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Thursday, January 04, 2007
haylift to snowbound cattle. interesting dilemma for PETA types?
Listening to:DelAmitri, Roll To Me
Reading:Nick Cave's Ass
Weather:37, sunny
A wicked snowstorm after a pre-xmas snowstorm in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma has left shitloads of stranded people and cattle without food. The national guard is dropping hay bales to feed stranded cattle. In 1997 apparently some 30,000 cattle died from such a stranding snowstorm.

My first thought was there are probably plenty of animal lovers who would contribute to the effort to save these creatures. But right on the heels of that thought was thought #2, why would animal lovers want to help cattle ranchers save their businesses of raising animals for slaughter and profit? I find this to be an interesting dilemma. Would you withhold whatever assistance you could provide in hopes that another rancher would go out of business, and thereby save all the future cattle from his slaughter? Or would you help save the lives of these stranded starving creatures and thereby help save evil ranchero's corporation for more years of bloody profit? Then there's all the grayshade in the middle, do you opt to help the small entrepreneurial organic beef farmer who treats his animals and the earth more kindly versus the mega agricorp who uses dull slaughter blades and yells at the baby cows?

Cows are unfortunately delicious. They are really bad for the environment. It takes something like 2500 gallons of water and about 14 pounds of grain to produce a pound of beef. They are extremely inefficient creatures to grow. A 10 acre farm could support the nutritional needs of 60 people by growing soybeans, but only 2 by growing beef. The rainforests are being decimated in part to make way for cattle farms. There are more than 3 times the number of cows on planet earth than there are people. If we all quit eating cows there'd be way more food available to share with hungry people. And we could probably all fit into those old jeans we no longer can wedge our fat asses into. And perhaps we could send the kids to college, since we now in america spend more annually on fast food than on higher education.

If only those dang cows smelled really bad on the grill or tasted more like overcooked brussel sprouts.

I was a vegetarian for over 10 yrs. My theory was that there is just plenty of other awesome food that is not animal, might as well skip the animals since all of the above, plus bigtime agribusiness is an evil part of the military industrial complex, and dosing everybody bad with funky hormones and antibiotics and bad chemicals, as well as screwing up our water and soil. So I occasionally ate wild meat during those years, deer or wild turkey. I'm not a hunter so it wasn't too often I got the opportunity anyway. I never thought about eating wild meat during that time until my neighbor's response to my bitching about the deer in my garden was "they eat your veggies, you eat them, that oughta work out."

But once you could get organic and sometimes local beef and chicken at the grocery I started eating it, since that let me avoid most of what I was opposed to, and let me cook up foods I liked and missed. But I still feel the occasional guilt pang, especially since whenever I eat something non-vegetarian in a restaurant it is most likely some chemoladen factoryfarmed evil hunk of flesh. Though it has been nice moving our offices out of Sabraton, the glaring beacon of all things fastfood, to downtown motown where I don't pass a single drive-through going to or from work. Now about the only time I eat at McDonald's is the occasional 7am no-meat-please egg and cheese biscuit from Fairmont on my way to a 10am meeting in Charleston.

So would you save the stranded cattle for their eventual slaughter and their owners' profit? I guess we could ponder this until the cows come home, nrk nrk nrk.

permalink posted by cat 9:22 AM

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haylift to snowbound cattle. interesting dilemma for PETA types?