Lilybrook Herefords

Controvesial Question?

"Do you really enjoy working for a company that raises animals, even though you know darn well what is going to happen to these animals?" - Jen Wasik

This question was presented to us in an email by Jen, to which we gladly replied,
the following is an edited version of the reply, which we felt others might enjoy reading.

To answer this question, we must say, we live out in the real world, where we see wild animals kill other animals... and let me tell you that it is not a quick and painless death... Nature is very cruel! However, we humans are often cruel to each other, but to our animals we are very kind... we feed them every day and bed them with straw so that they have a warm place to sleep, especially during the winter when it is cold. Where we live it goes to -50 degrees F. sometimes so I can assure you it gets cold. Then in the summer time the cattle can be out on the green grass, and when the grass turns brown or quits growing because of drought, we feed them with hay so that they do not starve which would be a slow and painfully way todie! As well, most of our animals live a happy pain free life, the oldest cow that walked on our place was 22 years old before we sadly had to let her go.The bulls (males) on our place are mostly sold to people who use them to breed their cows (father little calves). This means that most of our bulls get to spend the summer doing what they love to do most... have sex with many cows, not just one, they are given a group of 25 to 40 cows to do their thing with... I suspect that the cows enjoy it too.

Now to answer your question about the nasty activity of slaughtering the poor helpless animals so that human beings can eat. You are right, it is a bloody affair. However, the poor critters would naturally die sometime, we just take it upon us to shorten that time a little bit. Also contrary to nature where the animals would die a long drawn out painful death, at the slaughter plant their lives are ended as humanly as possible and they die instantly...actually I have not watched it happen very often. Here on the ranch if an animal is deathly ill, we put it out of it's misery by shooting is the fastest and most painless way we know of, giving it an injection costs too much and the pet food industry that then picks up the dead animal does not appreciate such stuff in their meat. Back to the packing plant, for us the idea of having something get killed is not out of the ordinary... we see it around us in nature almost every day. For us  it is a way of life, although we do not deal with that aspect specifically...we do not "tap our animals on the head".

Here we have some info that might interest you...

Cows eat what humans do not eat...they eat grass.
Cows make use of land that is unsuitable for growing human food crops.
Here are some of  life necessity that come from cattle, on average from a slaughter animal there is approximately 425 lbs of retail beef, including steak, ground beef, stew beef, and much more. By-products are used for margarine, shortening, and oleo stearine, which is used for the making of chewing gum and certain candies. Gelatin from bones and horns is used in the making of marshmallows, ice cream, canned meats and gelatin products. Natural sausage casings come from the intestines. Another by-product is leather from the hide, which is used for handbags, gloves, shoes, jackets, belts, and even footballs are made of leather. The fine hair from the ear is used to make "camel hair" artist brushes, while the hair from the hides is used in the production of insulation and rug pads.
The bones, horns and hooves supply many important by-products such as buttons, bone china, piano keys, glues, animal feeds and fertilizers. They also supply non-edible gelatin for photographic film, wallpaper, sandpaper, tooth brushes and violin strings. Beef tallow is an important by-product for it supplies many products that we use in everyday life. For example, it provides glycerin for lipstick, face and hand creams, tooth paste and cough medicine. A variety of cleaning agents are deprived from tallow - commercial soaps, industrial cleaners, shampoos, liquid soap and detergent. The inedible fats are also used for candles, fabric softeners, automobile tires, adhesives, crayons, chalk, phonographic records, explosives, inks and matches.
In the Pharmaceuticals, cattle are also involved:
    Cattle are walking storehouses for more than 100 life-saving and life improving medicines. They perform such vital functions as preventing blood clots in the vessels of the heart, controlling anemia, and helping to make childbirth safer. There are approximately one half million diabetics in Canada, 215,000 of whom require insulin daily. It takes the pancreas of 26 animals to supply one diabetic with enough insulin for one year! Heparin which is used to prevent blood coagulation during operations, as well as for treatment of frostbite and burns comes from the lungs of the animal.
    The pituitary glands from cattle produce hormones for humans. Corticatropin (ACTH) is used in the treatment of allergies, anemia, respiratory diseases and leukemia.
    Thyrotropin (TSH) is a hormone that stimulates the thyroid gland. Other pharmaceuticals derived from cattle include thrombin, extracted from the blood to promote blood coagulation, epinephrine, from the adrenal glands, to relieve symptoms of hay fever, asthma and other forms of allergies, parathyroid hormone for treatment of parathyroid deficiency and rennet, a mild enzyme from the stomach, to help babies digest milk.
This is by no means a complete list of by-products that we obtain from our beef industry. However, it does demonstrate the important contributions cattle make to the quality of Canadian life as well as the nutrition in our diet.

The above was taken from the booklet, "Meet Molly"... it is published by the British Columbia Cattleman's Association (in Canada). They are on the Web, you can order it from here... or their address is: 101145 East Trans Canada Highway, R.R. 2, Kamloops, B.C., Canada, V2C 2J3  Phone: 604-573-3611  Fax: 604-573-5155.

You might be wondering what kind of person would be involved in such an endeavor, that involves death. Well, let me assure you we are not "sick in the head", nor do we beat our kids, our wives, or animals. We don't abort our children, either. We are upstanding citizens of our community, we pay our taxes, and we actually stay faithful to our spouses and we don't cheat our neighbors and in fact we try to volunteer some of our time to help others out. We enjoy a good laugh now and then, we also are hard working, and some of us have gone to school to learn our trade. We are not "dumb idiots that don't know any better", we love life too but know that the end result is death. This is true for our animals as well, in fact, we love them and hate to see them go... be that to the neighbours farm to service their cows or to ...heaven forbid... the slaughtering plant.

(c) June 11, 1998 by Andy Schuepbach and Stefan Ulrich

Last Updated 18 Apr 2003

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