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From a column by John Phipps in the latest Top Producer magazine:

Horses, on the other hand, are too similar in size and function to cattle and other food animals for us [grain farmers] to comfortably foster any feelings of emotional kinship. Animal agriculture is crucial to American farm economics. Get sappy about horses and the next thing you know we'll all be eating tofu burgers and using a rope for a belt.
If you want to give John Phipps a piece of your mind, you can reach him at [email protected].


 

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I actually got a response:

Quote:
Janelle:

Thank you for reading my work and for your thoughtful reply. I can understand your opposition to my statement. While it was almost a throwaway line, I stand by it.

We obviously have differences in both philosophy and perhaps even cosmology, but I assure you I submit to the will of the marketplace. If your point of view is persuasive enough to alter animal agriculture, I will not gainsay it.

I have not seen any sustainable ag scenario that does not include animal agriculture. Animals are nutrient concentrators and also recycle inputs back to fertilizer. While meat consumption may be about to undergo a change of priority for our obese population, history seems to side with the bet that humankind will remain omnivorous.

I would recommend (if you have not already read it) Michael Pollans book An Omnivores Dilemma. He puzzles over the same questions you and I are concerned with, only with far more wit that I could do.

Thanks again for your civil response.

John Phipps
 

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As someone who finds it odd that many humans do not view all animals equally, I can hardly fault John Phipps for displaying a logical and ethical consistency.

I think I might be more bothered if he viewed horses as more worthy of emotional attachment than cows. I happen to view horses and cows as equals as well. Just in a different way than he does.

And if you think about it, it makes perfect sense that those who work in agriculture don't develop emotional attachments to the animals they raise. They would have to in order to survive

There's also the fact that he sounds like an expert in his field (whereas I have zero expertise in agriculture) and the fact that single paragraph was taken out of context (so I don't know the whole story) that prevents me from automatically decrying his views.

I would like to think there is a sustainable method of agriculture that doesn't involve animals using vegetable based fertilizer and whatnotbut please see earlier parenthetical remark about my lack of expertise in this area.

I'm off to order The Omnivore's Dilemma. It actually sounds like an interesting book.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by veggiejanie View Post

Hmmpph. Well I still think he's a loser.
Hehehe. Yeah. Sorry. I thought I would apply logic, reason and empathy instead of mindless emotion for a change. Sorry. I'm just a little irritated todaymy rope belt is chafing.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeezycreezy View Post

Hehehe. Yeah. Sorry. I thought I would apply logic, reason and empathy instead of mindless emotion for a change. Sorry. I'm just a little irritated todaymy rope belt is chafing.


So I'm mindless, eh?
See if I continue the worship in your appreciation thread!!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by veggiejanie View Post



So I'm mindless, eh?
See if I continue the worship in your appreciation thread!!
No, your emotions are very mindful. I was applying mindless to myself. Which, I'm sure, is a majority opinion around here.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by RunsWithFoxes View Post

From a column by John Phipps in the latest Top Producer magazine:

Horses, on the other hand, are too similar in size and function to cattle and other food animals for us [grain farmers] to comfortably foster any feelings of emotional kinship. Animal agriculture is crucial to American farm economics. Get sappy about horses and the next thing you know we'll all be eating tofu burgers and using a rope for a belt.
If you want to give John Phipps a piece of your mind, you can reach him at [email protected].


Horses are terribly inefficient at converting feed to body mass, and so can't be compared to cattle. I find the original comment to be truly ignorant from this point of view, aside from any animal rights considerations. No farmer with half a brain would raise horses for food. Horses form no part of "American farm economics" in this day and age, as they are almost exclusively pet and show animals now and not even utility animals in most cases in our society.
 

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We should never feel any emotions at all (or "get sappy") when a fellow living creature is abused and killed.

Feelings are for the weak! Stop having any sort of ethics at all and you're ready to be a Top Livestock Producer!
 
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