#Peasenhallpigs – A tide of change against the noisy minority

Peasenhall Primary School in Suffolk, UK, has developed a scheme to educate students about where their meat comes from by raising pigs.  Fairly predictably, there has been an abusive outcry from vegans/animal rights extremists. Organisers received 400+ derogatory emails, calling them ‘child abusers’, ‘pointless mothers’ etc.

Nothing especially unusual about any of the vitriol, unfortunately. But what is happening now, in response to this story, is an excellent illustration of some great changes:

  • Twitter is increasingly spreading important messages (specialist messages, particularly) so much more widely (all around the world) and so much more quickly than any other medium.
  • The fightback against the vocal minority who mistakenly believe they have a monopoly on caring for animals, is gathering speed amongst farmers and commonsense members of the general public, who have a realistic attitude to food, food production and environmental sustainability. “We’re really sick of a noisy minority berating us for our personal choices” is increasingly the message.
  • Twitter is inspiring farmers worldwide to speak up and providing with them with a united, incredibly strong voice;  “We care about the land, we care about animals, we care about making good quality food, we have families, live in real communities and deserve to be treated with respect”.  Many who have never every spoken out publicly before are now voicing opinions loudly and encouraging others to do so.  The agricultural and common-sense public network on Twitter is incredibly inspiring and it is increasing exponentially!

Animal rights extremists got to social media first.  But farmers have woken up and are now swarming to Twitter, Blogs, Facebook and LinkedIn  like bees to a honeypot.

Jay Rayner (@jayrayner1) sent out a message regarding the Peasenhall school pigs story to more than 72,000 followers; then this tweet was retweeted 250 times over 8 hours. Make that 251+,  because I’m just about to retweet it on to more than 1,000 people, some of whom I know will send it on to others.

Apparently the “peasenhallpigs” hashtag has already reached 340,000 people in the same period.  Google or search Twitter for #peasenhallpigs to read many excellent messages from other people.  And, of course, voice your own opinion with #peasenhallpigs included in the tweet.

I think historically, #Peasenhallpigs might be seen as a watershed – the point at which the tide turned against the noisy minority, and a swing back to common sense being less questioned: eat moderate amounts from all food groups, and food as sustainably and humanely produced as possible.

Original BBC story about Peasenhall School’s pig raising project & BBC story about the animal rights extremist outcry.

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