Sunday, April 10, 2016

Support a Rancher, Eat a Vegan

Anybody seen that bumper sticker before?  Ok, I know its not really nice to say but its a little funny.  Just a titch...  And I don't really mean it.  If people want to go down that road, its up to them.  And it leaves more tasty beef for me.  But what really frustrates me is when they those people go beyond making a personal choice and decide to go head hunting farmers and ranchers.  That's when I kinda want to eat a vegan...

If you couldn't tell, this is going to be a little different from what you would say is my “normal” blog post.  Usually I have stories and pictures from what’s happening from our neck of the woods buttoday I have a treat for you.  About a year ago, The Rancher stumbled upon a Facebook page called Greeley Cow Savers.  They say that the "purpose of this page is to bring awareness to the abuse and exploitation of farm animals" and "bearing witness to their suffering and vegan education."  What?!

Ya… weird.  We looked and a little closer and with our perusing I was nearly crying from laughing so hard at their incompetence and completely infuriated at their lies.  Something we feel like all the time, right?  To be honest I don’t know if the page is a joke or not, but I’m inclined to believe that it is legit and that these people are so confused as to what is really happening with farming and ranching.  But even if it is a joke, followers are believing what they are saying.

Some of their content was really so hilarious.  They posted a video of some of their members at a feedlot trying to “free” the animals there.  The poor guy trying to make such a valiant effort to save the poor cows couldn’t even figure out how to get the blasted gate open! It must have been his first rodeo… Once he got the gate open, he tells the cattle to run and be free only to be answered with blank stares and cud chewing.  He was so disappointed.  Darn ranches probably brainwashed those cows!

Another post that really had us rolling was about the cruel calving practices ranchers use.  Things like how cruel it is for ranchers to NOT provide clean linens for the momma cows as they birth.  We are so cruel we force the mothers lick clean their babies because we won’t do it ourselves.  In fact, we are so cruel that not only do we make them lick their calves off, but we make them eat the afterbirth! And then we are cruel to not take the calves from the tired mothers to allow them to rest after their long, intense deliveries. 

I could keep going on some of their ridiculous delusions on ranching because really, they had a lot.  But there is a problem here that makes me so frustrated I could scream.  The problem is that people actually believe these totally skewed misconceptions and that farmers and ranchers are cruel.  And the even bigger problem is that more and more are believing, following and supporting these people.

Sadly my frustration leads to feelings of inadequacy because I don’t know that there is much I can really do about it.  There will always be people against farming and ranching that will always poke holes in our industry.  But maybe today I can put a plug in one of those holes and feel a little better about myself by writing this post.  And I write this to two different audiences.
To my fellow farmers and ranchers… I have two things to say to you.  First, please do care for your animals.  I’m not telling you to so anything crazy like pull out the linens as your cows calve.  Let’s be real here and still remember that they are animals with animal instincts that we shouldn’t take away or humanize.  But as we give them purpose in life, let’s help them fulfill their purpose honorably. Second, if you aren’t telling your ranching story, someone else will and you might not like what they are saying about you.  You don’t have to get all fancy and spend all your time doing it, but take time to be open and real about what you do.
To my friends that aren’t a part of the Ag industry… Thank you for being here! So many people have become disconnected from where their food comes from.  Yes we buy milk from the store, but that milk still comes from cows.  Cows that have farmers and ranchers that care for them.  I want you to know that we really, truly care about our animals.  We have their best interest in mind as we work every day.  Yes we try to be efficient with our time, money, and equipment but that doesn’t mean we care any less.  We take time to study the best nutrition for our animals and the best techniques to care for them.  I hate to admit it, but there are people in our industry that have given us a bad name, but you need to know that the few bad choices some people have made doesn’t portray an accurate picture how our industry as a whole is.  Farmers and ranchers are the hardest working, selfless, toughest and most tender people I know.

The next time you run across someone trying to poke holes in our industry, please think of this ranching family that works day and night to raise beef to feed families around the world.  Remember that while we are working, we take our responsibility to care for our animals and our land seriously.  We believe so strongly in what we do, that this is so much more than a job or a career.  Ranching is our life!
Here are a few screenshots of their Facebook page...

Actually those chains are to assist the cow while birthing. And yes, a dairy calf is take from its mother, but not to be killed!

I'm not sure what they think this silencer chute really is but in reality it is a chute designed to keep cows and us as safe as possible while we work them. 

Yep that is yucky. But I'm guessing it's from a LONG day of hauling cows. And unfortunately cows poop. But before any self respecting rancher would put cows in there, they would clean it out. We do at the end of every day we haul and have never had a cow complain. 

(Ps if you really want to get down to it, this isn't a trailer for hauling just calves AND they rarely lay down. If they are young enough that they would, the truckers lay out sawdust...)

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