Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The pet psychiatrist is in

Another good day with great weather here in the Columbia Basin. I keep reading about weather in other parts of the country and am even more thankful. So many places are suffering through a terrible, cold and snowy winter. I hope none of you people in those areas think I do not know how hard you are working to keep those baby calves alive. The worst thing about bad weather is it adds so much to an already stressful and busy time. Things like frozen water, snow to clear, bedding to lie down, mud, chilling cold, difficult to start equipment and even more than normal amounts of feed to keep the cows in good condition. Keep up the good work fellow ranchers who are in areas with these conditions. I may not be experiencing these issues myself this winter but I do realize and appreciate how hard you people are working these days. As a fellow animal welfare advocate I am glad that you are as well.

When you are dealing with cattle or other livestock for that matter you do everything you can to keep them alive. I always laugh when the far out animal rights people say ranchers do not care for their animals. How many of you involved with animal agriculture have spent many times over an animal’s value in veterinary bills just because that’s what we do? Maybe I am amused too easily but sometimes I laugh at the very people pointing fingers at my and other rancher’s way of life. Just picture this scenario. A human leaves their dog in an apartment for 8 hours while they are away at work. The same person is a PETA or HSUS member and sends extra money to those types of organizations each year. This same person points their finger at me and my industry and says I do not care about animal welfare. Did you think Bowser tears up those throw pillows or tips over the garbage because he is having such a happy day while you are away?

Thoughts like that anger some but they just make me chuckle. You want to talk about animal welfare? Well. Put ‘em up there Skippy, I’m your huckleberry. You think that yapping lap dog of yours is happy going to get a pedicure and wash at the local doggy salon on Saturdays? Has he ever had the chance to really live and roll in a pile of fresh cowshit or lick the yellow, runny, fragrant and succulent manure from a week old calf’s ass? If not then your dog is missing out. You have never seen a truly happy dog unless you have seen one that is covered in cowshit, lying on some 6 week old afterbirth with a dead carp in his mouth. Speaking of afterbirth, I expected yesterday’s video would spawn a few more emails both positive and negative. I will say when I saw that cow chomping away I could not find my camera fast enough! What is funny is some idiots will tell you cows are vegetarians. Well. I would love to find where they sell placenta seeds because most cows love it and you don’t get more “organic” than that!

Back to my point, you want to see a happy feline? Sure, old Tom may be reasonably happy with that chicken, tuna and liver flavored food from a can. Give him a mouthful of baby starling, pocket gopher or field mouse and he will laugh at you and your “Fancy Feast”. That’s what bothers me most about people who are very extreme about animal welfare and just what that means. They never consider just how cruel Mother Nature is related to animal welfare. I am looked at as the devil himself if I pop a steer in the head with a bullet in a clean and quick manner. Yet a timber wolf ripping the throat out of a calf, lamb or fawn for that matter is perfectly fine in their world. That three legged gazelle that lost her leg to a crocodile and is on the verge of death from gangrene is “cool” but a T Bone steak is “sickening” in the self righteous mind.

I know that even people that are very moderate in their views have a difficult time with the idea of raising animals for food. They often say it is “unnatural” and cruel. Those same people advocate the feeding of hay to elk in the winter so they do not starve to death. I am ok with that idea and even in support but in the “natural” world no state game department trucks bring alfalfa hay to the elk feeding grounds each day in the winter. In the natural world those elk gradually get thinner, weaker, and frail. Then succumb to some type of infection, die of starvation or even possibly freeze to death because they are too weak to move to shelter in a storm.

I will get off my soapbox but I end this post with a few thoughts. I will not deny that our industry has a few “bad actors” as does any industry and I will never defend those that purposely do not treat an animal with the best care possible. Most ranchers do not like to see animals in pain or suffering and will go to great lengths to make sure they do all they can to prevent those situations. Until you have sucked the mucus out of a calf’s lungs into your own mouth to save that calf from suffocation and death I am not very inclined to feel you care more about animals than I do. That being said I am willing to discuss your contrary views. Bring Precious out some Saturday after you have been to the groomers. I would be willing to bet as we talk Festus will be willing to show her how to get rid of that nasty shampoo smell by showing her a nice green fresh patty.

Today’s real environmentalist species found on the ranch is Crested wheatgrass aka Agropyron cristatum.

Today’s picture is calf number 0905g getting some milk from behind. I took this picture because it reminded me of most politicians today. If you sneak in the backdoor and steal some of my milk just prepare to be shit upon if you do it for too long.