The process beef cattle follow from farm to table isn’t always a rosy conversation, but it’s one Janet Riley, senior vice president of the American Meat Institute, says is necessary.

AMI official: Uncomfortable information better than alternativeRiley emphasized the importance of transparency in a recent video by Certified Angus Beef and the American Angus Association. She says it’s important to share the steps involved in beef processing in order to educate consumers who may receive bad information.

“There’s research to show that if you give people the correct information up front, even in a subject that’s a little difficult to talk about like slaughter, you can inoculate them against bad information,” Riley said.

Animal rights activists releasing undercover videos of a slaughter facility can shock the general public, largely because they have no previous knowledge to compare the information. More transparency allows consumers to think critically when they see undercover videos designed to shock them.

“If they’ve never seen slaughter done right, they have no basis on which to evaluate that activist’s video.”

Riley encourages producers to share their farming experiences because their friends and neighbors want to know where their food comes from.

In addition to personal conversations, farmers can reach a larger audience by sharing their practices through social media.