Thursday, September 24, 2009

Holy Cow! Or is it Holy Dog?

I live on a farm half of the year. Not a big factory farm, but a small, truly organic family holding where we raise all of our own meat, milk, and eggs, most of our vegetables, and some of our fruit and grain.

In order to have organic meat we raise a steer, a hog, and some chickens and goats. That means will kill them and eat their flesh. Vegetarians despise people like me (the feeling is mutual, as I never met a Vegan that was not also "Pro-Choice", no small bit of being FOS there...).

I have not contributed to the for some time because I felt that they were engaging in censorship. Perhaps I was wrong. I found the following essay on their site today:

Warning! This is refreshingly poignant, politically incorrect, and brutally honest...

I see [in recent Ohio news] that people are getting arrested for murdering dogs and cats. We deliberately murder thousands upon thousands of cows and pigs every day so that we can eat meat but oh my, not cats and dogs. We kill people in war every day too, but oh my again, not cats and dogs. Has it been determined by theologians that dogs and cats are suddenly included in the Thou Shall Not Kill commandment? Did the writers of the American Constitution have in mind covering pets too?

Next thing you know, someone will get arrested for killing a mouse. Why not? Does a mouse have any less rights than a cat or dog? How about a rat? A mosquito? What hypocrites we are. Our pet-worshiping society raises a hullabaloo when a man kills his dog but our local humane societies must kill dogs by the thousands every day because pet-worshipers won’t take proper responsibility for their pets and nobody else wants them.

Sooner or later some poor judge will be called upon to decide which living things can be legally killed by humans and which can’t. Mercy, what a can of worms that will open. The judge will have to decide whether or not animals have rights like humans do; or, if they have some human rights and not others, which? And then, where should the line be drawn between which living things are animals with rights and which are animals without rights. If a cat has rights like humans have, why not the fleas on the cat?

What grinds me the most are people who, believing they are being kind to animals, will live-trap the ones that are bothering them and release them out in the country to become someone else’s problem. That is first of all illegal in many places. Secondly, study after study shows that releasing a wild animal into the wild most often is an act of cruelty. (Not to mention the horrendous cruelty of dropping off pet kittens out in the countryside.) The wild environment already has a full complement of wild animals, believe me. That’s why they are going to town and raiding urban backyards, looking for food. Adding, for instance, more raccoons to the countryside will only mean grave hardship or starvation for the released animal or it will find its way back to town anyway. Or into my barn. People who treat animals this way rather than killing them or taking them to the Humane Society to be killed, are just plain ignorant about nature, or refuse to admit that the food chain requires the constant necessity of death. Thank heavens for our local Humane Societies who do the dirty work of killing these unwanted animals. But why is it cruel to shoot a dog with a bullet, but humane to kill it with a shot of some chemical?

I once had a very refined and cultured book editor who was very adamant about not killing wildlife. She was horrified when I told her that I killed groundhogs and raccoons that were destroying my gardens. Later she took up gardening. Wasn’t long before she admitted that she understood what I had tried to tell her. She cornered the groundhog that was systematically destroying her garden and this very refined and cultured woman killed it with her spading fork, the only weapon handy.

This is the only way I know to change an avid wildlife lover’s view of life and death. Put them in charge of producing some of the food for the world. They can either put an animal and bird proof fence around the entire food producing acreage of the world which not even Bill Gates can afford to do, or they can help nature keep population levels from exploding.

Now all you friends of wildlife can rant at me. I wish you well and I wish you were right. If raccoons were endangered in any way, I would be the first one to rise in their defense. We certainly have to avoid cruelty to animals, but, oh my, it is extremely difficult to define what is morally or immorally cruel. Life is cruel by whatever standard you want to use. I just took my lambs to market, an experience that is always very sad for me. I’ve spent many a cold night keeping those lambs alive and healthy and many a long day guarding them from neighborhood dogs whose owners won’t live up to their responsibility as dog owners. I have enjoyed the supremely pleasant sight of lambs gamboling over the meadow grass. I had the unpleasant task of cutting off their tails so that fly eggs don’t hatch into maggots in the manure that would otherwise cling to the lambs’ tails and literally eat the lamb alive. I have tried very hard to raise lambs in a way that will protect them from internal parasites which is the main reason they often get loose bowels that bring on the maggot problem. But it is extremely difficult to succeed at raising sheep without internal parasites. Should I not raise lambs because I don’t like docking them? Should I quit raising lambs because they will end up as rack of lamb for rich people who descry the ways we shepherds must use to keep the lambs alive until then?

Should I not get married and have children because in the end we all must die? Perhaps in some idiotic war? Some of the very people who belch bricks at me because I will kill a dog that is killing my sheep support that terribly insane Iraq war and now nod their approval to killing more people in another idiotic war in Afghanistan.

But oh my, we must save our precious dogs and cats so they can die of old age and be buried in animal cemeteries. Did you know there are even live traps for mice now? You trap them and then let them loose away from your property to infest someone else’s house. I wonder how far away we are from spending money on mouse cemeteries while poor people can’t get adequate health care.

End of the Logsdon Essay

Can you believe that? From Organic Liberal types? I almost fell out of my f*&king chair reading that this morning.

Yea, I know, nothing to do with energy... but every once in a while you find someone willing to not be just another flippin' idiot...

Hat tip to the Logsdons!



kathy said...

Gene Logdson is one of my favorite writers and the reason I am were I am, doing what I do. Years ago I picked up a copy of Two Acre Eden and fell in love. I got it for quarter at a church rumage sale. I also got my first Storey Bulletin for nickel and a discarded Mother Earth News at the same time. I think it must have been in 1976. I decided then that I would live in the country some day and write for Storey. Now I live on my own little Eden, write for Storey and would happily kill the damn raccon that ate my winter squash with my bare hands. Unfortunately, I can't shoot the little bugger because I'm too close to my neighbor's animals. I too get the weepy eyes over the demise of my little piggys but that never stops any of those sorry souls from eating the excellent hams that result from my cruelty. I would actually take it a step furhter. What makes me any more important than a dandelion? We all eat and the biggest one wins in the food chain war.

Anonymous said...

A fit of sanity in an increasigly insane world.

Coal Guy

Anonymous said...

Growing up in Ohio,my uncle,who lived next door, raised sheep. One day ,when I was about 6 or 7 years old,I jumped then the fence holding a few lambs, just to pet them. One decided it had enough petting and ran off. As it did I grabbed it by the tail. You guessed it , the tail fell off into my had. Man I thought I had killed the thing, jumped back over that fence so fast and ran to the house. That is one of my first experiences of being truely scared.

Oh,I checked up on the thing daily,never did die. And my uncle never suspected.


Anonymous said...

There are pwoplw who are Environmental activitist and then there people who are environmentally active.

The first one consumes the others production. Then spouts off bull crap on how the second should produce that food.

The second one actually does something and produces food for the other to plot his distuction.

Greg T. Jeffers said...

I am still speechless that he energy bulletin printed this. In the past they have been nothing but one sided, censuring anything and everything that wasn't to their political liking.

Greg T. Jeffers said...


I will be a Logsdon reader from now on.

Endangered species need protecting. Domestic animals and stock are all of a class - or should be. Why would we sick those nice folks in Law Enforcement on someone who are their dog, but not for eating their goat?

Because of Walt Disney.

Greg T. Jeffers said...

"ate" not "are"