Consumers are increasingly asking about farm animal welfare and treatment. Christina Lood, director of communications for U.S. public affairs for Zoetis, says you’ll be most convincing if you can tell consumers about your own farm or one you’ve seen. “Invite them to visit a farm,” she suggests. “Seeing is believing!”

Here are her suggestions for answering common animal-related questions.

Q: Why are farm animals given antibiotics?
A: Farmers care about the health and well-being of their animals. They work with their veterinarians, who prescribe antibiotics primarily to treat or control an infectious disease. In some cases, antibiotics can be lifesaving — just like they are for people.

Q: Are farm animals mistreated on large farms?
A: Not at all. Farmers want their animals to be comfortable and healthy. For example, dairy farms typically have mattresses or sand bedding for cows to lie on and cool-water misters for hot weather. Pigs and chickens are comfortable year-round in climate-controlled barns.

Q: How can I learn more about farm animal well-being?
A: If you can’t visit a farm, engage with farmers on social media. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Erin Brenneman: @SowMomma (Twitter and Instagram) and spookgal (Snapchat)
  • Dairy Carrie: @dairycarrie (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram)
  • Debbie Lyons-Blythe: www.kidscowsandgrass.com, @DebbieLB (Twitter)
  • Troy Hadrick: advocatesforag.com, @troyhadrick (Twitter)