OSU's Janeen Salak-Johnson on Killing the Sacred Cows of the Beef Business, How Being Open to Doing Things Differently Can Save an IndustryTue, 17 Sep 2019 10:35:09 CDT
Dr. Janeen Salak-Johnson currently serves as part of the Oklahoma State University Animal Science faculty as the Temple Grandin Professorship in Animal Behavior and Well-being. She believes it is important for beef industry stakeholders to understand there are those folks out there that will never be satisfied with what we're doing when it comes to animal wellbeing. At the same time, though, she says those in the industry must also understand and address the concerns of the consumer and not be bullheaded when it comes to discussing how they handle animal welfare issues. She expounded on those thoughts in a recent interview with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays.
"We have to recognize what they think is important is not what's important to the consumer," she said. "I don't like people telling me how to do research, so I get that part of it. But we also have to be conscientious that what is important to us may not necessarily be important to others. We still do need to improve on some of the painful management practices so that the consumer knows these animals had a good quality of life up until the end of their life."
The key to this problem, she says, is striking the right balance among all stakeholders involved. This means, finding ways to balance both producers' concerns and what Salak-Johnson refers to as "societal concerns." In addition, balance must be achieved in regard to what is ethical as well as what is ultimately practical - which she contends can be accomplished through sound science and seasoned expertise.
"One of the things we have to recognize is that it has to be a balance and it's really going to be hard," she remarked. "Ethics will play a role but sometimes ethics isn't practical. So, we have to balance it with science, experience and knowledge."
Listen to Salak-Johnson and Hays discuss why the beef industry needs to be proactive in addressing consumers' interest in animal welfare, on today's Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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