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Leah Garcés: Adversaries Into Allies
It can be advantageous to work with people and causes on the other side. Leah Garcés shares her experience and advice. She’s author of the book, “Grilled: Turning Adversaries into Allies to Change the Chicken Industry.” She’s also president of Mercy For Animals.
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Hello and welcome to Tony martignetti non-profit Radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host. Oh, I’m glad you’re with me. I’d be thrown into my as assists if you got under my skin with the idea that you missed today’s show. Adversaries in tow allies it can be quite advantageous to work with people and causes. On the other side, Leah Gar says, shares her experience and advice. She’s author of the book Grilled. Turning Adversaries Into Allies to Change the chicken Industry. She’s also president of Mercy for Animals on Tony’s Take to I’m Looking for Innovators, We’re sponsored by Wagner C. P A’s guiding you beyond the numbers wetness cps dot com by koegler Mountains Software Denali Fund Is there complete accounting solution made for non-profits tony dot m a slash Cougar Mountain for a free 60 day trial and by turn, to communications, PR and content for non-profits, your story is their mission. Turn hyphen to DOT CEO. I’m very pleased to welcome Lia, Gar says to the studio. She has been fighting for better food and farming systems for nearly 20 years as a leader in the animal protection movement. She oversaw international campaigns in 14 countries at the World Society for the Protection of Animals and launched compassion in world farming in the U. S. She’s been featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, Buzzfeed, Vice and other media. She’s at Lia L E A. H Underscore compassion and the organs at Mercy for Animals and mercy for animals dot org’s Welcome to Studio. I’m so glad to be here. It’s a real thing. Thank you. Thanks for coming up from Georgia, where that’s where you started. The compassionate world forming. That’s right. Us. Right. And how many years ago was that? That was about eight or nine years ago now, Okay. And you’ve been president of mercy for animals little over a year, just over a year. Congratulations on your anniversary. Yeah, um, I love congratulations on the book. It’s just it’s just out, right? It came out September 3rd. Just write about that. Okay. So sick. Sweet little 16. Tried to get it. Still feels that it is Absolutely. Congratulations. Thank you. Um, you grew up in Florida. That’s right. And you had you had a lot of creatures. Beautiful animals around. You talk a little about growing up there with a canal in your backyard and and how that inspired your life work. Really? Yeah, I had the absolute great privilege of growing up in the swamps of Florida. Many people wouldn’t think that’s a privilege, but I D’oh, yeah, you’re on backed up to the book I’ve a state park and there was a ton of wildlife when I would look out of my glass sliding door. It was like almost like a prehistoric looking place. So there were ducks and alligators and otters and Herron’s and white ibis and alters that Florida has to offer. But to me, the ones that stole my heart with the ducks and my mother had these prized flower beds. He’s in patients that, when I was little, would come up to my chest, but no one was allowed to touch these flowers. Thes were like off limits. Don’t play there or you’re dead except the mother ducks. They were the only ones, and they would waddle up when they were ready to lay their eggs, and they would pat down and fix the and arrange the flowers into a nest like shape and lay their eggs and my brother, sister and I were able to watch this all unfold from inside of our screen and porch and we would lay on our bellies and right on the other side with all of this unfolding and eventually they would hatch and we would see everything. All of the dramas and the joys and the ups and downs of duck life, right? And this, really. I mean, in my mind, growing up, there was no difference between these ducks and the dogs and cats that share homes. They had the same joys and fears, and I didn’t think anything off them. Needing protection, I thought, Absolutely, they need protection. They deserve to have life worth a life worth living. And I extended that out. Two chickens to cows, two pigs. I became vegetarian when I was about 15 years old. After seeing a pita esque kind of documentary about meat where your meat comes from, I studied zoology. I just really wanted to help animals in particular. Farmed animals have a good life since you alluded to Ah video, the pita asked video that moved your inspiration. I was going to save it for later, but for listeners who eat meat. The Mercy for Animals website has I’m not even gonna say disturbing a good gut wrenching, gut wrenching videos on cows, pigs, fish, chicken turkeys. Um, it’s ah, yeah, they’re beyond disturbing. But you need to know, I think I think we all need to know what is going on in our, uh, in our food supply. Basically, yeah, I think one of the things that mercy for animals is most known for is our undercover investigations. So, unfortunately, unlike tomatoes or onions, you can’t see very readily where the animals that end up on our plate are being raised, and that’s kept behind closed doors on purpose. So for that reason, we have to send in undercover investigators to take footage of the normal day to day practices of factory farming. And as an organization, we’ve produced over 70 investigations and you can find them on our website and they really show unfortunately, very normal things that happen every day. But they’re horrible. They’re horrible, their gut wrenching. As you said, they’re very difficult to watch. But I think it’s important, and our job is to bear witness to that and to bring that darkness out into the light so that people can be aware and make choices the match, their values. So let’s let’s bring it to the chickens that are the the the story of the entire book on Dhe. I think, for for our purposes, there’s sort of a vehicle because we want to talk about engaging with your adversaries, and you have some great stories in the book. But let’s want you, Ah, we have, like, two minutes or so before our first break. Why don’t you set the stage for us about chicken forming? Yeah, So 90% of all farmed animals are the chickens raised for meat, so that’s a bit of a shocking figure that includes that. So there’s nine billion that air raised just in this country. That’s just meat chickens, excluding all other farmed animals, and the majority of those, like 99.8% or raised behind closed doors, they are stuffed wallet, a wall in a darkened warehouse. Ah, their litter is never changed. The