Thursday, March 10, 2011

“Be Inspired” inspires everyone!

“Pork. The other white meat.” only appealed to the consumer. But the Pork Board’s new tag line, Be Inspired, speaks to everyone -- the slaughterhouse worker, the Hormel VP of corporate communications ... Nobody’s left out.

Be inspired! the pork board said. And the Hormel suppliers in Bayard, Iowa were. No more settling for the humdrum everyday ways of killing like shackle hoists and stun bolt guns. They used metal poles and cement floors, they shocked and impaled. It’s all on video, though not one of the videos posted on the Feed your Creativity site the Pork Board set up on PorkBeInspireddotcom. You'll only find pork recipes there now. Maybe when they expand their video library?

Be Inspired! the pork board said, and the PR flak in the Hormel corporate communications department was. When the video of the abuses in the Bayard plant hit the news, he didn’t settle for the conventional spin or the little white lie. He said,

We found the images from the Iowa farm appalling … this is simply about treating animals humanely because it’s the right thing to do … Pork producers are the best ambassadors for animal welfare in the United States.

Slaughter 1,000 animals per hour and you’re the best ambassadors for animal welfare in the United States? He didn’t worry about people asking if he was on drugs when he said that, maybe the same drugs Hormel injects into their hogs. He was inspired. He came up with a statement on the dark side of truth and it ended up in the Hormel Corporate Responsibility report and probably earned him a reserved parking spot.

Be Inspired! the Pork Board said, and Temple Grandin was. Killing was too inefficient in most slaughterhouses. Animals inexplicably resisted entering. Struggling hogs slipped on the floor, holding up the line, causing delays, decreasing efficiency. So Temple Grandin invented a grooved tile to keep the hogs hoofs from slipping. Improving efficiency. Increasing the number of hogs slaughtered. Earning herself cash bonuses from the fast food companies and the coveted Proggy Award from PETA.

Be Inspired is all-inclusive. It speaks to everyone. No wonder the Pork Board changed their tag line.