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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Op/ed on Test tube meat

I have been thinking about this test tube meat for about a week now. (when I first heard of it). I know this makes my vegan friends rejoice. But my thoughts aren't actually about the anti-meat/ pro-meat agendas. My thoughts have to do with animal bio-diversity

The argument to produce fake meat, is that cattle farts are devastating to the environment. That meat demand will increase, causing more and more factory farms to emerge and then encroach on natural environments creating a devastating loss of animal bio-diversity.

My first thought was the utter destruction of family farms. Husband's first thought was Soylent green. (IS PEOPLE!)

Then my final thoughts were on the livestock themselves.

Many of us homesteaders raise endangered barnyard animals. Because of this, we have been successful at  getting the Dexter Cattle out of the critically endangered  stage, and into recovery mode. My Kerries, and my Milking American shorthorns are still critical. These heritage cattle are the closest one can get to what wild cows once were. Many environmental and animals are people to organizations will not recognize livestock as anything important. They are a nuisance, and have refused to help starving cattle in the past. Claiming it was better for the cattle to starve to death than to be eaten by humans.  "Why are we so worried about keeping them [the cattle] just so we can kill them in six months so they can become a steak dinner?"

Unlike wild animals, who we hunt to help keep population from exploding and causing numerous Eco problems, domesticated livestock must be bred with the purpose of eating (milking) to be able to keep their numbers up and to keep them from disappearing altogether. How can we keep a domestic species from becoming extinct?

With the UN urging global Veganism, there should be a healthy fear of new laws limiting our type of food consumption once this test tube meat is viable. (they claim it will by fall). I understand the fears of cow farts. I have been hearing about it for years. But a world without livestock? except in zoos. There are so many issues that arise with this.

Rural impact with this will be economically devastating. The "fly over" States will be dead broke.

Loss of livestock mean farms will have to produce more crops. (Like corn) and with people pressing to stop paying farmers to not grow, we could end up seeing soils stripped and then applied with chemical nitrates to help the growth. No more cows pooping in your fields, means more reliance on chemical fertilizers.

Animal bio-diversity will exponentially decline.  You can find the list of the first cattle to disappear on the ALMC website. Just look at the far left list, those are the critically endangered, and will be the first to go.

I am fine with meat alternatives. As a vegan for most of my life, I was and still opposed to factory farms. But as some one that once again eats meat and raises critically endangered livestock, I mourn the potential  loss of hundreds of breeds and barnyard species.


HermitJim said...

I've read way too many horror stories about "test tube" food to ever be in favor of it!

I'm with the hubby with the thoughts on Soylent Green! Way too close!

small farm girl said...

Good point!

Laura said...

I think the rich people will still eat 'real meat, the rest, the test tube stuff. There still should be a market for heritage breeds.

Coffeekittie said...

Ok, yet another late post, this one with a question.

Here goes: I am a single woman in my 40s who wants a milking animal. I've been thinking goats (smaller size would be easier to handle, but escape artists!), sheep (really small amount of milk? Other pros which don't need to be gone into) or a cow (too large for a single woman to handle? I don't know!!).

So. If you were completely on your own, without the husband and boys to help out at least once in a while, would you still have a milk cow? Or would you go with a smaller animal?

I value your opinion highly, and really want to know what you think.


Phelan said...

Hey CK, I was just wondering about you the other day. Glad to see you are ok.

You can get a decent amount of milk from a sheep. Honestly I prefer cows milk. Do a bit of research on small sized cattle. There are a few breeds out there. Most are docile enough to handle alone. I handle mine with put help one on one. Plus small cows don't eat as much as the larger ones. One thousand lbs bale will last a month.

Good luck!

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