By George Lindemann
Trashing cows is the latest left wing obsession; and it makes no sense. My liberal credentials are as good as the next guy’s. I was a Miami ACLU Vice Chair for years. I was honored by People for the American Way for my Gay rights activism. I am a registered Democrat (for now… I am thinking of becoming an Independent.), and I own some cows.
My cows roam over large grass and wooded areas. They graze freely, are not pumped up with chemicals, and are largely organically raised (“organic” is a whole other blog post some day). This planet has a lot bigger problems then cows. Let’s debunk some of the article’s most offensive statements:
• “The animals excrete untold amount of feces”- True, mammals excrete. We need to minimize all mammal excretions into the environment. Let’s start with updating Dade County’s waste water systems. We are currently dumping our poop right into the ocean we swim in. That’s much worse then cow poop going into already polluted rivers. Septic tanks, fertilizer, silt (from construction), dog poop, garbage, etc.… all wind their way into our rivers. None of the above is good for our waterways. Why just pick on cow poop?
• “Much of this animal feed is grown on deforested land” – True, inappropriate deforestation sucks. But wouldn’t it be better to understand why people are deforesting? It’s not for love of cows. It’s because they need to feed their kids somehow. Don’t blame the cow. Blame the inability of local economies to support their people. If we can find good jobs for people living near rain forest, humans won’t need to deforest. What about building some eco-tourism infrastructure?
• Transportation of meat causes pollution- True, transporting things causes pollution. Maybe we shouldn’t travel during spring break. If we all stayed put that would really save allot of emissions.
• “By going vegan… (you) cut your carbon foot print in half.” What, veggies don’t need to be transported? They don’t need water, fertilizer, pesticides, and tractors to plow? What about turning lights off, driving smaller cars, recycling and raising the thermometer on the air conditioner? Won’t these things cut our foot print as well?
The reality here is that ALL agriculture is dirty. All of it. And we need to figure out how to pollute less, while feeding our growing population. That is for sure. But don’t just blame it on one piece of the puzzle. The world’s systems are all interdependent. You can’t pick on one piece of the puzzle without looking at the whole puzzle. What happens to the cattle land once there are no cows on it? I don’t know about the Amazon, but here in the U.S. the land will get subdivided and turned into houses and sprawl. Is that better then cows? Not really, just different from cows. Now, if you want to quit meat because killing mammals is distasteful, I am all on board with that. Unfortunately I am not yet that evolved and I still eat meat.
As a species, we need to drastically change what we are doing to our planet. It’s just not as simple as picking on one facet of the industrial food chain. What about focusing on population growth instead of cow growth?