Friday, October 18, 2013

We Are Murderers.

“Tens of thousands of cattle killed in Friday’s blizzard, say ranchers. Murdered one way or another. If you’re a cow in the hands of animal agriculture-You’re gonna die.”

I was looking for good Ag infographics on Pinterest the other day and came across this comment on a pin. This isn’t the first comment like this I have seen nor will it be the last, but it always feels like I have been punched in the gut. Why are people spending time attacking an industry that is doing everything it can to be responsible and humane in all its working? Shouldn't we be spending more time helping children without families? Or ending human-to-human violence? Personally I'd rather be put down by a vet than shot by a gang member!

I hate to tell you but everything DIES. I’m going to throw some Temple Grandin quotes at you now. In case you don’t know who Temple Grandin is, she is THE queen of livestock handling-read here  if you want to know more!

“We raise them for us; that means we owe them some respect. Nature is cruel but we don’t have to be. I wouldn’t want to have my guts ripped out by a lion. I'd much rather die in a slaughter house if it were done right.” 

“Unfortunately, most people never observe the natural cycle of birth and death. They do not realize that for one living thing to survive, another living thing must die.” 

“I think using animals for food is an ethical thing to do, but we've got to do it right. We've got to give those animals a decent life and we've got to give them a painless death. We owe the animal respect.”  

To read that we “murder” our animals really upset me. Our whole lives revolve around the health and productivity of our animals. Watching them suffer is extremely painful. What makes it even worse is we have to guess what exactly is wrong because they can’t speak to us. They can tell us with body language, their eyes, and many other cues that we have to learn to look for, but there is always the worry that maybe we missed something or diagnosed incorrectly.  

Last Friday I lost a sow unexpectedly. She was fine one day, gone the next. Sometimes animals die unexpectedly. It is a fact of life that farmers and ranchers live with day in and day out. 

Does it still hurt? For sure. 

Do I want to know what happened to the poor old girl? Of course. That’s why she is at the Vet Lab for a necropsy. 

I looked at this person’s board and it became clear they were vegan. Don’t get me wrong, if you want to be vegan, that is entirely your choice. But true veganism doesn’t really exist in our current world. You may choose not to eat animal products, but what about wearing them? Or using pretty much any product we use in our daily lives? Chances are you aren’t looking for every single product that contains animal by-products. 

The vegan queen Carrie Underwood is largely despised by those in agriculture. Mainly because she’s a big fat liar. She claims to be a down home farm girl from Oklahoma but supports HSUS and PETA and is basically trying to destroy Oklahoma’s major industry (agriculture). Read this post I found-it’s pretty darn humorous.

But now to the educational portion of this post. Let’s see if you know just how many things animal by-products are in that we use every day…

This is an older infographic summarizing cattle by-products.
I really like how this one is laid out so I added it as well!

Check out AnimalSmart for more information

Many important medicines, such as insulin, are derived from pigs. Shampoo, adhesives, gum, toothpaste, vitamins, photo paper, leather goods, woolen clothes, down pillows, some hairbrushes, paintbrushes…the list is endless. The list would be even longer if I was including agricultural products in general but I will stick with animals for today.

There are still many cultures that use internal organs as bags and water containers. That may seem irrelevant to us here in the US but it just shows that those people appreciate the cycle of life and understand their place in nature. You can be against eating meat all you want to be, but would you really deny somebody a pig heart? Or insulin? Aren't we respecting animals more by not wasting the gifts they give us? 

The cycle of life includes birth. And death. Farmers and ranchers understand both. It doesn’t make us heartless. Or evil. It simply makes us human. And truly connected to Nature. 

If you truly question the emotion involved in animal agriculture, then read the following posts (this is only a small sample but I don't want to overwhelm you). And come join me the next time I, or any farmer or rancher, work with our animals. You might be surprised how attached to them we actually are. 

                               Just A Ranch Wife-Character

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