error is ammonia laden dust laden, but the worst thing happening to these chickens is how fast they’re made to grow through selective breeding, so they grow incredibly fast, incredibly large. They’re slaughtered it only 40 days of age, though their babies still. But there they’re obese at this stage because of the preference for the large breast meat. And they’re kind of cages. Their genetics. They grow so big, so fast, they collapse under their own weight. Their heart and lungs can’t keep up with the metabolic demand for that fast growth, and they often have heart attacks and problems. So even if the birds go beyond this 40 days, most of them would die of a heart attack before a year of age. So it’s a very cruel and unnatural process and really constitutes one of the largest causes of suffering on the planet. You make the point that if humans grew as fast as the chickens are because of this breeding, we we’d be £600 by. I think age, too, is that it could be six if we grew at the same rate, correct £600 by age to correct. OK, so that’s our That’s the setting. That’s what Leah was out to change. And that’s what the book is all about. That change that change process. So when we come back we’ll dive in further. Let’s take this first break. Wagner, CPS. They’ve got a free wagon are on November 13th. Sexual harassment learned to identify it, which is interesting because that is not always black and white. What constitutes harassment in the workplace? Learn what the law requires you to do as an employer and tips for building a strong team that works together to prevent and identify workplace harassment. That Wagner cps dot com Click Resource is than upcoming events. Let’s go back Thio adversaries into allies. Um, the first you wanted to engage you needed to engage with the other side. And listen, you just gotta buy the damn book because, you know, we, as I always say, with authors, we cannot fill. We can’t tell the whole story. There it’s There are poignant stories that we may not get to. There’s great anecdotes. There’s funny moments. There’s very touching and tender moments. So you just get the book. We’ll you know we’ll do the best we can in an hour. Thank you. Absolutely. Craig Watts. Craig is Ah ah Farmer. We’re calling for a chicken, Right? Chicken farmers don’t make sure I’m doing right. Okay. Um, I want to do more than just a white. What? Why did he Why? Why was he willing to meet with you? That is a great question. Um, so let me back up a little and say that at the time I met Craig Watts, I was desperate. So I had been, as I just revealed, that said earlier had, you know, it’s very difficult to know what’s going on inside of a chicken factory farm. And I have been trying to get footage from inside of one. Yeah, let me just what states have done to prevent investigative reports like Mercy Franz. Instead of improving conditions for the chickens, they enact laws that prevent investigators and even employees from shooting video, whether it’s explicit or undercover, right? So they another method of hiding the Legislature’s. A lot of state legislatures are involved. Unfortunately, unfortunately, including in my state, North Carolina, I noticed you cite North Carolina’s one of states, so rather improve the the the production of the lives of of the Chickens. They just hide the hide, the facts. But yeah, that’s called AG gag and right. It’s an AG gag law, and North Carolina has one, and but it didn’t have one. When I started working there, I got one just after I worked there because Craig is from North Carolina. That’s right. And I had asked companies to give me tours. I had knocked on doors. Nobody would let me. So when a journalist introduced me to Craig Watts, I had to say Yes. I was scared out of my mind as a vegan animal rights activist to go meet with a chicken factory farmer in the poorest county of rural North Carolina. But I thought, I gotta go. So pack my bags with filmmaker named Reagan. Hodge, headed to Hiss Place about five hours from Atlanta, did not know what I was getting into. I remember telling my husband like, Here’s the address. Look for me buried in the chicken litter. If I don’t come back, I might be rotting away their compost fast. So be quick. And, uh, when I showed up, you know, he let me in the door, and then we went, and I spent the 1st 5 hours with the question You just asked me in my head as he was telling me his story, like, Why is he talking to me? why in the world, because in my mind and my paradigm, my framework, he was just an evil person that did this horrible thing to chickens. And up until that point in my career, I had been angry at him, blamed him. I even had wished people like him ill. I hope he lost his job. You know, I hoped he was unemployed, so I thought in my head this was some kind of ambush, you know? But I had to do it anyway, because I was desperate to get footage, and I kind of thought I was gonna go there, get footage and get the hell out of there and, like, never come back. But as I sat there listening to his story, that fear was totally replaced by feeling ashamed that I had never thought truly about him as a human being and why he would have made the choices that he would even wished him ill. Correct. And I mean, after he told me his story, I knew why he you know, he was desperate to. He wanted out and he was trapped. And to explain that Craig, when he was in his early twenties, he wanted to stay on the land in a poor county in North Carolina, and there were no other options at the time, so tobacco had fallen out. There’s no other jobs. So when the chicken industry came to town and said, If you take out 1/4 of a $1,000,000 loan, which will arrange for you, you could be your own business man, you can stay on the land that’s five generations has been passed down and you just have to raise chickens for us. We’ll drop them off and then we’ll pick them up at the end. And every time we do that, we’ll give you a paycheck. And at first it works really well. So he would raise the chickens and they would take them and then get a paycheck. And the payoff that quarter of a $1,000,000 like a mortgage but its factory farming. So after a while, the chicken started to get sick and they died. And you don’t get paid for dead. But you make the point that a ll the feet and all the time that went into those. But I guess primarily it’s feed that goes into the dead birds. That’s all some costs. That’s all lost cost for go and propane electricity like they’re heating the houses. They’re you know, they’re paying for the loan itself, that the structure is the loan. There’s a lot of bills. So the idea is, he just should have a little bit toe feed his family at the end. But it started to not look that way. And he got toe. He paid off his loan and then within, like, a year and 1/2 for two years, the producer he was produced. It was he was he with producer deal. He was insisted on upgrades to the house. They call them houses. That’s a euphemism. There were these gross. I don’t know. Warehouses. Yeah, they’re metals. They’re bigger than sheds. They’re huge. They’re like our thing. 