No one was more surprised than I was when it was announced that I had been voted “Prom Queen” my senior year in high school. I was an athlete…I was a very serious student…I did not always fit in and I certainly was not a member of the popular crowd. When I think of a “Prom Queen”, I think of a pretty and popular girl who is more likely to be a fashion savvy cheerleader than a swimmer who went directly from morning swimming practice to school every day without bothering to dry her hair…To this day, I still have not figured out how I managed to be voted “Prom Queen”, but the experience taught me NOT to take things at face value.
The past three blog posts discussed and defined humane bovine care, and explained how I ensure that the care that I offer to my cattle is humane as defined at the level of a calf. I take great pride in the care that I offer to my animals, and I feel well equipped in my journey of cattle care and beef production.
I have confidence in the Beef Quality Assurance program, and I have confidence in my ability to care for my animals and raise safe and healthy beef. Knowing that this is the case, I really struggle to find validity in the quest of animal activist groups to define other humane or animal welfare standards as they pertain to cattle.
I honestly cannot see how groups who have no experience or understanding of cattle could accurately define humane standards for their care.
I did not truly understand what my cattle needed to be comfortable and healthy until I had learned to care for them and spent thousands of hours observing and interacting with them.
While I believe that a quest for humane bovine care is both admirable and necessary, I believe that it is a quest that should be led by dedicated cattle farmers like myself and be defined and audited using standards developed by those that have experience understanding and caring for cattle.
I do NOT believe that the quest for humane bovine care should be led by politically based animal activist groups who have no practical experience caring for cattle.
I do NOT believe that the quest for humane bovine care should be led by groups whose primary goal is to end the use of animals for human food consumption.
I do NOT believe that the quest for humane bovine care should be led by groups who fail to do their homework, and call me and my hard working family farm a FACTORY.
I believe that it is my job as an animal welfarist to work hard for continued improvement in the quest for quality and humane bovine care.
I believe that it is your job as consumers of my beef to come to me when you have questions regarding cattle care practices, and also to do your homework before inadvertently lending support to activist groups in the name of “humane care”.
It took this “studious jock” turned Prom Queen a long time to earn the right to help define humane bovine care—make sure that the groups that you turn to for information regarding humane bovine care have the necessary knowledge and “hands on” learning experience that is required to effectively and humanely care for a bovine…