Friday Focus

It’s been so long since I’ve blogged that I’ve nearly forgotten how to work this.  I’m committing to blogging once a week about one main topic.  Most of the time that will be something about faith, family or cattle.  Maybe all three.  But this week I want to focus on the election that is coming up in only 18 days by using a paper that Jesse wrote for his Comp class at Linn State Technical College.  The last assignment in there was to write a 2 1/2 to 3 page opinion paper.  He’s back home now working at his 8 week internship.  I’ll let you read the paper then add a few closing comments.

Protecting Puppies or Persecuting Farmers?

Watching TV, you will often see a commercial with malnourished kittens and injured or sick dogs.  The plea for money to “help these poor animals” comes from the HSUS (Humane Society of the US).  In reality, very little of the money is sent to help the mistreated animals.  You see, HSUS spends most of their money on lobbying for the abolition of animal agriculture.   According to Patricia Peak Klintberg’s article “Humane is the Game: Animal Advocacy Group Zeros in on Agriculture” in the magazine Top Producer, “$70 million went toward fund-raising, advocacy, public policy, and strategic communications”.  It has less to do with the treatment of animals and more to do with their promotion of a vegan lifestyle.  I do not believe that HSUS and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) have truly investigated what a negative impact the abolition of animal agriculture would have on our American society.

I agree with these groups that animal welfare is an extremely important issue. However, some of the situations they portray are the extremes of animal treatment.  HSUS and PETA believe that farmers mistreat their animals. However, I know for a fact that this is not true.  Having been raised on a cattle farm, I have seen firsthand how farmers actually treat their animals. If a cattleman is going to be profitable or break even, he is going to have to take care of them.  Cattlemen are often out checking their animals several times a day.  They look for illness, injury, and possibly birthing problems.  Often the cattleman’s care of his animals takes priority over other things he may enjoy doing.

Many animal rights activists also believe that show animals are some of the worst treated animals do to the fact that they are confined to a specific area. I have been showing cattle since I was three years old, and I know that show animals are often treated better than some people.  Show animals are some of the most pampered animals.  My show heifers are in the barn with a fan on them when it is hot outside.  They are given fresh water 2 or 3 times a day and are given a well-rounded diet as often as they are given fresh water.  They have clean pens to relax in and are treated to daily baths.  How many people would like to live such a life of leisure?  For profit and for maintaining a lifestyle that has been at the heart of American history, cattle are often cared for very well.

If these animal rights groups get their way, the laws will begin to destroy farms with regulations that they support and try to pass through the legislatures across the country.   The legislation passed in California, restricting the use of cages for egg production has put many poultry producers out of business.   In the article “All Hail HSUS, King of Egg Outsourcing!” by The Center For Consumer Freedom, ”The regulations implied by a successful initiative would raise costs of California producers by at least 20 percent relative to its out-of-state competitors”.   If there are too many regulations on how farmers raise livestock, there will also be a major impact in our country‘s economy.  Farmers are a major part of the American economy.  Farmers provide many different things for us as citizens.  Cattle provide meat and milk for us to consume to the tune of a multi-billion dollar business each year in the U.S. alone.  We also get shoes, baseballs, basketballs, strings for various musical instruments, and even some medicines from cattle by products.  In a report by Dan Otto and John Lawrence entitled “Economic Impact of the United States Beef Industry” on the website www.beef.org , “The estimated $40.76 billion of gross output from beef production activity supports an additional $147.4 billion of economic output for a total of $188.4 billion of direct and indirect economic activity throughout the U.S. economy”.

Besides the products available, the cattle industry provides many jobs to Americans.  One of the reasons the current unemployment numbers are down significantly is that many farm workers have been hired during this harvest season.  Regulations on taxes, health care for workers, and animal welfare greatly affect how many people a farmer can hire and how much money he can put back into the economy with new equipment purchases.  If a farmer has to upgrade his facilities due to regulations, he will not be able to put money into other sectors of the economy.  If regulations call for the end of animal agriculture, many other sectors are going to have to raise their prices on man-made products because they will not be able to access the cheaper by-products from the cattle industry.

The animal rights groups will destroy our country if we continue to allow them to do so.  If you would like to give money to help out animals, you should give the money to your local human society and truly help needy animals.  Yes, those commercials on TV are sad to watch. However, if we give money to HSUS and PETA, our country’s economy will continue to head in a direction of failure. When an animal rights proposition comes up for voting, you should research and understand it before you vote.  By doing your research, you can be sure you vote to support the farmers of America as they work to feed our country.

Melinda back again.  So there you have it.  Be sure to do your homework, investigate the candidates and vote your beliefs.  I have enjoyed discussing the debates with all the men in my house and love to hear their suggestions/comments/ideas.  They will be informed come voting day.

Finally, a couple of things then I’ll leave you be until next Friday.  First off, we would like to thank everyone who came and looked at, bid on or bought a calf from us this fall.  If you have any questions  or need any assistance with your calves, give us a call.  We’re here for you.  Secondly, Happy Birthday, to Chris who turned 20 on Tuesday, the 16th, and Jesse who will be 18  on Tuesday, the 23rd.  We have been blessed by these two men.  Lastly, Congratulations to our nephew and soon to be niece-in-law, Daniel & Kelly, on their wedding this Saturday.  We pray that your marriage will be blessed beyond measure.

Talk to you next Friday!

One thought on “Friday Focus

  1. Melinda you are right I was not rased on a farm until I got married to your Dad we have lived on the farm ever sence I know that there has been time that we would like to do something but the cattle come first. If it was not for the cattle we could not have lived were we live and I would not ever give up the farm we have both work hard to get where we are today people that don’t went to eat meat fine but leave us that love the meat we raise along you and Mike have done a great job on your boys thay are great men in ever way Love you all

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