100? Yeah, they’re like, the size of a football football. And then, like 40 yards wide, 40 feet, 40 feet wide, 40 feet. Thank you, anyway. So then Purdue insists on upgrades. So just take out another loan and he’s back where he had been for the 12 or 15 years paying off a new mortgage on the on the upgrades s never ending. Yeah, and that’s a. That’s a subtext to the in the book is the cycle that thief you chicken producers hold the way that they hold the farmers captive, their indentured servant analogous to the way the formers are holding the chickens captive. They are captain, nothing about the chickens. I just because they’re because they’re in their own feces and it’s there is a 30,000 of them in each again house each, each one of these large houses, and they can’t walk like you. Like you were saying. They flap their wings to try to move, but they for a lot of them it’s hard to get to the food or the water. And they’re they’re festering in this in this feces concrete floor, and they get these sores on their their bottoms, right and on their bellies, is it? And they end up with these open wounds source because they’re laying in feces for 40 isn’t 40 days, 40 days, 47 in the big. In the beginning, they will be smaller in there, more mobile. But as they get into the last half of that growth period, they find it very hard to move. And what happens is because they’re all squashed together for one of the moves. It’s like shift shift shift. I imagine you see this wave if you d’oh d’oh! And so it’s this constant kind of slight shifting happening in the flock. But what’s happening is there undersides are rubbing against, Ah, hot letter. Nowthe litter itself is composting all the time, so it won by night. It’s breaking down. That’s right, I’m posting. I put a thermometer into the literate one point. It was 87 degrees. So they’re sitting on hot litter, constantly rubbing. And so at one point I picked up one of the chickens, and this would be the photo that would end up in The New York Times, and I was picked it up. You could see her underbelly was red and raw, and it was like a bed sore, you know, and that’s where a lot of infection can come in. But it’s It was warm and mushy. It was terrific. That’s Ah, that’s Chapter five is when we find that out, it’s called crossing Enemy Lines. When you do a video, your first video and you say you’re you’re knocked over, your eyes are watering your coughing. You were concerned about pulmonary problems and didn’t take some antibiotics. Take a steroid to clear my lungs because I spent a lot of time filming and in the House is on and working with Reagan to film. And I already had had an infection of some kind, you know, just like your winter cough kind of thing. And it got horrific. We had a tank taking, turning off the camera and just say you were embarrassed about what you recall. It was horrible. And but then I kept thinking, First of all, this is the chickens entire life. That’s is the only thing they ever experienced in here. And I kept thinking back to my ducks like they’re they’re lovely life out in the, you know, in the river and the swamps. And and then, by comparison, these very similar animals are living in ammonia laden, dust laden hot, you know, environments that air just unsuitable for any Centeon being. So Craig wants you to see this on, and I think one of the it’s one of the things that comes through is, you know, howto build bridges to adversaries is is trust. He learns that he can trust you you. You just articulated how you were starting to trust him, and he feels comfortable opening up. But after many hours, it’s not like he brings you on and then says, Let’s let’s start filming But you talk to him for a long time. Well, really, it was over a couple of months, you’re e mailing and, well, even we filmed. But there was no, you know, we started filming. We came back a second time. We came back 1/3 4th just to learn and be side by side with him to understand what his job was like, what was his day to day like and learn from him what the real problems were of the chicken industry. And truly, it wasn’t until you know, a couple of months after meeting in person that we decided to release the film. And that was the big trust moment because there was so much risk involved with risk for him. Because, as we’ll see in the book, the producers have have their own policies. If if the state doesn’t have a law on ag gag law, the producers have their own policies, right? So in the case of Craig, the big risk for him was losing payment, you know, losing income. And he was also so if you lost, if they decided to cancel his contract, he had no way to pay off that giant mortgage. And then the other thing is his neighbors, you know, he was afraid of being isolated. Everyone around him is growing chickens. If he goes and outs the one source of income in his county, that’s scary. That’s a brave thing to Dio. And you were under some attack too. Oh, yeah, from you know, fellow activists, Why Why are you partnering? Why are you even talking to these people? They really thought I had kind of romanticized this idea of the struggling farmer. A lot of activists kind of thought I had really been drawn in by this idea, like romanticized the rural struggle. And I just I just had to put that to one side. And I knew what I knew from talking to this human being and really seeing firsthand and hearing firsthand his struggle. So trust I think trust is ah is ah, key takeaway for us and poignant that toward the end of the book. Jim Perdue who? Purdue Craig Craig’s, Greg’s producer, talked about trust, and he says that it’s what it’s what we’ll get adversarial parties through the rough spots. Basically, I’m paraphrasing. But Jim Perdue later in the book makes the point that the value of trust, which I felt with the two of you Craig early on in the book yeah, it’s all about trust in You know, Craig and I came out with a video and it had a 1,000,000 views in 24 hours. It was insane. We never expected some that kind of impact. And it was a roller coaster for six months after that, and and Purdue who we were exposing as not being honest with customers. They had a label that said Humanely raised right and we were saying, This is not what customers think of when they see those words. We expose that and I think the very good story of you in the book by what We can’t go into it. But you talking to the butcher in a grocery store, quizzing humanely raised. You know