MY SAY: Serious food for thought in sharing cruelty clips

HORRIFIC images of tiny, fluffy chickens being forced down a metallic funnel appeared on my Facebook page the other day.

Accompanied on the video, put together by "Animal Equality", were more disturbing images of those cute, tiny chooks crammed together in unthinkable conditions.

The images are designed to demand a much needed shake-up in the live food industry.

I worry that the intent is also to shock people into giving up meat and embrace veganism by exposing the brutality in the industry.

Has anyone done any research on what harm these types of videos may be doing to our impressionable teenagers who think this is the norm and become vegan overnight?

I have nothing against veganism and I admire people who stand up for their convictions.

For too long our meat and poultry industries have gone about their profit-making machinations without enough thought for the live creatures they are dealing with.

But a dramatic dietary change requires lots more information and thoughtful consideration.

A family friend's teenage daughter has spent weeks in hospital with an eating disorder.

She had seen one of those horrible videos of what some people do to animals and it inspired her to become vegan.

But she didn't have the education to know how to replace the nutrients found in dairy and meat and she lost weight, lots of it.

Another friend has told me his grandson was in hospital in Brisbane with similar issues. You can't just show shocking images of what happens to animals and not provide guidance of where people can go to get appropriate nutritional advice if they wish to make a dietary change.

Further, many of those videos don't provide any framework of where and when the incident happened. It could have been in Africa or Australia, in 1986 or in 2016 and it could have been one lone operator - who should be shut down.

Journalists are required to provide context, social media networks aren't and children lack the knowledge of how to check the source.

As my friend says, "there is a lot of misinformation out there and it's hard as a parent to argue with a child making a decision on ethical grounds".

Facebook and other social media sites have a moral responsibility not to allow the posting of these kind of videos randomly on feeds.

Animal Equality and other organisations equally have a responsibility to be sensitive about the information they put out there and the potential audience it could be reach. More than that, there needs to be clear links of where you can go to get proper food advice before switching your diet.

Nambour Hospital's Dietetics Service clinical lead Kylie Clavarino has also warned people thinking about adopting a radical diet change that they need to get expert advice.

That expert advice should not be from 'Dr Google' but from a qualified and approved dietician.

The health of our future generations depends on it.

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