I must say, for the festive season, there seems to be an awful lot of fighting going on.
From Farming Show host Jamie Mackay's infatuation with Fight for Life contestants Jesse Peach and The Bachelor, to Hans Kreik and pretty much the rest of New Zealand, it seems people are still rather enamoured with the biff.
Nothing wrong with the biff; I'm partial to it myself. But in the case of SAFE v The Farmers, the battle lines have well and truly been drawn. It's Us against Them - lefty veganism vs centre-right common sense, animal-lovers vs animal-haters, economic saboteurs vs economic custodians. But, of course, it's not as simple as that - it never is.
Whatever your views are on SAFE's decision to buy advertising in foreign media, condemning the New Zealand dairy industry, it's fair to say the middle ground has typically been lost. We see it in all forms and levels of conflict - take sides, arm yourself with a pitchfork and pledge allegiance to the point where logic and reason cease to become part of the equation.
We see it in sport, politics and religion, the mere tip of the iceberg, so why shouldn't we see it in agriculture? Of course, it's not exempt from the human condition, so it's taken its place alongside all other facets of life.
I was having a conversation with a colleague this week about our days studying history at Otago University. We were discussing countries with interesting histories and both agreed the United States was the nation that piqued our historical interest the most. But she was unversed in another of my favourites, Irish history.
The poor girl then received an ear-bashing from yours truly, starting with the Potato Famine and the events that led to the failed, yet ultimately inspirational, Easter Uprising of 1916. It's a convenient academic line in the sand and marked the beginning of the conflict as we understand it today.
Emerging from the rubble of 1916 was a young man by the name of Michael Collins, who quickly established himself as a man of many talents and effectively ran the IRA. His plan was to wage a guerrilla war to avoid the mistakes made in earlier campaigns by trying to tackle the military might of the British Empire head on. His training of rag-tag farmboys into virtual assassins, dubbed The Squad, and tactical genius virtually brought the Empire to its knees. Collins was so successful, his guerrilla methods were repeated around the world in the early 20th century.
But, as I've said, simply choosing a side and battling it out is never quite as easy as it appears. Collins, the soldier, was sent by Eamon de Valera to do a politician's job, which ultimately resulted in the Anglo-Irish Treaty, signed in December 1921. The agreement provided an Irish Free State and the partitioning of the six Ulster counties, which remained under British rule.
Despite ordering Collins to attend the negotiations and refusing to go himself, de Valera now turned on the deal and labelled the signatories "traitors". When the Irish Parliament voted in favour of adopting the treaty, Civil War ensued and Collins was ambushed and killed in August 1922.
There are many factors at play when attempting to discern the nature of any conflict, but at its heart is the stubbornness of belief, an unwavering resolve no matter what the consequence and an inability to reason.
Some of the comments from both sides in the current bobby-calf scandal (that's how it started remember) have begun to get predictably vociferous. Again, predictably, most of it is confined to illiterate Facebook posts.
The common sense on this occasion has been provided by well-known Marlborough farmer and motivational speaker Doug Avery. Along with Allflex Australasia chief executive Shane McManaway, he has helped launch a website called Proud to be NZ Farmers. Avery's point is simple, yet salient; he's asking people to consider how to take the anger they're feeling, the greatest he has ever seen in rural New Zealand, and make it into something worthwhile. To quote him from Tuesday's Farming Show: "The simple fact of the matter is, you don't do that by getting angry back " you do that by lifting the bar."
Now that's an approach more befitting the festive season, well said Doug.