I had a fairly normal day today, we finished our lecture with Dr. Jones for the week over Cow Comfort and facilities. It’s pretty amazing that by simply improving a cows comfort level milk production can be increased pretty drastically. After lunch (chili dogs) we went to a dairy. It was so windy! I’ve never seen so much dust in all my life. I looked out across the flat pastures of New Mexico and I could only see so far for all the dust in the air. The name of the dairy we went to is slipping my mind right now, but this was my favorite one to tour so far. The manager was very accommodating and really told us how it was–no bullshit–which I appreciated.

I’ve been hearing more and more about the scandal in Hart at the E6 Cattle Co. and honestly I’m outraged. The owners of this operation will probably never recover from this and they will be faced with lawsuits, and possibly even jail time for what went on there. For those of you that don’t know, earlier this year, an undercover “agent” from Mercy for Animals showed up in Hart at the operation, and filmed some of the workers killing calves with a pick ax. The video is awful, but I hate how these types of videos never show what really happened. The owner was stupid to hire an activist and, for lack of a better term, a dumbass, but what this activist convinced the dumbass to do was even worse. The workers were told that if any of the calves were down, and too sick to raise that they should euthanize them with a gun. They were taught the proper procedure, and then sent out to work. Then, the activist decided to try to stir the pot by telling the dumbass not to waste bullets and to use a pick ax instead because it would work better… of course the dumbass used the pick ax (as well as the activist, mind you) and the activist filmed the dumbass killing these downer calves this way. Then within a short amount of time, the video was streaming all over the internet.
What the dumbass did was wrong, but what hurts me even more about this whole situation is that it paints the dairy industry in an even more bad light. Truth be told, dairymen and women DON’T abuse their cattle (or calves for that matter). These blood thirsty media scoundrels don’t realize that it’s not in the dairyman’s interest to abuse their livestock. I’ve never understood why all of these people think it’s to our benefit (and I say ‘our’ because I consider myself to be a part of the livestock industry) to abuse our animals. Our animals produce better–make us more money–when they aren’t abused! Why on Earth would these cattle producers just decide to randomly abuse some baby calves because they didn’t feel like dealing with them? If nothing else, if they were ambulatory, the owners would sell them and try to regain some of their loss. The portrait that was painted by the Mercy for Animals group is just bogus. I hope these people have a hard time sleeping at night for all the agony that they are causing to the industry and to the individuals directly affected in this video.

Tomorrow we have to be on the vans at 6 am to go to Dalhart to the Hillmar Cheese Plant, a dairy, and some other place in Texas. It’s going to be an extremely long day. We’ll probably return around 7 or 8. Then we finish the week with a new professor on Facilities and this weekend should be a nice long one!

XOXO to my Texas loved ones!