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If We’ve Won a Battle, Shouldn’t We Continue to Fight the War?

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If We’ve Won a Battle, Shouldn’t We Continue to Fight the War?

Recently the Department of Labor proposed for the outlawing of children to work on farms, including family farms. Within twelve hours, the story was changed to the outlawing children to work on non-family farms. After another twelve hours, the proposition was dropped, no more comments, no more issues.

Was anyone else amazed at the urgency to drop this proposition? The government received so much resistance that they dropped the issue within twenty four hours. One controversial subject came up that was going to hurt everyone in the family ranching/farming business and all of them came together and fought. Incredible.

Here was the issue with the proposition. Many of the family owned and operated agricultural businesses depend heavily on the involvement of the children. Chores such as rounding up cattle, baling hay, harvesting wheat, cleaning stalls, and fixing fence are chores children have done for years. To the outside world (citizens not associated with such agricultural businesses and families), such hard work may seem harsh but the truth is, many of us who worked with our parents growing up, enjoyed it and wouldn’t replace our experiences if we had the chance. Raising kids to have a hard work ethic and to get jobs done teaches them that hard work pays off. We were raised as “do-ers” and even though some of us go back the agricultural industry, we are successful even though we don’t make six figures. This new proposed labor law would keep parents from raising their children to work hard or to help neighbors, would this have contributed to child obesity or raising a generation even more dependent on TV and video games?  Next, co-curricular agricultural programs such as FFA and 4-H would have been improvised by getting rid of animal raising and business programs such as Supervised Agricultural Experiences which teaches students to be effective business people in their field of interest. Students go through these programs and go to college with an experience that cannot be taught by textbooks. If this new law had passed, how would our students learn to understand business, agriculture, or life skills?

The government was not aware of not only how important children are important to agriculture, but also how important agriculture is important to our children. In a society where the local McDonalds is replacing their playgrounds with video games in the restaurant, our children need all of the stability and hard work ethic that they can get. The agricultural industry spoke up. We not only spoke up where the government could hear us, but we spoke up enough for them to drop a proposal in twenty four hours. We are large and we can be heard, so why are we only speaking up when the government jeopardizes our culture? Our industry, our families, and our businesses are always being tried by the government, we need to speak up more and educate our country about agriculture. It has been proved that we can, but now, we just need to apply ourselves more often.

I spent this summer working on our family ranch. In this picture I was replacing old net wire with panels in order to make our shipping pens safer and more efficient

Tasty Meat with Societal Benefits?

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Tasty Meat with societal benefits?

The impossibility of veganism in today’s society

All throughout high school and walking through the Texas A&M campus, students raise awareness about moral veganism. What I understand about “moral veganism” is that the person is a vegan by choice for the benefit of animals which brings up the difference between veganism and vegetarianism (as I’m sure you all already know), vegans refuse to buy or use anything made from animal by products even if the by products are acquired from live animals in a humane way (milk, eggs, ect.). It’s very interesting to talk to some of these citizens and look at some of their pamphlets as they try to bring people to the good side. I talked about some of the fallacies in their arguments in “Animal Rights and Agriculturalists” but they do in fact have disturbing pictures that is a good persuasive technique to promote moral veganism. So how exactly are these vegans successful in their moral veganism? If they live in Western society, they’re probably not real vegans by their own definition.

“A vegan (pronounced VEE-gun) is someone who, for various reasons, chooses to avoid using or consuming animal products. While vegetarians choose not to use flesh foods, vegans also avoid dairy and eggs, as well as fur, leather, wool, down, and cosmetics or chemical products tested on animals. Why VEGAN? Veganism, the natural extension of vegetarianism, is an integral component of a cruelty-free lifestyle. Living vegan provides numerous benefits to animals’ lives, to the environment, and to our own health–through a healthy diet and lifestyle,” (vegan.org).This seems like a good, thorough definition and someone who wanted to go vegan could follow this definition well if they followed the correct diet. Not exactly, this western, American society does not support veganism, citizens may, but society doesn’t. I don’t mean this by “no one likes veganism” but I mean it by the fact that one cannot run from animal by-products since they are so vital to human health and technology.

