Farm Credit
Aug 07 2017

It was only a matter of time …

by Caren Cowan, Executive Director,
New Mexico Cattle Grower’s Association
Read this article & more in New Mexico Stockman Magazine

We have long been told that it is unethical and cruel to produce livestock by animal rights groups. Hunting is under fire (no pun intended). Circuses are being banned from cities and closing. Zoos are now becoming a focus of folks who don’t think wild animals should be kept in captivity.

There is now a push to eliminate pet ownership because we think of pets as people and therefore, we shouldn’t own them. According to Great Britain’s The Guardian, in a story by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie, 90 percent of Brits think of their pets as members of the family — 16 percent of them even included them on the country’s last census. But recent research into animals’ emotional lives casts doubt on the ethics of pet-keeping.

Bioethicist Dr. Jessica Pierce, because of a Tupperware tub of live baby rats at her local PetSmart — she was at the store buying crickets for her daughter’s gecko — became concerned because she believed that the animals were being sold to the store for sale as pets or food for snakes. The incident caused her to re-think the whole question of pet ownership.

Pierce, a Faculty Affiliate, Center for Bioethics and Humanities, University of Colorado Denver, Anchutz Medical Campus, went on to write Run, Spot, Run published in 2015. The book outlines the case against pet ownership. “From the animals that become dog and cat food and the puppy farms churning out increasingly unhealthy purebred canines, to the goldfish sold by the bag and the crickets by the box, pet ownership is problematic because it denies animals the right of self-determination. Ultimately, we bring them into our lives because we want them, then we dictate what they eat, where they live, how they behave, how they look, even whether they get to keep their sex organs.”

It is worth noting that Dr. Pierce owns two dogs and a cat. Not sure if that gecko is still around.

”Treating animals as commodities isn’t new or shocking; humans have been meat-eaters and animal-skin-wearers for millennia. However, this is at odds with how we say we feel about our pets,” according to The Guardian. “The British pet industry is worth about £10.6bn; Americans spent more than $66 billon on their pets in 2016.”

That’s up from $60.59 billion in 2015 and $58.04 billion in 2014, according to the American Pet Products Association (APPA. A survey this year found that many British pet owners love their pet more than they love their partner (12 percent), their children (9 percent) or their best friend (24 percent).

“It is morally problematic, because more people are thinking of pets as people … They consider them part of their family, they think of them as their best friend, they wouldn’t sell them for a million dollars,” says Dr. Hal Herzog, a professor of psychology at Western Carolina University and one of the founders of the budding field of anthrozoology, which examines human-animal relations. At the same time, research is revealing that the emotional lives of animals, even relatively “simple” animals such as goldfish, are far more complex and rich than we once thought (“dogs are people, too”, according to a 2013 New York Times comment piece by the neuroscientist Gregory Berns). “The logical consequence is that the more we attribute them with these characteristics, the less right we have to control every single aspect of their lives,” says Herzog.

For a book that was published in 2010, Herzog studied the motivations of animal rights activists and whether it was emotion or intellect that pushed them towards activism. One of the subjects, Herzog says, was “very, very logical”.

The subject, after he had become a vegan, eschewed leather shoes and convinced his girlfriend to go vegan, considered his pet cockatiel. “I remember; he looked up wistfully. He said he got the bird, took it outside, let it loose and it flew up,” Herzog recalls. “He said: ‘I knew she wouldn’t survive, that she probably starved. I guess I was doing it more for myself than for her.’”

The Guardian points out that several countries have moved to change the legal status of animals. In 2015, the government of New Zealand recognized animals as sentient beings, in effect declaring them no longer property (how this squares with New Zealand’s recent “war on possums” is unclear), as did the Canadian province of Quebec. While pets remain property in the UK, the Animal Welfare Act of 2006 stipulates that pet owners must provide a basic level of care for their animals. Pets are also property in the US, but 32 states, as well as Puerto Rico and Washington, DC, now include provisions for pets under domestic violence protection orders. In 2001, Rhode Island changed its legislation to describe pet owners as “guardians”, a move that some animal rights’ advocates lauded (and others criticized for being nothing more than a change in name).

The article also points out some other astounding facts: 1.5 million shelter animals – including 670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats – are euthanized each year in the US. This really doesn’t square the fact that dog-trafficking, both legal and illegal, is happening between states and from foreign countries.

On the wild/feral horse front…

While Congress is considering giving federal agencies the power to dispose of these horses, the courts are taking a dim view of anything already in place to provide relief for the horses by land stewards.

A Utah federal district court judge recently ruled against ranchers demanding that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) remove excess horses. Judge Jill Parrish said “Once the BLM determines that an over-population in fact exists in a given area, the agency has wide discretion in how it addresses that overpopulation. The BLM may address the identified over-population through removal or through other methods it deems more suitable.”