you’re not satisfied with your digging deeper. What humanely raised me. What does this mean? That was a launching point for you Get the book. Get the book. You’ll read the story. Thank you. That is a good story. Yeah, well, I’ll tell real quick that I kind of was it a Kroger with my kids shopping? And this is where I first spotted this label which started this whole provoc deliver story. Oh, bythe tell this one. Go ahead. You’re well, I just I was sitting there like looking at the meat manager like looking at the meat. You know, I’ll which I as a vegan is weird. My kids were looking at me like, What are you doing, Mom? But I was looking. I’m like, What is? This is pretty green Package. Looks like it’s you know what people want Organic e looking green around. You’ve seen it right? It’s on three earthy Look, I asked to meet manager, and he got so annoyed with my questions, he ended up dragging the box back from the back that I don’t know, just look at it. And that’s where I figured out that because it had a Purdue label want it, then that’s when I called customer service and ever, and that’s how I found, you know, knew what Craig was doing and you know, later weeks with the Jim Perdue connection. They stonewalled me for about a year they would not produce, would not have a conversation. They were very angry about what happened and very defensive in the in the initial stages. But then about a year later, after we came out with the video, I was reading The New York Times and there was an article about Purdue moving away from antibiotics and right at the very end there was a quote from Jim Perdue that said, We need happier birds and I was like, What is that? That has nothing to do with antibiotics. Why did he say that? I got very excited. I wrote to their PR person and I said, Look, can we try again? Like I read this, I can see you’re thinking about it and I see you’re looking into it. And to my surprise, they did answer that email. And this began a dialogue which led to speaking to the executives and writing the first animal care policy, addressing some of the very things I criticize them for not doing like putting some windows for natural light, giving the birds more space and in Richmond’s and things like that, and we continue tohave that dialogue, and they’ve made a lot of progress to their credit, you see, and you see that progress through the book? Um, another. Another important point I think about that you bring out about bridging making relationships with adversaries is you say you gotta walk a mile in his or her shoes. Let’s talk about that and how it relates to Ah, like you and Craig and Jim Perdue walk a mile in their shoes. Yeah, I think from when I started off. Like I said, I wished people like Craig Ill. And then when I sat down with him and began toe, really understand his hardships and the choices he made. This really changed the problem for me and then therefore changed the solutions that needed to be created in order to end factory farming. And one of those key things was basically job options in the farming community in rural areas like North Carolina and walking thinking of like walking a mile in their shoes. I started to change the way I was talking to him, and instead of thinking, how can I put Craig out of a business. I started to think, How can I create a new business opportunity for him? A new farming, you know, type of things. So we’re now mercy for animals is about to launch a new project precisely around that. Looking at how to transform farmers from being chicken farmers into, say, hemp farmers or which and CBD makes a lot more money than chicken, I can tell you so These are the kinds of things I started to change. Change, change the problem in my mind. So it changed the solutions, and I think that was really important. They’re too poignant moments that I thought related to both trust and walk a mile in their shoes. You were concerned about Craig’s soul as he’s day after day, spending 12 15 hours calling dead chickens. You have to listen. You have to read about how they do that through the through the warehouses and, um and what? That what? What? That process killing many a day. What that does to his soul. You were concerned about his soul, and then the other is when Jim Perdue asks about how your newly adopted daughter is doing, and I thought, you know that there. She’s concerned about Craig, the farmer. Who was she? A Bush Tilda. And Jim Perdue, of all people, is asking you, You know something personal and intimate about about your about your life, And I thought, That’s an example of trust and walk in their shoes and those connections air, you know, remind you there’s there’s a human being behind behind. There is a human being in front of you. And, you know, connecting with them takes some of the walls down that we we artificially create a lot of the times, and I think that’s really important. And there’s another and I’ll tell another story. I’m not to give them all away, but later your book. It’s your income stream. I’m doing the best I can. Well, uh, just for so your listeners know all the income goes thio compassionate world farming for the book. So if you want to help end this by the book and you can give it a CZ gifts to your friend holidays. So, um, so you know, one of the chicken producers we worked with later on I can’t name them because I don’t want to be named, but we went to visit them, and we were the first advocates to go talk to them is where Mike work-life and they invited us and is the first time. And as my co worker Rachel Dress Ken and I walked in the door, we could see people like peeking over the cubicles and whatnot, and we sat down. I pulled out my presentation. The guy was really negative. He had his arms folded and you could tell he was uncomfortable. And then after my laptop pulled up, my desktop picture came up and it was of my family. And he saw my daughter, who clearly looks different. She has coffee, color, skin and ringlets, and and he said, Is that your kid? And I said, Yeah, that’s my daughter just got back from adopting her and it’s been tough. And I was like babbling on an emotional and you know, And and he said, Oh, well, I have two adopted kids and, like from that moment on, the walls came down. We started talking about the ups and downs of raising kids, and it turned out his had a foster care that he did with his wife ministry and in those moments, the trust and the humanization of each other. And we were It was really built and were able to make so much more progress because of that. And we remain really able to talk despite the differences, which makes it possible to make so much more progress. I thought humanize, don’t demonize. That’s a great and then you so that you’re getting to another one that I was I was gonna get you But, um, finding common ground and that common ground is not necessarily related to the subject matter you’re talking about. In this case, it was adoption and foster care. You found common ground totally unrelated to the subject. You were you were convening over, right? We could say more about if you want me to take another break. Um, yes, 61%. 