What comes across the editor’s desk


What you never read in the mainstream press. This from animal welfare expert Temple Grandin earlier this year, in the wake of the Hallmark/Westland slaughterhouse video fiasco: “The vast majority of people involved in making animal welfare decisions in this industry are committed and engaged in this issue. I have seen tremendous change in both attitudes and handling since the early 1990s.”

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From the office of “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”: This from the May 4, 1928, Farm and Dairy: “The rather unsatisfactory condition of the hog market for some months past and the natural disinclination of farmers to go very heavily into the swine business in the face of high-priced grains and low-priced pork raises an interesting question. How will those hogs look a year from now?”

“The correct course for our Eastern Ohio farmers who still have confidence in the hog as a money maker is to stick to the business with courage the confidence. Repayment with good interest will be the probable reward.”

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When I was in elementary school, we loved to watch a film we simply called “the Switzerland movie.” We must have seen that movie at least twice a year from third grade on through sixth.

One of the scenes I remember was the grand parade of cows, huge bells around their necks and festooned with flowers, winding through the mountain village on their way to the mountain meadows in early summer (or was it on their way down the mountain in the fall?).

Well, you don’t have to head to the Alps to see the cows parade this summer. Brattleboro, Vt., is hosting its annual “Strolling of the Heifers” parade and festival June 6-7. The weekend’s signature event, of course, is the parade of bovine beauties down Main Street.

Now, cows can parade rather placidly (most of the time), but strolling heifers? I hope crowd control is out in force!

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They said it: “One car wreck is an eyesore; a million are a resource.”

In other words, what waste stream can we turn into a profit stream, using capitalism to save the environment?

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More from the office of “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”: A headline on an ad for the Farmers National Bank in a 1926 Farm and Dairy proclaims: “To develop agriculture is to increase wealth.”

It was true then and it’s true today. But people understood it then, and I’m not sure they understand it today.

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The Center for Consumer Freedom requested the official 2007 “animal records” for the Virginia-based People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. What did they find? Even though the activist group has official status as a pet “releasing agency,” it found homes for only 17 of the 1,997 companion animals it possessed in 2007. The rest were put to death.

And Newsweek reported earlier this year, “Since 1998, PETA has killed more than 17,000 animals, nearly 85 percent of all those it has rescued.”

Unfortunately, many shelters are forced to euthanize unwanted animals. But PETA opponents wish the group would take some of its $30 million budget and increase its placement efforts. Newsweek reports, for example, that the Nevada Humane Society adopted a “no-kill” strategy in 2007 and managed to find homes for 90 percent of the 8,000 animals they took in.


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