I have been involved with agriculture all my life and have seen beauty in things that I am almost positive nobody but a farmer could appreciate. I have also seen some “not so beautiful” things through the years, all in harmony with the daily tasks involved on a row crop and cattle farm. This morning Jillian called and informed me of a video showing dairy calves being rendered unconscious with a blow to the head by a claw hammer and a pick-axe (sharp shooter). I would just like to say that of all the bad things that I have witnessed on a farm, this had to be at the top of my list for the most careless, unethical, and stupid way of euthanizing animals that I have ever seen. Myself, as well as every other farmer, rancher, and dairyman that I know, bend over backwards to ensure that our livestock are taken care of to the fullest extent. I can’t tell you how many mornings that, I personally, have gotten up well before 4:00 to care for our bottle calves and to make sure that they are warm, healthy, and happy. Or how many late nights we have stayed up pulling calves and nursing sick animals back to health. I can only imagine how much work others have done on their larger operations to ensure good care is given to all of their animals.
When I see this video, I feel as though many people who are not familiar with the livestock industry might come to the conclusion that this is the way all animals are treated. Not by a long shot. It only takes one bad apple to ruin the batch, and I hope these bad apples are prosecuted to the fullest. When I see this, it makes me feel as though all of the hard work that we as farmers, ranchers, and dairymen put into our operations to improve the quality of life for our animals and to educate people on the real way animals are treated on all modern farms goes to the wayside. How do these people justify these cruel and unethical acts? How can the organization that released this material (Mercy for Animals) say that going vegan will change these careless practices?
The answer is not to eliminate animal products from our lives; it is to educate the public on how animals are treated on the majority of all modern operations who take extra care of their animals because the animals take care of them. We are placed on this earth to be good stewards of the land and animals that are provided for us. Those very few who use unethical practices will not be in business very long in today’s agriculture code of ethics.
On another note, tune in later to hear about conservation tillage and new practices being used on cover crops to help suppress Palmer amaranth (Roundup resistant pigweed) and ways to conserve moisture before planting.
Until next time keep your nose clean and don’t take any wooden nickels.