61% of Cougar Mountain Software’s customers stay with them for more than 16 years. That’s fabulous. Retention koegler Mountain software. It’s made for non-profits. It includes fraud prevention, fund accounting, Grant and Doner management. Phenomenal support, which you’ve heard testimonials about, and they have a free 60 day trial. You will find that on the listener landing page at tony dot m a slash Cougar Mountain last time for Tony’s Take two. I’m looking for innovators if you are approaching something unconventionally and succeeding at it, by the way, that that part’s important. Or maybe you know, a colleague or friend or client who works differently and is succeeding. I’m hosting an Innovator’s Siri’s early next year, first quarter of 2020 and I would like to talk to innovators, people doing something differently and succeeding at it. Leah would qualify, but her book came out earlier, So I very graciously I’ll, uh, say, uh, conceded Thio, meeting with talking to her earlier rather than making her wait until the first quarter of 2020. Um, so anybody similar? Get me Tony at tony martignetti dot com Or use the contact page on tony martignetti dot com and you don’t not do not have to have written a book Azaleas. But just doing something different and doing it well. And that is Tony. Stick to Let’s do the live listener love, which is abundant. Well, it’s abundant. Uh, let’s start abroad. MADRID, Spain Buenos Star Days Young son Korea comes, uh, sorry, sir Korea Annual haserot comes a ham Nida Saigon, Vietnam Berlin, Germany Guten tog Um Seoul, South Korea Khartoum, Sudan Thank you for being with us. Sudan. I don’t think you have before. That’s wonderful. Live love Out to Sudan, Singapore, Tijuana, Mexico Buena Star Days, Minsk in Belarus, Londrina, Brazil I may have pronounced it wrong, but I apologize. I apologize for that. But the live love goes out to Brazil. So glad you’re with us. Uncle A turkey. It’s remarkable. Uh, really. Woodbridge, Ontario in Canada and Munich, Germany. Guten tag to Ah, Munich as well and then bring it home. Tampa, Florida New York, New York. Multiple as always. Thank you. Thank you not to take New York for granted. New York City multiple listeners. Special live love after New York, New York. Thank you for that. Broomfield. Colorado is with us, and so is Rockville Center, New York. I have good friends. Rockville Centre. There’s a good steak house there, read by the train. What’s the name of that? Oh, that’s a bad subject. Sorry, Leah. Gar says that Steakhouse sucks. It’s right by the train station in Rockville Center, Fairfield, Connecticut. Miami, Florida, Little Falls, New Jersey. Wow. In New Jersey, live love out to New Jersey and, of course, all our live listeners. Thank you. Thanks for being with us. And we have to do, of course. And I have to send the podcast pleasantries because that’s where the vast majority of our our lives, our listeners aren’t. Despite this plethora of live listeners, still the vast majority podcast. That’s where the over 13,000 r and I thank you for being with us pleasantries to our podcast listeners. Thank you, Leah. That indulgence. Um, hide everyone everywhere. That’s amazing. That is, it could be it could very well be the subject. You could very well be. You could very well be the subject, but that’s a lot of live listeners. Oh, but I know some people in Tampa and Madrid, so maybe it’s, you know, perhaps, um, just get the book. If you get the bucket’s, you’ll have the same personal conversation. We just came out of the audio. So Bloomsbury just put the audio book out, too. Okay, that’s helpful. Okay. Are you there? Are you the reader? No. Okay, go. The Springsteen seems to be very popular among sustainers Now, you like it would take a long time. I’m trying to read it out loud to my nine year olds right now, and we’re only about halfway through. We read a couple pages tonight, but it takes a long time to read it out loud, I think. Um, So we were talking about Yeah, the common ground. You want to say anything more about common ground than, uh than I attempted? I think you did a good job. There’s a lot of stories in the book that, um, sort of layout how that’s possible to start this conversation’s and search for that common counting ground and how that really changes the atmosphere of that you’re trying to create solutions in and how important that is. Okay, Okay, um, another poignant story when, uh, Mike Weaver again find out who these characters are. He agrees to introduce you to another farmer named Eric Eric Hedrick, who was the He was the largest West Virginia grower. Eric was a grower for Pilgrim’s Pride, which I immediately thought should be Pilgrim. Shame Way should start a website immediately. All those campaigners out there by up pilgrim Shame shame dot should be dot or gore dot com Mike Weaver, where his motivations similar Thio introducing you to, uh, Eric similar to Craig’s. So I think everybody’s different but similar in that he was. He was very passionate about how unjust the system is for farmers. So he too, while he was better off financially than Craig. He had really taken it upon himself to be a farmer activist and really try to confront Pilgrim’s pride and get them to change their contract system and had failed, as as Craig Craig Craig had raised objections to Purdue. Yes, and fell on deaf ears. Correct? Yes. And in West Virginia, where these two farmers are still, there was a horrific disease, and this disease had caught called gangrenous dermatitis. Gangrenous dermatitis. Yes, where it’s basically like gangrene, where it’s a bacteria that eats the birds from the inside out very quickly at the end of their sort of the flock cycle, which is particularly city for the farmers because they’ve got all the feed and other resources invested, and so in near the end, like in Week six, they’re dying, and they don’t get paid for that, right? So that’s, you know, money out of their pocket. And it’s also a horrific way for the birds to go and this disease they had been trying to get rid of and there seemed to be no end to it. And pilgrims was not helping and not helping the farmers, right? They wouldn’t provide antibiotics that they won’t intervene. They wouldn’t intervene. So this was causing the particular farmer. You just mentioned Eric and his wife, Rachel, to head towards bankruptcy. And that was a horrific situation for them. I have three daughters and they didn’t know what they were going to dio. And he was very heavily invested. He had 12 houses, right? And didn’t Craig have what three or four had four. Mike had to. That’s more typical. Well, this guy Eric had Eric had 12. Yeah. Yeah, it was a big Grauer. 