A couple of sharp enterprising young men visited last week, one from Ireland and one from Australia, both Nuffield Farming Scholars. This is essentially a British affiliated agriculture Rhodesequivalent scholar. We've had several visit over the years and they always bring European cutting edge ideas to Swoope.
If you have enough travelers stopping by, you can be a hermit and still cosmopolitan. Sure beats fighting the TSA, but I digress. These fellows are both at the end of a rigorous academic agricultural degree and therefore have their pulse on the latest trends and thinking.
We discussed many topics, but the one that caught my attention was their offhanded remark that the trend lines indicate mandatory epidurals for calving cows.
Another one of the insane anthropomorphic concoctions coming out of the urban disconnect, the thinking is that since human women experience pain in childbirth, cows must as well and therefore need relief from their anguish. Where will this misplaced animal worship end? And what about deer? Rabbits? Squirrels? If we can't eliminate their pain, we should exterminate all the animals so no pain occurs.
They projected in the not too distant future regulations requiring anesthetics for animals birthing to protect them from the physical suffering such activity creates. Now folks, I've been around lots and lots of cows giving birth. I've assisted many when they couldn't quite do it on their own. I've also had still births and kept the cow and live births but lost the mother. All of my assistance has been to help life win. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't. Life is precious due to struggle.
Juxtapose this idea with the two New Zealanders who stopped by a few years ago in October. Over dinner, it dawned on me that they were in spring lambing. These farmers had more than 3,000 ewes. I exclaimed: "You're lambing! What are you doing here with 3,000 ewes lambing?"
Their matter-of-fact answer was one I've never forgotten and often repeated: "If we were there, our quality of life would suffer because we'd be out there trying to help every one having trouble. Every year at lambing time we go away to insure we don't go insane or commit suicide, so we'll still enjoy the farm. When we go home, the ones who got it done bring their lambs to show us and the ones who couldn't have been handled by the buzzards. It's the only way to have a sustainable life."
I ask you: Which of these two positions contains more common sense?
By the way, if you find this blog interesting, please share it with others. I'd like to see hundreds of thousands wrestling and thinking about these things. Thank you.