Just Call Me a Cow Hugger

People often ask if I get a lot of uninvited remarks from anti-wolf or pro-hunting trolls. The answer is, not as many as you might think. It seems the smart hunters (again, not so many as you might suppose) know better than to waste their time writing to this blog, since any pro-kill comments go straight to the cyber-round file never to reach the light of day. I usually know right away which comments are from hunters; they’re the ones that start off with, “You people are all a bunch of tree huggers…” (Guilty as charged.)

But there are others whose comments also deserve being jettisoned off the cyber-map. I’m talking about those single-minded “wolf people” who blame the cows themselves for the persecution of wolves, as though cows enjoy their lot in life and are part of a grand conspiracy against predators, in league with the very ranchers who brand, dehorn and ultimately slaughter them. These one-note wolf folks should know that not only am I a tree-hugger and a wolf-lover, I’m also a bunny, deer and cow hugger.

In an earlier post, entitled “Animal Industry = Animal Abuse,” I wrote of hearing the cows lowing for their calves. Tonight I’m hearing it again. To me, the sounds they make are every bit as mournful as the howling of wolves, and for good reason. Not only are cows raised just to be killed and eaten by humans, theirs is a lifetime of abuse at the hands of man. Forcibly impregnated, many cows see their calves snatched away just as they start to bond with them. Unlike their wild ancestors, they’re never allowed to freely migrate to wherever conditions are more favorable for them. There are always barbed wire fences, or some bully on horseback or four-wheeler bossing them around or telling them where to go.

Taking it out on the cows (as a psychiatrist in Arizona  did when he killed seven cows in his driveway) is like wishing ill on caged elephants because you disagree with zoos or on rabbits because you hate animal experimentation. Slave auctions were repugnant because people were “treated like cattle.” Well, why should any sentient being be bought and sold like chattel? But no abolitionist ever wished harm on the slaves themselves…

The cows didn’t choose to be born in wolf habitat; they’re there because some fourth generation rancher’s forefather killed off the original wolves, claimed the land and stuck cows on it. If you want to blame someone, blame today’s ranchers for continuing the practice.

In other words, pick on someone with your own brain size. Cows know all they need to know to be a cow. A cow will never be born the next Einstein, but by the same token, no cow will ever be the next Hitler, Ted Bundy or Ted Nugent.

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28 thoughts on “Just Call Me a Cow Hugger

  1. A book worth reading if you are truly interested in the life of cows, the “welfare ranchers” and the dirty politicians that are also ranchers and who control wildlife “management”
    Read “Sacred Cows at the Public Trough” by Nancy and Denzel Ferguson

  2. Thank you for a great post, Jim.

    That must be very, very sad and difficult to hear the bellows of the mourning cows. It breaks my heart just imagining their cries.

  3. Good post! And don’t forget the sheep who have often been mischaracterized as “range maggots”
    by some wilderness zealots although the only organisms I can think of coming close to that description are the ones in the pointy-toed boots busily destroying everything that is wild on our publicly-owned rangelands. Blaming the victims is a well known diversionary tactic for distracting attention from and deferring punishment of the real villains; only the most sophomoric wilderness advocates would affix blame or take out their frustrations on livestock — like blaming automobiles for high-speed traffic accidents. I’d be interested in knowing more about the Arizona psychiatrist who took his infantile frustrations out on cows and whether he was appropriately punished for his lunatic outburst.

  4. Pingback: Hot Dogs Are Gross and Baseball is a Waste of Time | Exposing the Big Game

  5. Nice essay! Agree 100%. It breaks my heart when people bag on cows, sheep, pigs and other “livestock.” Not very enlightened of them.

  6. …I like the way you think, Jim…absolutely feel the same…thank you for the validation…in my world, all animals are perfect…it’s the humans that are far from it…

  7. Great comment, Jim. In our increasingly “Orwellian-think” society, rife with one-dimensional group-speak, many do not see the core issues. The livestock (cows, sheep) are put out there on great western expanses of land (much of it public land), by humans: The Livestock Industry, which has a long history of abuse, terrorism, environmental destruction, bullying and other atrocities, is the core problem.
    There are no “wolf-friendly” ranchers or hunters or other exploiters of non-humans. These domesticated animals are victims. So are the native wild animals which suffer because of this terrible industry. What some of us find egregious and unacceptable, are the wildlife groups today that have become “collaborators” with this industry. I will send more specific info on a western group which previously had never associated itself with this industry. Yesterday they featured a “benefit raffle” for their group hosted at La Montanita Co-op in Santa Fe: the menu was “Beef and Turkey.” While this co-op features local farm produce (we used to go to it), they also apparently have established a close relationship with local ranchers, who have grazing rights on the near-by public lands. The meat may be advertised as “predator” friendly, grass-fed, etc., but increasing slaughter of wolves, coyotes, prairie dogs and other native animals, is happening every day. What does this tell us? Ask the wolf, the coyote what they think.

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