Bustad Lecture @ WSU: Steven Niemi, DVM DACLAM
College of Veterinary Medicine
November 13th, 2020 @ 4:00pm
Reaching out to the Opposition
Although other periods in our country’s history have exceeded today’s rancorous discourse, current schisms have rightly been described as undermining the very foundation on which this nation was formed and has prospered. Such trends and consequences apply not only to civic institutions but also threaten our field of veterinary medicine and science. Consider raging arguments over animal research, food animal production, “adopt-don’t shop” pet ownership, purebreds versus mongrels, and vaccine safety, to name a few. Passionate advocates for both sides consider acknowledgement of their opponents’ claims as either treason or surrender. By contrast, respectful dialogue with one's adversaries, provided they are law-abiding and willing to listen, may correct misinformation, identify shared concerns, dial down the rhetoric, and even indicate opportunities for collaboration. The intent of this talk is to provide examples of such an alternative approach with suggestions for how it can benefit the human-animal bond and beyond.