My plea to Michelle Bridges

The Art4Agriculture team of Young Farming Champions recently responded to the uproar in the agriculture sector that was generated by Michelle Bridges comments on the so called ‘ag gag’ laws and I was very proud of them. I was proud of them because they didn’t attack Michelle, they are just proud of their farms and they love to tell the world that they are proud to farm.   Michelle is perfectly within her rights to respond to the wider sector uproar  with this comment

Ms Bridges defended her column, posting this on Facebook days later:

“Aussie farmers – I have huge respect for what you do and realise the majority of the industry do the right thing. But I do believe that those who don’t should be held accountable.

“My article takes a stance against proposed new laws that I believe are unjust. It does not condone, encourage or endorse illegal activity.”

The long-term goal of reducing poverty, religious fundamentalism and overpopulation will be impossible to reach until we free women around the world from the enslavement of ignorance. More fundamental is the fact that education is a basic human right that has been systematically denied too many women for too long.”

I also agree with Cotton Farmer Bess OConnor who wrote on her Facebook page

AG-GAG.
This is a term I wish everyone (including our farmers and politicians) would stop parroting. It is a phrase that has been coined by terrorists (who call themselves animal libertarians) who are using it to help mislead the public in their push for a legal loophole allowing for exception for a particular form of discrimination and illegal activity.
The laws the current government are looking to implement are not about animal welfare cover ups nor are they about ‘special treatment’ for farmers, in fact the absolute opposite is true.
The laws are actually about securing and safeguarding the rights of farmers as individuals and business owners, just as those rights exist for all other people in this country.
For instance if someone broke into your house and set up surveillance to make sure you were being a ‘good parent’, or if a person did the same at your place of work to make sure you weren’t ‘slacking off’ would you be comfortable with that?
The cold, hard, raw fact is that here in Australia we have a fantastic human rights record. We advocate and do our best to ensure that the law and the judicial process are just and fair in order to secure a fair go and equality for all Australians.
If we continue down this path where we say “Oh yes, you may illegally enter this business (or this home) so long as you are there to collect footage that might uncover a possible item of interest”, don’t for a second think that this dismissal and sidestep of privacy laws won’t then in turn be used to alter laws in other areas too.

And this equally important comment from Sam Collier who is the bright mind behind the Australian Agriculture initiative and Bess’ reply

Bess O'Connor and Sam Collier

What Michelle and most people ossibly doesn’t know is that over 60% of the cruelty cases report to the RSPCA are for domestic pet abuse and that most prosecutions relate to what RSPCA refer to as animal hoarders. That is people who see themselves as “rescuers” of animals which in the main means people who ‘collect’ animals like cats and dogs and retired greyhounds and trotters in flabbergasting numbers and have no capacity to feed or house them?

What saddens me most is celebrities like Michelle speak and people listen. I just wish that they could see the big picture beyond “cute and cuddly’ and speak up and fight for the human causes. Of course animals are important but until people stop treating people baldy how we can expect them to treat animals well

Here is the cause if I would fight for if I  had the reach of people like Michelle

How Women can Save the Planet.

The long-term goal of reducing poverty, religious fundamentalism and overpopulation will be impossible to reach until we free women around the world from the enslavement of ignorance. More fundamental is the fact that education is a basic human right that has been systematically denied too many women for too long. Source

Sadly it isn’t ‘cute and cuddly’ and never will be but I will defy anyone to tell me there is a more important cause

Educate women

How proud would I be if I was a woman of influence and could could help make this happen

Author: Lynne Strong

I am a 6th generation farmer who loves surrounding myself with optimistic, courageous people who believe in inclusion, diversity and equality and embrace the power of collaboration. I am the founder of Picture You in Agriculture. Our team design and deliver programs that inspire pride in Australian agriculture and support young people to thrive in business and life