Define Abuse!

My online friend, Dairy Carrie, and her friend have responded to the most recent “animal abuse” video targeting the dairy industry.  Her site is wonderful and worth subscribing to.

I posted this response on her site, and thought it worth posting on my own.

Give me about 2 weeks on any real, operating ranch or dairy farm, with unfettered access, and I will create a video that will make anyone look like an “abuser.”  Stuff happens, no matter how much we work to avoid bad situations.  Until all farmers and ranchers realize this and stop distancing themselves from “the abusers,” our enemies will continue to take us down, one at a time.

What I saw in this video (which took me about 10 minutes to find) was not nearly as bad as the build-up made me think it was going to be.  The calves were being handled roughly (and I would want my employees to be better trained), but there were no instances of abuse as I would define it.  The facility was immaculate and the calves looked to be in good condition.  Here is the video link.   http://www.cok.net/inv/quanah/  Charges have been filed against the “abusers.”  I hope the videographer is considered to be one!

The entire site (Compassion Over Killing) is disturbing, because it’s obvious that they do not really care about animal welfare.  They want to end the use of animals.  They have a blatant vegetarian/vegan agenda, and anyone who thinks that this was about “abuse” is kidding him/herself.

This little poem:  https://iloveag.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/the-bad-actor/

and this article:  https://iloveag.wordpress.com/2013/02/27/our-own-worst-enemies/

sum up how I view our responses to our enemies as leading to our own demise.  For what it’s worth.

Dairy Carrie, you and your family are wonderful, and Ashley and her family are wonderful.  I love you, I love your products, and I love agriculture!  I just want everyone to understand that it’s not about how good we are…how well we take care of our animals…how much money we spend improving our facilities and our processes.  These people, who are not and never will be our consumers, do not want us in business.  Period.

My heart, my condolences and my support go out to Quanah Cattle Co.

I obviously hit a nerve with PythagoreanCrank, who said,

I’m a skeptic and animal rights activist. The former came after the latter and understanding my own bias I give special attention to reports like these with groups who have an agenda. It’s with that that I tweeted looking for a response like this post, thank you for that. I was hoping to hear that the claim on the page (which has been altered I now see) that this is industry standard is untrue.

Still, this comment by iloveag confirms by suspicions that this not all farmer share your concerns for animal welfare and consider them simple commodities. Who’s attitude best represents animal agriculture?

My response to that activist:

I proudly run my cattle operation for profit!  Cattle and beef are commodities that are in demand, and I love catering to consumers while endeavoring to take excellent care of the animals that provide my livelihood.  Even if I were not soft-hearted, the profit motive would incent me to constantly improve animal handling techniques, natural-behavior-catering facilities and nutrition and animal health procedures.

The consumption of meat is a normal human activity, and at no point in history have animals been better cared for or more humanely raised and slaughtered.  Meat eaters should be pleased, too, that efficiency is at an all-time high.  We produce more beef with fewer resources than ever before!

Cattle convert roughage to a usable human food that is very nutrient-dense.  It is much more environmentally friendly to transport a truckload of meat than a truckload of grain, given the nutrient value.

I love agriculture and I love free markets that lead to the best possible outcomes for society and the environment!  Contrary to what animal rights activists and other enemies of private property propagate, we treat our animals well because of — not despite — the profit motive.

My first response mysteriously disappeared into the ethernet, but it included a direct accusation of animal rights activists.  If they truly cared about animal well-being (as opposed to ending the use of all animals for any purpose), they would not campaign to stop horse slaughter.  The obvious and horrendous effects of such a nonsensical end to a normal and humane process demonstrates clearly to me that this is not at all about taking good care of animals.  AR activists should hang their heads in shame.