This letter is the first in a 3-part message from our founder, Aaron Gross. To read the next letter in the series, please click here.
As Thanksgiving leftovers disappear, I still find myself filled with gratitude for the movement we are building to end factory farming and transform our food system. In 2022, Farm Forward turns fifteen years old, and, as New Years approaches, it’s a powerful time to reflect on just how much strength we’ve built. Our movement is stronger and closer to victory than you may think.
In the last twelve months Farm Forward’s call to transform animal agriculture has reached more people than ever before. The videos that we helped create on humanewashing and the link between factory farming and pandemics alone have been viewed more than a million times.
But what’s more important than individual statistics is the way our and others’ efforts are beginning to create a seismic cultural shift. Factory farming itself was the result of a massive cultural shift whereby Americans took the power to farm away from historic farm communities and handed that power over to large corporations who promised us cheap, clean, efficient food. Instead, what they gave us was climate change, superbugs, environmental racism, and a scale of animal suffering so immense that we literally cannot comprehend it—the groaning of billions of land animals and trillions of sea animals in nightmarish conditions.
The factory farm—especially the poultry industry—increasingly needs to renew the lie that first allowed it to destroy traditional agriculture and take over meat production. In important ways, the factory farm still has the upper hand—more money, more media, more political clout—but anyone paying attention knows the balance of power has shifted.
Will you help us seize this unique moment when the pandemic and other forces have made factory farms particularly vulnerable?
Consumers are demanding more information about where their animal products come from, major retailers are dropping deceptive humanewashing labels, politicians are proposing moratoriums for the first time, plant-based meat companies are experiencing explosive growth, veganism is increasingly a mainstream choice, the climate change movement is finally realizing the impact of changing food systems, financiers are warning of the risks of investing in factory farms, and, as a result, even cultural icons like Harvard University are considering radically retooling their dining services to make plant-based proteins the new default.
We need your support to continue to raise the conscience of consumers.
The future isn’t here yet, but it’s clear it belongs to those of us who believe in a better way to farm.
Onward and forward,
Aaron S. Gross
Founder and CEO // Farm Forward
P.S. – Please consider supporting our efforts with a donation of $10 or more! Every donation in any amount helps demonstrate the public will to end factory farming and helps our efforts to secure funds from foundations and large donors.
Thank you for reading the first of 3 letters from Farm Forward’s founder, Aaron Gross. The next letter in the series can be found here.