12 times 30,000 per house. Things like 360,000. Yes, chickens at a time. Exactly. And it was an overwhelming task for him so that when he told them, Look, I’ve got these birds, They’re dying. They’re Pilgrim’s. Pride’s answer was so hire more people to pick up the dead birds faster. So the companies response to we have, like a serious illness, is pick up the corpses faster, which was ridiculous, purely a commodity. Drank to the producers that things have changed. I guess there’s more humanity in it now. Somewhat, it’s getting its Pilgrim’s has done nothing xero. They’ve made no commitment. That’s why you want him. Shame. Credit you with the campaign afterwards. Pilgrim’s has not moved. Some have, and we’ll talk. We’ll get a chance to talk about other Other industries have changed restaurants, et cetera, foods to food outlets, etcetera. But at this time, there was no humanity in it at all was purely, ah, a tradable commodity. Right, right, right. Um, so you know, this is it’s It’s interesting that, you know, these farmers want just they they want to be heard. They want a voice and the companies that they’ve been appealing to A Z said, uh, death falling on deaf ears. But if they’re just people who want to be heard and some of them, I guess they’re more motivated by the concern for the for the birds and some it sounds like Eric more motivated by their own personal financial straits, that they’re that they’re tied, it constrained into. But in the end, they just all want a voice. Yeah, yeah, and I mean the thing with factory farming of chickens is it has such a detrimental impact on so many parts of our world. So whether you are concerned about human health and the disease that comes in and out onto our plate from these farms, or about workers, justice or we haven’t even discussed in my book doesn’t really go into the slaughterhouses and the injustice around the workers there, which are mostly Latino axe and often treated very poorly, especially the women. Or you’re concerned about the animals in the just inherent abuse in the system or the environments in the pollution that comes from it. There’s just so many negative parts, and that’s why I say it’s the biggest cause of suffering on the planet. It really touches on so much of our life. So whatever you care about you can you know, whatever is your passion, you’re centered thing. You confined that connection, and for me, that was This is a journey and discovering it’s not because for me I come from it primarily because I care about the animals. But in meeting these farmers, I started to really open my scope up. Understand this this is a much bigger issue, and there are more allies I could have We could march together against this and that would be so much more powerful. And that was one of my takeaway studio, uh, subsumed in everything we’re saying, If you can give your adversaries a voice, if they don’t have a voice, maybe you can support each other in creating that right? And you know, that’s that. I still in learning that lesson, I’m still finding those, um, were we joined, you know, two forces and become more powerful as a result to to get to the same end. You talk about giving the other side of a path to winning on. That reminded me of things I’ve heard in politics when you know which are back when things were more normal, way cared about foreign nations and the sensitive sense of sensitivities and sensibilities of foreign leaders. You know, I would hear in politics, you know, give them a path to success. But in the book, you say you give the other side of path to winning. But I again another takeaway for helping build bridges. Let’s talk about that. Yeah, and I mean, that applies to the farmers, but also applied to these companies that were trying to change where we’re saying, Can you move away from this horrific, unsustainable, cruel system into something else? And we really began to explore plant based alternatives, and you might think that’s insane to suggest, like chicken companies would produce, you know, soy based products or pea protein. But they are, And this was, sir changing this mentality of. We’re not trying to put Purdue out of business. We’re trying to help them evolve into a different business or Tyson evolve into a different business. And these That’s where we start to build this other path. When there we think there’s no way forward. You kind of really have to be creative and think, How can I help their business model involved into something else? And before you know you have Burger King selling impossible burgers all over the country, it’s happening. It’s happening. And that’s how we evolve into a different business. Um, we just have about two more minutes for before our final break Global Animal partnership. I thought that was an example of a path toward winning for our adversaries. Talk a little about yeah, global animal partnership is a certain animal welfare certification. You can look it up. So if you ever been in whole foods, you’ll see numbers on the meat one through five. So that is basically five is totally pasture raised, slaughtered on farm. And the animals are living the most natural life they could in a commercial setting. And one is better than industry, but and no cages, no crates and that kind of thing, but not outside. So you have this spectrum and where before we didn’t have this very clear. Ah, certification for the animals. This has evolved in the last 10 years or so as one of the very clear certifications where you can say, I know exactly where my meets coming from exactly how the animal was raised. And I can put my my kind of money to my values and decide which one through five I’m comfortable with and then look for them in the supermarket, a path toward a path toward winning. And that was a partnership with the worked with CEO of Whole Foods, right? John Mackey? Yes. All right, Let’s take our last break. Turn to communications PR and content for your non-profit. They help you tell your compelling stories and get media attention on those stories. So simple. But they know it. They the pros, all the while building support for the work that you do. They are into media relations, content, marketing, communications and marketing strategy and brand strategy. You’ll find them at turn hyphen to dot CEO. And thankfully, we’ve got butt loads more time for, ah, be a gar says and adversaries into allies. Oh, and fast. I feel like going fast. I’m glad it’s a good That’s a good sign. Is it? Yeah, I think it is. Yeah, for sure. Okay, Um, what do you do that start