In a separate action the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia has delivered a victory to wild horse enthusiasts, ordering the U.S. Forest Service to restore 23,000 acres of critical land as protected horse country in California — and showed judges taking an increasingly dim view of agencies’ decision-making.

The government had said the land was added by “administrative error” in the 1980s, and tried to erase it from the boundaries of the protected wild horse territory, but the said decades of history of protection can’t be tossed out so easily. Judges ordered the Forest Service to go back and redo the decision, considering what impact the erasure would have on the horse population.

Southern Poverty Law Center
now after Christians.

The left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center, which has been in the spotlight recently for its practice of designating conservative non-profits as “hate groups,” has gone on defense, according to a story by Bob UNRUH on Worldnetdaily.com.

Richard Cohen, the president of SPLC, which has been linked to a domestic terror attack, wrote in a Huffington Post commentary that Christians deserve the designation because they “sow the seeds of hate.”

The Family Research Council, wrote Cohen, has a “long track record of using dehumanizing language and outright lies to portray LGBT people as sick, evil, and a danger to children and society. As stated on its website, it opposes the acceptance of homosexuality ‘in the law, in the media, and in the schools.’”

He also renewed his group’s attacks on the conservative Center for Immigration Studies. “It’s a group whose immigration agenda is colored by ethnic bias,” he claimed.

SPLC’s defense of its activities comes on the heels of a lawsuit against the charity-monitoring organization GuideStar over its use of SPLC’s “hate” designations.

SPLC sits in judgment of Christians and others, labeling as “haters” those who disagree with its pro-homosexual and open- borders agendas. In fact, SPLC put Dr. Ben Carson in that category before facing a backlash and abruptly backtracking.

It has been documented that some of the groups targeted by SPLC now are unleashing a public counteroffensive, accusing the organization of “fueling hate, killing free speech and even encouraging terrorist-style attacks on those it doesn’t agree with.”

Once a group dedicated to fighting actual hate groups, the Southern Poverty Law Center has now turned to slandering and demonizing Christian and conservative organizations, labeling them “hate groups.” These groups are placed in the same category as the KKK on the SLPC’s “hate map” for merely upholding traditional standards of marriage and sexual morality.

The SPLC has enlisted in the culture wars on the side of the radical Left, and raised a huge amount of money from misled followers in doing so. Their false designations and demonization of Christians and conservatives has even led to violence.

There is time left to comment on the draft Mexican wolf recovery plan… Get ‘er done!

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service has set a deadline of August 29, 2017 for comments on the draft Mexican wolf recovery plan. We need YOU and everyone you know to comment PLEASE!

The flaws of the plan are many but here’s a short list if you need help with your comments:

The primary hurdle to recovery, according to this plan is genetic diversity. When the recovery was initiated with less than 10 wolves capped by McBride, what was expected to happen in breeding and cross breeding this minute gene pool? The only way to add genetic diversity is to cross-breed with other gene pools. Since there are no other canis lupus baileyi gene pools, what is going to be cross bred to this gene pool that won’t result in an animal that is no longer a Mexican wolf? Anyone with animal husbandry knowledge knows that the recovery program was doomed to failure because of the lack of a gene pool.

While “down-listing” is contemplated in the draft, never is the word “delisting” used. The call estimates “recovery” in the 25 to 35 years. “Recovery” and “delisting” are not synonymous. Will delisting ever take place?

Recovery is predicated on the “full” cooperation of a foreign county which is impossible to predict especially over 35 years. It cannot be predicted for a single year.

Cost of recovery is estimated at $262,575,000 which works out to $820,547.88 PER WOLF at a “recovered” population of 320 wolves.

The 1982 Recovery Plan determined that there was a lack of suitable habitat at the time for full recovery. What has enhanced the habitat since 1982? Today there are more people, more roads, more cars, and more communities than could have even been imagined in 1982.

The 1982 Recovery Plan found that vast majority of the canis lupus baileyi, species of wolf being recovered, was in Mexico, with only small areas of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas falling into the historical range. Why is the habitat of the canis lupus monstrabilis and the canis lupus mogollonesis now considered beneficial for the canis lupus baileyi?

The draft recovery plan is written in language that is nearly impossible for the layman to decipher.

There is a profound lack of science in the draft recovery plan.

Joint Stockmen’s is Coming!!!

Mark your calendars for November 30 to December 3 for the 2017 Joint Stockmen’s Convention at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Albuquerque. We are now taking sponsorships and trade show booth requests and the room block is open.’

Looking forward to seeing you there!      

Source: New Mexico Stockman, August 2017