Cattle Today

Cattle Today

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Jay Nixon

Well, I finally learned why there are fewer and fewer cattlemen in the world.

Recently on a local talk show, the host interviewed a representative of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, (PETA). He was a prissy sounding young man who reported that a recent PETA study disclosed that eating red meat causes impotence. No kidding.

He explained that their studies proved conclusively that vegetarians maintained their sexual vigor years longer than those who ate the flesh of animals, especially beef. Well, there it is, in black and white, and it is a logical explanation for the declining number of cattle raisers in the country. I know you're pleased to know that.

Not only that, but he confided to the host that pure vegetarians were more sexually attractive than meat eaters, since they were slimmer and in better shape. He said that these newly discovered facts, along with the known fact that vegetarians live longer and are healthier while doing it than those who eat the flesh of animals was sure to cause an immediate trend toward vegetarianism in this country.

Of course, the talk show host voiced his skepticism of these so called facts, but the young PETA rep stuck to his guns, adding that vegetarians even smelled better than those who eat meat, that the amino acids in meat when metabolized by the human body give off a distinct, unpleasant odor. Yes, you can smell a meat eater coming a mile away.

The interview caused a deluge of calls from listeners, which is what I think it was supposed to do, and to a man or woman, the callers expressed the opinion that the young man was full of bologna, despite his claim to vegetarianism.

The first caller was a doctor who informed the young man that 90-odd percent of impotence was mental or emotional in origin instead of physical, and added that there were nutrients in red meat, those same amino-acids he alluded to earlier, that were necessary to maintain good health. He accused the young man of having an agenda other than health for trying to scare people away from eating meat.

The young man owned up to the fact that he and the other members of PETA believe that eating meat is a sin akin to murder, for it necessitates the killing of a fellow creature to satisfy an unhealthy appetite. He disclosed that the slaughter of cattle, hogs and even chickens was murder in his eyes. It was cruel, and he disclosed that upwards of 40 percent of the cattle processed in this country were still alive and in agony when the skin was pulled off them.

I thought it odd that no one questioned this so called fact, but rather seemed to accept it as part of the process of obtaining beef. Quite obviously, neither the young man nor any of the listeners had ever visited the kill floor of a modern packing plant where the slaughter process, while not pleasant, is, at least, humane. Nothing hit with an air-driven stunning hammer and has its throat cut and is drained of all its blood is capable of feeling as it is skinned.

And the young man continued to throw “facts” and figures out with wild abandon. For instance, he claimed that at least half the listening audience who were meat eaters would suffer coronary heart problems, and half of those would die of them. No one questioned that either.

One woman called in and said her husband who was 68 years old, had eaten meat three times a day, seven days a week all of his life, and though she sometimes wished he had, he never suffered a potency problem.

A caller said that every vegetarian he had ever met was a limp-wristed sissy, obviously lacking any sex appeal, whatsoever. He allowed that the young man being interviewed doubtless fit into that category.

Another accused members of PETA of being against anything that had to do with animals, including having them for pets. He asked what the organization intended to do with all the cattle, hogs, sheep, chickens, etc. if their campaign worked and nobody ate meat anymore.

The interviewee, acknowledged the truth of the accusation that PETA was against people having pets. He said that all animals should have their individual dignity and should not be subject to the whims of people, that our relationship to animals should be one of mutual respect. As to what to do with the livestock, once the profit is removed from any enterprise it dies out. Over time there would be fewer and fewer livestock animals.

He obviously didn't know much about cattlemen, few of whom ever make a profit.

One caller said that PETA had claimed credit for the assassination of the dean of the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine several years ago, citing the schools use of animals in medical experiments as justification.

The young man acknowledged that some members of PETA were more activist than others, but didn't admit to the murder charge.

Finally, a reformed vegetarian called in and told the audience he had been avid in his avoidance of meat of any kind for many years, but when in his late 30s, he began to lose his teeth and was having problems with the connective tissue in his body. His doctor put him on a diet containing large portions of red meat, and in a short time those conditions cleared up. He said the health claims of vegetarianism were false and dangerous to the health of the public.

Well, I don't know. I wouldn't have put any credence in the young man's claims concerning impotence, except for the declining number of cattlemen we have seen over the last decade. What do you think?


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