out? What do you want to talk about? I feel like I’m dominating, but I’m supposed to move things along because we do have an hour constraint. I wouldn’t want to talk about my book, so that’s great. We’re doing well. Wait. What do you want to talk about in the book? Think up something. What do you do? You love what? I love story or a story? A story or something? I don’t know. Uh, I guess you know, one of the things that really changed Another part that changed my career path is having kids and I think a lot of people can relate to this. And I hear a lot of advocates say this to our people. Work in the non-profits space. There’s a some point in your life when you you say, like, I really want to make a difference now and I really want to focus on on delivering my values into the world and for me that was when my first son was born. So I had been working in non-profit already, but had been working on all animals. And it was only after my son Ruben was born that I just sort of looked at him and I thought, Okay, like all my heart is in this one child and without a doubt in 18 years he’s gonna leave. So if when I’m working and I’m not with him, I have got to be ruthless with my time and my impact, and that really switched to really focus on farmed animals because farmed animals are the most impacted of any of the animals on our planet that we try to help. So way way overshadows dogs and cats, which is where the majority of our philanthropic dollar goes to. In the end, the United States Animal Welfare Act formed. Animals are excluded right so far, and there’s Animal Welfare Act. All farmed animals are excluded from that. Then we have the Humane Slaughter Methods Act, which excludes which is supposed to be that animals were rendered unconscious before the knife hits their throat. But all chickens are excluded and Fisher excluded. And that’s basically all the animals that we killed. You said 99 98% of the animals we kill our and not only that, but unfortunately that under the current administration they have made slaughter extremely unsafe and fast. So it used to be, if you can imagine this about 100 and it was permitted 125 birds per minute in the slaughter plants, and they just changed that for 100 and 75 birds a minute. That’s three a second. Can you even imagine that? Not only that, but they’ve removed the policing by the USDA fromthe slaughterhouses, and they’re allowing the companies to police themselves, self certified, basically, yeah, and that’s really there’s very clear evidence that results in more health safety issues and you know So for me, it’s just I cannot sort of I can’t emphasize enough how important the problem of helping farmed animal is and on, and it’s the main focus of my life. And you were talking about your son, your son, your first son’s birth. Yeah, that really his birth kind of was Ah ha moment. A lightbulb moment was like, You know, time’s a wasting like I have to focus and if I’m away from him, it better before good reason. And that really helped me to focus something you say that that I thought was a very empathic moment. It’s Earth’s early on. I’m quoting you, Anyone can end up on the wrong path despite the best of intentions that has you tell it in your duck story. Don’t tell that one relates to the relief to the docks. He she she helps the ducks. Leave it at that. You got to get the book to read the story, but But I thought that was very empathic, that I mean that related to all the farmers that that worked with you. They had good intentions. Craig wanted Toa send his kids to college and make a find a living to do that and stay on his his five generation A family land in southern North Carolina. Great intentions, but can end up on the wrong path. That was very empathic statement. Thank you for picking up on that, That I wasn’t sure if everybody would. It was a small sentence in there, but it was meant to be very symbolic because that is the limbs we have to go in. And, you know, uh, the part you know about someone’s life is like is, you know, the a tiny fraction of what their whole life is, And you have to go in realizing there’s so much more to this person in their story, and you won’t have any clue what it is. And so you can. They could have started off this journey thinking the things you said like they want to pay for college. You want to stay on the land, they want to pay their employees, They wanna, you know, by a you know, college fund, or help a charity or do a ministry for foster care. Who knows? But it could have been unintentional bad consequences, And that happens a lot in our world, and it’s about help. It’s not about blaming, shaming and pushing people into a corner when they made those choices, but really trying to find the pathway out for them that that it leave the door open for them to get out of there. That’s beautiful. Segue, because I was thinking next again, building bridges to adversaries. Um, I don’t know if it’s Jim Produce says that. Or, you know, I think you say this. No, no change can be achieved without the opponent’s engagement on I think it comes to the context of your working with working with Jim Perdue, but that, you know, that’s for the for the extreme extremist activist who will never talk to the other side. You realize now you’ve come to light that that’s an enormous mistake, right? And in my case, I’m not in charge of a single chicken. I have no access, so the only way I can access the animals I’m trying to help is through either the farmer of the company. So I have to enter their space. I have to understand their problems, their dilemmas, and try to build solutions from that space, which is very uncomfortable and it’s messy and it’s difficult, but you have to. We don’t really make progress by only talking to people who agree with us. That’s not the place. You make product enormously important. And you’re right. You don’t You don’t control a single chicken. Yeah, um, very impact that. You mean the whole book is really starting with the ducks in the backyard? Very. It’s a very empathic story, I think. Um, who else was, uh Well, it’s where and ask you about some people. Jim Perdue. How did how did he eventually come around? Well, you know, the first time I met him, I don’t know. I was gonna meet. Okay? You had said he had quote. We need happier chickens. You engaged with him? Would you engage with the company? And he responded. That’s right. I’m sorry. Yeah, we talked about that. Um, but then you end up doing panels with him sitting next to him being interviewed. Yes. What was that like? Terrifying. You talk about being backstage with him, but he says he trusts you. He looks you in the eye and says, I trust you. But first he said, I feel like a lamb being led to slaughter. Many said, Trust you. So it was the humane. I guess