Let’s start with the term “zoo-therapy”. Zoo-therapy has two definitions, one is the use of living animals/pets as therapy, the second is the use of by-products for medicinal purposes. For this blog, the second definition is being used. “Wild and domestic animals and their by-products (e.g., hooves, skins, bones, feathers, tusks) form important ingredients in the preparation of curative, protective and preventive medicine,”(Alves, Rosa). The most popular use of by-products in everyday medicine- gelatin, made from bones, is used most commonly in gel-caps for pain killers and other pills. Next, insulin, a very important medicine for diabetic patients comes from the pancreas of livestock. The glands of livestock also provide adrenaline, heparin, thyroid tables, and hormones for certain medications and supplements. (agriscience.msu.edu) Porcine and bovine (pig and cow) heart valves are also used for human heart transplants. This is just the tip of the iceberg for animal by products in medication.  As western medication becomes more advanced and the world population continues growing, the demand for better and more accessible medicine will increase greatly.

Now for all the other categories of animal by-product usage… I’m not going to list all of these uses so instead, I am going to make a table derived from various sources.

Raw Product/Processed product Uses
Hide/Leather/Glue/Hair Leather goods, paper boxes, sandpaper, plywood, plaster, upholstery, ointments (lanoline), sporting goods, bread, paint brushes
Fats Soap, candles, fertilizers, animal feed, industrial oils, lubricants, glycerin, fabric softener, shampoo, washing powder, paint, crayons, toothpaste
Bones/ Gelatin Refining Sugar, case hardening steel, crochet needles, bone china, film for photography, x-ray, T.Vs, computers, phones, carpets, low fat butter, beer, fruit juice, bullets, wine, train brakes, cream cheese, whipped cream, corks, yogurt, paper
Body Chemicals Detergents, pesticides, industrial oils, coolant for tires, foam for use on runways, cigarettes
Blood Cancer research, shoe polish

So with some of this information, we can imagine a world without the use of animals. Expensive clothing (clothing that is affordable today), limited construction, limited personal hygiene, little to no advancement in medicine, lower life expectancies, limited steel production, limited production of goods, little technological advancement, little to no art, dull shoes and most importantly, starvation from the lack of proper nutrition and lack of food. Always keep in mind that the world population is growing and without animals, many would die. Also, humans are in fact omnivores, meaning we are created to eat meat (whether it is religious or scientific), meat is essential to our diet. I found an interesting article that discussed the importance of proper human nutrition during a pregnancy (sounds a little obvious), however, it stresses the importance of meat in a newborn/toddler’s diet, (Planck).  So a moral consumer, would be one to look after themselves, their children, and just through proper diets, the world. Support nutrition, support agriculture, and support animal respect and animal producers.

Note: Rephrases and quotes have been cited in this blog. If you would like to follow these links please see the work’s cited below.

Works Cited

Alves, Romulu, and Ierece Rosa. “Why Study the Use of Animal Products in Traditional Medicines.” Journal of  

        Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine. Biomed Central, 2005. Web. 01 May 2012.

<http://www.ethnobiomed.com/content/1/1/5&gt;.

“Animal Products in Everyday Life.” MSU.edu. Web. 01 May 2012

<http://www.agriscience.msu.edu/3000/3010/3013/3013handout3.pdf&gt;.

“By-Products of the Meat Industry.” Tamu.edu. Texas A&M University. Web. 01 May 2012. <http://savell

-j.tamu.edu/byproducts.html>.

Dunk, Marcus. “Bullets, Bread and Beer, Tambourines and Toothpaste… and the 180 Other Things You Can to Do

with a PIG.” Daily Mail. 3 Oct. 2009. Web. 01 May 2012. <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-

1217794/From-bullets-bread-beer-tambourines-toothpaste–plus-180-things-pig.html>.

“Learn.” Vegan Action. Web. 01 May 2012. <http://vegan.org/learn/&gt;.

Lev, Efraim. “Traditional Healing with Animals (Zootherapy) Medieval to Present Day Levantine Practice.” Journal of

              Ethnopharmacology. Science Direct, 27 Nov. 2002. Web. 01 May 2012.

<http://www.sld.cu/galerias/pdf/sitios/rehabilitacion

-equino/traditional_healing_with_animals_(zootherapy).pdf>.

Planck, Nina. “Death By Veganism.” New York Times. 21 May 2007. Web. 01 May 2012.

<http://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/21/opinion/21planck.html&gt;.

 

due to editing difficulties, some citations are not in the correct format

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