter like “vegan.” I’m not sure if it’s a dietary choice, a cult or a new religion. Apparently, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association hosted the event and was determined to comply with the activists and served a vegan dinner to the upscale and pampered crowd.
Best actor, Joaquin Phoenix, a long-time vegan, took an exceptionally long-time bashing animal agriculture and suggesting livestock production is the bane of global warming. That kind of thought is offensive to me and I’m sure it is to you too.
These people want to damage our meat production system. The demand for meat is as good as it has ever been. Regular people love beef, pork, and poultry. Ninety nine percent of the global population loves to consume meat. Because it’s a healthy, life-strengthening product. The market says so. But this elite group of actors thinks otherwise.
Do these actors really have the bully pulpit to shape American values and consumption? Or are they just people we watch on TV for entertainment? Does Star Wars or other movie series shape your social view of America? I wouldn’t think so.
Words like “factory farm” have an insulting meaning to me; I would think it’s the same for you. Those two words have a profound meaning in our industry. We produce the safest and most abundant meat products in the world. Then we have a group of Hollywood elite actors try and shape our values as meat producers.
Climate change and agriculture appear to be linked, at least in some people’s mind. These folks don’t seem to realize that they love food and modern agriculture produces much of it—so much that farm product values are at the lowest level of retail value in a while. Roughly 39 percent of retail value makes it down to the producer level. Just think if this demographic of people missed a few meals. What if they couldn’t get the food products they want? Just think if bread was your center-of-the-plate offering.
Obviously, there is no shortage of vanity in Hollywood. There are a few who support agriculture. John Wayne was a beef producer who ran 26 Bar Ranches in Arizona. There are plenty of entertainers who are connected to agriculture. But we don’t hear from them as much as we do from the Hollywood elites.
There is a problem with this Hollywood culture. I realize it’s a small number of people, but they do seem to have an influence over some people and how they behave.
Veganism and global warming appear to have a connection, at least in some people’s mind. We’re seeing plant-based faux meat products enter the market every day. But remember: We are selling more meat for more money than any time in history. Meat is healthy and it’s part of a strong diet.
I just wonder how many of these Hollywood elites stopped at Burger King after the event and had a real beef hamburger. They may show one attitude when they are in the spotlight and show another when they are alone. They are big name actors and can be hypocrites.
Hollywood is no place to gain social insight because nothing seems to be real or as you think it should be. These self-proclaimed award events are surreal, but then only 13.5 million people watched the Hollywood love fest.