I'll be brief, shall i? First of all, i should declare a vested interest
- my father farms beef cattle
on just over one hundred acre
s of land in Wiltshire
, England. My best friend has 300 head of dairy cattle
and 100 shearing sheep
on 550 acres about 2 miles away from my dad's place.
Fondue states that farmers have lost all credibility through "their spectacularly greedy, corrupt, amoral, and reckless actions". He then goes on to cite a list of those alleged actions. Rather than answer pointless accusations with yet more rhetoric, i think it makes more sense to simply answer the points and then sum up later.
- Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy is the correct name for the syndrome. It was indeed a disaster that stemmed from pure greed and here's how:
- First of all, animal feed manufacturers have for a very long time supplied protein enhanced cattle cake to farmers. That came from waste animal produce which was heat-treated to render it safe for use.
- In 1984, as a response to intensive lobbying from the big Agribusiness companies - i'm talking about feed suppliers here - Margaret Thatcher's tory government removed the legal requirement to heat-treat animal produce used in animal feed.
- So, the manufacturers stopped this expensive safety measure and made more money on their feeds. The price of those feeds to the farmers, incidentally, was not reduced but actually increased with the change.
- The legislation went by unnoticed as legislation does. There is no requirement in the EU for animal feed contents to be listed on packaging as there is with food for human consumption. Consequently, the vast majority of farmers only knew that they were paying a lot more for their cattle fodder.
- Then the shit hit the fan and MAFF tried their well documented cover-up.
So what does this leave us? It us leaves with taxpayers and farmers paying for the damage, government blundering as usual and the agrochemicals companies left with a tidy profit and an untarnished reputation. And who do the majority of the UK's urban population hold responsible?
If only it were John Selwyn Gummer....
- "Factory Farming" methods actually produce safer food, depending on your definitions of "safer". Personally, i disapprove of such methods but eventually i expect to see the bunnyhuggers and the food nazis kill each other this issue and i really hope that they sell tickets.
That article is a blatant lie. A full retraction was demanded by the National Farmer's Union (now they really are scum, ask any small farmer) and naturally things are now tied up in issues of writs and threats of legal action. The Army issued a statement saying they've never heard of any such officer, by the way. Please, get your arguments from somewhere a little more reliable than the Murdoch press.
- Finally - since Genetic Engineering is not presented as a farming issue - it is illegal to shoot anyone's dog unless it can be proven to have physically harmed and caused visible damage to your livestock. Not your crops, your livestock, and while "riding around on a tractor taking pot-shots at trespassers and drinking Scrumpy" might sound like a fun life, it's not exactly realistic. A farmer's life is a much busier affair than you might think.
So, to sum up, don't write this shit until you have at least some minute iota of an inkling of what you're talking about. Farmers get a lot of this kind of thoughtless abuse from ignorant urban-dwelling imbeciles who lack nothing except someone different from themselves to excoriate and are too scared to pick on an ethnic minority like their grandfathers would have. Try and get over your prejudices before you node.