Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Animal Agriculture Under Attack

Animal agriculture is under attack! I know that isn't exactly breaking news, but it seems like every time we turn around there is another issue to deal with...another battle for our very survival.

This time, greenhouse gas regulation is the culprit.

I received this story via email just before breakfast, and it gave me a lot to think about while setting fence corner posts this morning. The basic premise is that the EPA is proposing a rule under the Clean Air Act that would essentially tax most livestock farmers for their animals' "emissions".

Now, we try to be good stewards of the environment and I imagine so do most all others in the animal agriculture business. I also agree with the idea that there are certain environmental quality standards we should meet, just so long as those standards are grounded in accepted, proven science and common sense. I also think it is imperative that our country not lump the production of our food into the same category with other industries.

The impact of this proposed rule would have far reaching effects on our way of life. If that cost is borne completely by the farmer, it would in effect drive many if not most of us out of business. Our food supply would decrease significantly, which would then either lead to skyrocketing food costs (and higher taxes to help those who can't afford meats and dairy products) or food shortages and rationing. Or both. And the only alternative would be relying on other countries for our food. We see how well that's worked with energy!

And what if these extra costs were passed on directly to the consumer? It's the law of supply and demand again, just in reverse from the above example. At the end of the day, we'd have less food and it would cost you much, much more to get it.

I could go on and on about this topic, but I've got cows that are expecting to be milked in five minutes. So let me leave you with this question:

Which is more important to you? Meat and dairy products that are nutritious, available, affordable, and the safest in the world, or regulating animal agriculture back into the Dark Ages and paying out the wazoo for these products (IF you can get them)?

It sounds harsh, but the choice really is that simple.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you go to You-Tube and search HSUS and PETA channels, It is clear they want everyone to be a vegan. At least the more radical elements. They make the most noise, we in agriculture have been ssilent, We need to speak up