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 Animal Agriculture : Will It Be Our Death ? An Intro to Cattle Culture

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Posts : 190
Join date : 2009-05-07
Age : 36
Location : Scotland

PostSubject: Animal Agriculture : Will It Be Our Death ? An Intro to Cattle Culture   Mon 29 Jun 2009, 10:43 am

Animal Agriculture : Will It Be Our Death ? An Intro to Cattle Culture

By Harold Brown

Written on the 23rd of MArch, 2009

Source :

"I was taking too-slow steps toward veganism from lacto-ovo vegetarianism when I attended a fateful event a few years ago. I'll not go into all the details now, but I will say that I owe my veganism (as does a previously omnivorous friend who went vegan overnight after attending with me) to some extraordinary people, including Harold Brown, someone who knows animals well and knows as well as anyone what's involved in animal ag because he spent much of his life in it. I wish for all of you the chance to at some point listen to Harold speak or, better yet, sit down and have a conversation with him because his gentle compassion and breadth of knowledge are really something to behold, but those of you who haven't yet had or won't get that chance can at least read some of his thoughts. The below post is the first part in a series of three or four connected posts by Harold that I'm honored to be sharing over the next couple days."
- S. Ernst


Of late there has been a great deal of interest in how our food is produced and in particular, the issues surrounding farm animals.

Being a former cattle farmer, and having spent over half my life in agriculture, including working in the dairy industry for three years, I have a little different perspective on the topic. After reading some related articles and posts recently, I would like to share another angle on this wide range of issues.

To begin with, I think it is important that we all understand one truth. We are all products of a cattle culture. Approximately 10,000 years ago, humans first domesticated plants and animals. This new paradigm of bending nature to our will created problems in different cultures. This will be a bit of a simplification, but I believe we can fairly say that culturally humans chose two different paths. The Abrahamic traditions invested in cattle culture, building wealth and status, not to mention their livelihoods, on livestock. The Eastern traditions chose another path not built on the backs of livestock. In other words, each group created a mythos, the Western cultures of death and domination, and the Eastern cultures of life and co-creation.

While 99% of Americans do not farm nor have ever farmed, our culture is steeped in cattle culture and traditions. This is a huge sticking point for most people in this debate--until they deconstruct their intrinsic cattle culture, it is hard to understand why we need to divest ourselves from it.

Some folks will say, "I have never raised a cow or chicken. How can you say I am part of this?" The answer is multifaceted.
Needless to say, the biggest influence that reinforces our dependency on farm animals is the food industry itself. Advertising constantly bombards us with images of tasty food that nearly always includes flesh, eggs, and/or the mammary excretions of bovine.
The food industries' research has shown for many years that consumers eat what they eat for two reasons: convenience and taste.
I think a third element could be brought in, considering the financial situation the nation is in: price. McDonald's will spend upwards of 10 million dollars per advertising campaign. Think about that.

Now consider how many food companies are advertising to you at every turn.
The next question is, are your food choices really your own?
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