Commentary: Animal care is my responsibility

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I’m often puzzled by the notion that livestock are abused in pursuit of the almighty dollar.

I know some of that sentiment is generated by images seen on television or the internet of animal mistreatment. Just to set the record straight, I think anyone who abuses livestock should be out of the business. I do not condone abuse of any animal for any reason. Neither do the other farmers and ranchers I know.

But I can tell you about the welfare of my livestock.

My name is Justin Dauer, and I’m a fifth-generation farmer and rancher. My family raises cattle, corn, grain sorghum and cotton on the windswept plains of the Texas Panhandle.

The welfare of my livestock is a top priority each and every day. My family depends on the income generated from our cattle operation. I need a productive herd to make a profit. Although there is no room for shortcuts, there is room for good management.

And good management is what pays my bills and keeps meat in the supermarket for you at an affordable price.

So what is good management? On my ranch, it is:

  • Helping a mother cow who has trouble giving birth—even when the temperature is below zero with a howling wind.
  • Bringing an orphan calf home and sheltering it in the garage or utility room to give it an even chance for life.
  • Providing proper nutrition and plentiful water for my cows and calves.
  • Managing my herd numbers to where they do not overburden the land.
  • Checking my herd each and every day to make sure they are healthy. I give them vaccines to prevent disease. In the rare case that one gets sick, I call in the vet.

Healthy, fat calves are how I make my money. I need healthy bulls and mother cows to produce those calves.

No, my cattle are not treated as pets. Their purpose is to produce beef.

Good management keeps my cattle healthy and productive, providing income for my family and supplying a source of affordable, high-quality protein for yours.

Do you have questions about ranching in Texas? If so, leave a comment and let’s start a discussion.

The above post is from Justin Dauer, a Texas farmer and rancher from Panhandle, Texas. Justin is one of five guest bloggers who is talking about food and farming during Texas Food Connection Week, sponsored by Texas Farm Bureau Feb. 17-23.

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Dr. Howard Hail    
February, 23, 2013 at 04:52 PM

Unfortunately you are speaking to the choir those who understand. This article needs to go into the Huffington Post and the New york times where people are ignorant about how farmers and ranchers raise animals. Also they do not understand the difference between the extremists animal rights actions and real animal welfare actions. These cults do not intend to let you raise any animal for any purpose whatsoever.Their goal is complete extinction of all domestic animals and if possible the human race. Peter Singer who started this movement stated that the goal is to eliminate all human contact with animals. You can view those still alive from afar. He also stated that he wants all our young people to spay and neuter themselves and then they can party down guilt free until the last human being dies out. He proposes that we allow parents to kill their own children up to age 3 for any reason because they are a burden to the earth and to the family already here. And last but no least he thinks it is alright to have sex with animals as long as they receive pleasure from it. This is who you are up against and they do not care about anything you do as they perceive themselves to be morally superior. So you need to win the hearts of the general public by exposing these radicals for the cults they really are and the danger they present to our own children.

NC  |  February, 23, 2013 at 07:50 PM

The animal rights movement started in the Fabian Society, a socialist think tank that is still in operation today in the UK. Yes they are what you may call anti capitalist. The animal rights movement started with the anti-vivisectionist of the time and were very suspect of any science or new medical science. (See Sidney and Beatrice Webb, George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells all were Fabian Socialist and were anti vivisectionist. When you look into this then you will see that at a time when it was the low wage earner and labor against the elite. There were other moral causes during the late 1800s also. This led to talk of meat eaters, and blood lickers and the founding of the vegetarian societies. In 1974 at Oxford University a young group met to discuss and reinvent "animal rights" using philosophy of old. In the group were Peter Singer, Richard Ryder, Andrew Linzey, Stanley Godlovitch and his wife, Canadians, and others. After Animal Liberation was published many of those in the "Oxford Group came to teach in our leading universities and the animal rights movement started in earnest at that time. Animal rights is a moral movemnet or is it? It seems the various animal rights groups have worked to stop dog breeding, pet shops, attacked the meat industry with campaigns, using secret videos, confiscation of varied animal species, stop circus shows, stop horse shows, dog racing, horse racing, horse meat production, shipping live animals....I would venture to say their agenda may be something more sinister than being kind to animals. Stop and think how much just in the cattle industry has HSUS, PETA and their ilk cost the USA in monetary loss! That is a small portion when all is tallied.

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