I am so hungry! I could eat a cow! Or, should I eat a horse?
Before anyone gawks at the question above pay attention to this:
In recent events an animal rights group took out a packing plant in another state by sneaking video from the packing plant of workers using forklifts to hold up sick or dying cows to enable their slaughter for meat production. Fortunately the FDA stepped in an ordered the recall of most of the product, which includes the beef product supplied to our kids school lunch program. We always wondered why it was still squirming in the cafeteria tray! In other news a known name brand facility, I believe in Kansas, had to shut down its operations of beef production because they were not getting enough head of cattle to keep the second facility open.
Hrrm, One production plant shut down by the FDA with sick cows that should have been disposed of rather than procured for beef production and another plant that had to shut down because there aren't enough heifers to kill, interesting.
Does that mean Americans are reducing there beef consumption? Could it possibly mean that the dairy cows finally went on a white strike and are reducing their productivity rates in order to increase work place conditions and job security? Or could it just be that there is not enough corn to go around for feed and therefore farmers are reducing the size of their herds or limiting how many heads they are producing forward to beef production?
Which the latter of course would thereby reduce and cut the cost and consumption of hay feed and corn by these beautiful beasts of our dinner table and which in turn prices in the marketplace for the delectable, tender, course of red meat (formerly known as, Daisy, and her sister, Bertha!) otherwise soar.
Yes that is market economics 101. What is also market economics 101? The inefficient Ethanol production based on corn crops as currently being touted by politicians and environmentalist everywhere to 'save the world from ourselves' is what is causing the downturn in corn feed availability. Citing an article in REASON, Robert Enders on a post over at the LPAC blog "Sugar and Energy Independence", reminds the readers in fact that: 1. "However, the most efficient source for ethanol is sugar. The catch is that we would still have to import sugar, but we can import it from more countries than we can with oil." and; 2." Another argument against the use of corn for fuel is that it reduces the amount of corn that can be used for food and livestock feed."
Any one that know me personally, is aware that I am very picky about what I feed my four legged son, Bruno. He is a nine year old Australian Queensland Blue Heeler-Shepherd Mixed and only gets the best food I can afford and one of the big no nos in his nutritional plan is corn, and most dog foods are made with... corn as the primary ingredient. So I was wondering, "If it isn't okay for a dog to eat corn, why is it okay for a cow?", besides in all the pictures I have seen aren't they always grazing in the field for hay. Furthermore, and don't misunderstand I loves me some corn cakes, fritters, casserole, meal etc.; but, "If corn isn't safe for the dog, then why do humans eat it when we know we don't digest it properly?"
I did some checking and then I made a late night phone call, for a little more expertise and advice before typing this post, to Elizabeth Krause, my Secretary, since she grew up on a dairy farm in eastern Allen County southwest of Woodburn. The way she put it was simple: cows cant forgo the corn because hay feed and alfalfa make the meat too lean and the milk bitter. The corn definitely adds the necessary fat to a cow's body and allows for the sweet taste to the milk and it loosens the body and makes the working relationship between the farmer and the product so much smoother. That was the paraphrased version, she will be on either this post or the LPAC post, possibly both, to give the full version later today.
So what do cows eat? In an article posted by Robert Cohen we find some insight between his personal rhetoric as he cites another article written on "the 25th of March 2002 issue of Hoard's Dairyman (the dairy farmers magazine) reveals a mixed menu of gourmet foods in a dairy cow's diet." The Hoard's article reveals that cows consume: 2% pork (which would also make them not kosher); 4% feathers; 15% ground-up fish; 33+% zinc methionine, niacin, anionic salts, and tallow (rendered fat) from their deceased brothers and sisters; 39% dried blood from their dead relatives; 48% roasted soybeans; 50+% selenium, yeast, and magnesium oxide; @79% sodium bicarbonate; along with 200 pounds of water per day while only producing a quarter of that in solid product return, eg: milk.
A twenty five percent daily recoup of investment, is Bertha's utter a bad choice for an occupation? Well that in the least explains the water shortages and cattle reductions out west.
So the next set of questions that remains involve alternatives to cow's milk and cattle beef consumption. There is always the legitimate option of everyone having a family goat both as a lawn care provider and a source of milk and cheese, which is quite tasty (note: some sarcasm)! If we are having a decline in not just the herds but also production of the beef: What is there left for the American people to consume if we run out of beef?
Horse, of course! Yes you heard me correctly, Americans could tragically switch to slaughtering the most regal and rugged animal of all time. But wait we already do! Yes you see in the greatest travesty to the honour of these majestic animals we slaughter and ship at up to $15.00 per pound to other countries the lean flesh for consumption. “The Dallas Morning News reports that of the 6.9 million horses in America in 2001, 57,000 were slaughtered, mostly for human consumption.”(*4) “Two U.S. companies, both in Texas, have cornered a large part of the world's equine flesh market. An Illinois company that sold horse meat burned down last year and has not rebuilt. With 150 workers, Dallas Crown Inc. and Beltex Corp. kill nearly 1,000 horses a week.”(*4) "In 1994, 109,353 pounds of horse meat was shipped overseas. In Sweden horse meat outsells lamb and mutton combined. It is also commonly consumed in Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands, but it is most popular in Belgium and France."(*4)
As someone who occasionally watches the 70's television series MASH, I will forever remember the one episode when the second commander of the 4077, Col. Sherman Potter, after finding that the Korean people were immune to our vaccines for polio and something else because their diet included horse flesh, was just about in tears that some one would violate the honour of such a beautiful and majestic creature. (Photo: Adam Sutton)
The fact that we have a block buster movie, Broke Back Mountain; a theme song by Willie Nelson; and an entire queer subculture and community devoted to farmbois, cowbois and their admirers is proof that no matter how limp your wrist may flip there is always an American romance with the idea of strapping on a saddle and ridding into the moonlight with your best friends! The very foundations of our country and its continued growth are established in the service of these noble creatures. (Jack Twist & Ennis Del Mar played by Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger in Broke Back Mountain, 2005)
The fact that we still base the performance of our cars on the speed of a horse is proof alone that these animals should not be slaughtered for food in this country, no matter how the international markets may desire its tender lean flesh. What would you think if someone from another country came over here and asked to eat a bald eagle? That is not comparing apples with oranges either. Have you ever seen a memorial statue of a cow with a soldier on it? I don't even think the cow that started the Great Chicago Fire has a statue honoring it, but I could be wrong.
So what started Americas love affair with butchering the bovine? Ironically it is our religious and cultural ancestry that is to blame. "Under Mosaic Law horse meat is considered unclean because it conformed to the formula of an animal that was not at the same time cloven-hoofed and cud-chewing"(*4), a cow on the other hoof eats its own shit freely!
[F6 EDITOR'S NOTES:]
The following is my comment left on the LPAC post:
"Now of course the use of Sugar Ethanol, I have no issue with, except for the probability that if the Ethanol Industry is forced to switch it will probably complain and whine to Congress about the cost of rehabbing their factories and ask the American Taxpayer to cover the expenses. If they were smart in the first place they would have built the factories with the ability to convert multiple source products at one time until the science figures its self out, but again they were all built under strict mandates from Congress to receive the tax credits so of course they probably only built the refinery plants for one or two major sources of raw materials, corn and soybeans."
Certain quotes marked with (*4) were direct from Genevieve over at Quoteland
22 February 2008
I am so hungry! I could eat a cow! Or, should I eat a horse?