he was hoping I wouldn’t slaughter him. It would be a humane slaughter. He would be unconference. State, I guess. Yeah, it was terrifying. And he and his wife, Jan, came over to London to speak at a conference called the Extinction Conference, held by Compassionate World Farming. Looking at the connection of factory farming with causing so many species to go extinct and the impact on our planet. And he came to speak and talk about working with each other and how difficult that was. And we were interviewed by Maren McKenna, who is a great journalist. She wrote the book called My Gosh Big Chicken and and it was terrifying. But again, you know, he was very honest, and I think both of us. I have lost some friends and becoming friends in the process. But we both can’t resist the pathway to of forging this better way, and I I think eventually others will follow this way, and the dominoes have started to fall. I think you have a chapter, a section called the Dominant of Falling Down or something related to over 200 companies have agreed to a new policy on on chickens that are raised for meat. And these air across their producers, their food service companies, groceries, restaurants like Chipotle Panera. No groceries yet sadly. But we have groceries. No groceries. We had hope. Who’s also holds duitz, of course. Sorry. Whole fits. I forgot. I was thinking, like, giant ones like Wal Mart, which I still were still working on, but, um, find common ground. Trust them. Give them a path toward winning. There you go. Thank you. Thank you. Um, so subway and Burger King, for example, have agreed Thio ah, to change their some of their conditions. So including giving the birds more space. A better breed that causes less suffering, better slaughter conditions that render the animals unconscious before they’re shackled. So lots of these progress is being made. And Purdue did lead the way by creating um by saying they would provide the chickens at this hyre welfare certification. Not sort of occasion, but standard. And that’s, you know, I think, um, proof that sometimes you have to step out in front and you have to do these uncomfortable, messy and difficult things and conversations, but others will follow. If you could be brave enough to do that, I read the book. The evidence is abundant that that’s that’s the case. Let’s just have a few minutes before we wrap up. Let’s talk a little bit. So where you mentioned your Burger King? I’m seeing a lot of press, including investment. Investment advice around Impossible Burger. What’s the other one Beyond? Beyond Beyond Burger, Right Beyond Beyond Beyond Meet Impossible Burger and and you wrap up with well near wrap up with regenerative organics. So so organic alone on chicken Is not organic is not synonymous with humanely raised the way we’re talking about. It’s not synonymous with pastor raises. It’s Ray’s. Tow the food right, the right thing. That means the feed has been raised without pesticide. You have to see you realize you have to see pasture raised or the guest of five on the gap or look for plant based alternatives. And I think that’s a really what’s really important. Growing trends like, for example, where I live in Atlanta, we have this crazy thing happened a month ago, which was the K f C trialled beyond chicken nuggets in Atlanta and it was insane. So it was one day trial in Atlanta and I went at 10 o’clock. We did some filming, and when I got there at 10 o’clock, there was traffic stopped in all directions. They had painted the KFC green. This is KFC. Mind you, KFC, Right? And there was you Thought they were giving out, like Beyonce tickets for free, inside or something. It was really insane. And they sold out in five hours. They said they were supposed to have two weeks worth of beyond chicken. So I think two weeks correct gave it away and 1/2 a day. They give it away that were coming to buy it, and it was five hours. And it just shows this, like, insane demand for plant based alternatives. Because people are like, I don’t I don’t want to eat this much meat. I don’t want to eat this meat. I don’t know where it comes from, but it comes from a plant. I can trust that. So there’s a real swing of these companies like KFC. On the way here I saw Duncan Donuts commercial showing beyond sausage in their breakfast patties. Now, so there’s a real trend in my book talks about that in the last chapter towards that plant based alternatives. And we just have a minute left. Regenerative organics. We can eat meat that is not raised for slaughter. You got a minute? Oh, that’s called. That’s not regenerative representative organ. That’s labbate based meat. So So. Labbate bases. Where is that what you’re talking about? Okay, labbate, get the book. Just going about regenerative Organic. Don’t listen to the chapter on regenerate but faster on lab, where you take a single cell from a feller, you grow it in a brewery kind of thing, and then you grow the burger that way, and this is really happening. And I tried duck of all things that that really brings it back to the beginning. And I thought, This is the future. And there’s more people that have been on, you know, been up in space that have tried clean meat as it’s called at this stage. But I felt so lucky, and I really felt I was peering into the future of a place where no animal has ever slaughtered. And no, no animal ever suffers in order to produce army awesome that doesn’t bring it full circle. She’s Leah, Gar says J R. C E. With an accent s, you’ll find her at Lia. Underscore compassion. The organization is at mercy for animals and mercy for animals dot or GE, lugthart says. Thank you so much for sharing. You Get the book, for God’s sake. Responsible. Oh no. Next week. Kickstarter Yes, Next week we have KICKSTARTER cofounder Yancey Strickler with his new book, This Could Be Our Future is his manifesto. If you missed any part of today’s show, I beseech you find it on tony. Martignetti dot com were sponsored by Wagner. C. P A. Is guiding you beyond the numbers wetness cps dot com by Coca Mountain Software Denali Fund Is there complete accounting solution made for non-profits tony dot m a slash Cougar Mountain for a free 60 day trial and by turn, to communications, PR and content for non-profits, your story is their mission. Turn hyphen to dot CEO. Our creative producers Claire Meyerhoff Sam Leibowitz is here is the line producer shows Social Media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our Web guy, and this music is by Scott Steiner. Brooklyn’s Thank you for that information. Scotty, be with me next week for non-profit radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other 95% go out and be great talking alternative radio 24 hours a day. Mmm. 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