Climate “warriors” and animal rights activists are out in far-left field on cows and livestock farming. The attacks against cows and agriculture have become so ubiquitous that a nearly universal brainwashing has succeeded in conditioning consumers and academics to simply believe cows are bad for the planet—all cows, all the time. But this is the exact opposite of the truth and indeed pushes humanity toward great peril: There is a reason European farmers are rising up in revolt. Ultimately these activists are clamoring for their own destruction through totalitarianism and starvation. What’s needed is a recovery of actual farming.

I am not defending industrial farming. For a century, America has watched academics, government agencies, and corporations shrink family farms in the name of progress. Ignoring soil experts like Aldo Leopold and Wendell Berry, the technocrats pushed for consolidation of farms, destroying waterways, pushing small families into poverty, and packing more and more animals into tighter and tighter spaces for “productivity” and “progress.”

As the animals sickened under such conditions, the same groups peddled antibiotics, hormones, and other chemical “solutions” to maintain profit margins. The activists who claim humanity must now abandon all animal consumption are non-farmers who have fallen for a triple scam against cows and small farms:

1) They make it sound as if all cows were raised industrially. This enables animal rights activists to use the most egregious animal treatment to slander all farming. It also allows climate alarmists to condemn all livestock because industrial ag concentrates plumes of water, air, and soil pollution into crises not present with traditional regenerative agriculture.

2) Activists also claim livestock are a human health problem. This, too, is built on decades of carb-pushing propaganda that falsely claimed eggs and milk were evil and that red meat causes cancer. Increasingly it appears that the surfeit of carbohydrates is the culprit and that grass-fed meats are much healthier than grain-fed. A much greater health threat is presented by glyphosate, atrazine, and a plethora of toxic food (and packaging) contaminants, but corporate America would much prefer to target and scapegoat cows.

3) Both groups join together in the simplistic claim that the only solution to the problems technocrats and corporations created by consolidating natural agricultural systems into artificial, industrial death camps, is for the exact same groups of technocrats and corporations to rescue humanity using GMO cropping in lieu of cows and other livestock.

One quite typical, and typically absurd, article recently called to “recogniz[e] the reality that stopping consuming animals and animal byproducts greatly benefits animals as well as the planet.” Both claims are dubious, yet this article touts the usual talking points:

More people eating vegan diets is backed by research confirming the significant impact it would have on planetary health just as much as consumer health, per the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

From the risk reduction of certain cancers, dire diseases, and chronic conditions to the compassionate sense in knowing that a vegan diet does not involve the suffering or use of animals for human consumption, the vegan diet is the clear standout amongst a crowded and muddled field of modern diets.

Related criticisms of cows for their flatulence displays either utter ignorance or a deliberate scheme. Cow burps are accompanied by cow manure, which is a vital fertilizer that, when properly fed to soil, causes more methane and carbon dioxide to be sequestered than the cow ever created. The alternative crops we are told we will eat are to be raised using GMOs (saturating the soil with more glyphosate and other toxic chemicals) and synthetic fertilizers that release nitrous oxide and other pollutants (urea is manufactured from methane!).

The technocratic math doesn’t add up. Small wonder the genuine farmers of the world are standing up in droves in Europe: they see the destruction of their livelihoods and the ecosystem by those feigning its rescue to seize yet more power.

If humanity keeps following misinformed (or duplicitous) people into the ignorant dependency and environmental destruction of this faux eco-cause, perhaps it is well deserved—one ignores one’s food at one’s peril. But this ignorance threatens to sweep all before it aside, not just through totalitarianism (to “save the planet” we must sacrifice all individual liberties) but because expanding humanity’s industrial ag diet will drench the land in neonicotinoids which will kill the bees, atrazine which will kill fish and saturate groundwater, and a host of other chemicals yet to be created to fix the problems these and other man-made disasters cause.

If raising cows humanely is good for people and the land, it’s also good for the cows. Not all industrial livestock practices are as inhumane as the activist agitators claim. It is unpleasant for humans to imagine being housed in a crate, but farrowing pens save piglets’ lives—even veterinarians support them. But not the activists, who believe (as with hunting rights and wildlife management by biologists) that their moral claims are superior to what farmers or hunters, or veterinarians or wildlife biologists, know about animals.

I raise animals traditionally. They never miss a meal, are always with water and housing, run on green pastures, raise their own young, and are slaughtered here where they were born with zero suffering. Those who lump this form of animal husbandry together with industrial factories are either dishonest or profoundly uninformed. Farmers do not enjoy taking life in order to eat well and live: it is an ancient practice entailing humility, reverence, and gratitude.

Climate and animal rights activists may unwittingly further the aims of those who seek to seize control of all food (and its “equitable” distribution”) in the name of saving the world. The World Economic Forum, which seeks to lead the world into yet greater technocratic industrial agricultural dependency, is populated by “partners” who have been among the worst actors in destroying farming, the ecosystem, and animal welfare: Dow, Monsanto (now Bayer), Cargill, Syngenta, JBS…. The list is hundreds of consumer-poisoning corporations long.

This global coordination of corporate “stakeholders” is served by climate/vegan activists, begging Big Brother Ag to rescue them from carbon dioxide, while sparing farm animals from slaughter. But it is not the traditionally raised animals who need rescue: While the vegan/climate alliance lumps soil-building animal husbandry in with factory meat production, the industrial masters were busy at work. New “plant-based” products are highly processed, adulterated with dubious chemical additives, costly, and not very flavorful.

Most of the humans who embrace this baloney about climate-killing cows and cow-killing humans have eagerly thrust their necks into a parallel industrial dependency and blind trust as the factory animals they seek to liberate. Chomping against nature’s bit to expand industrial food production in the name of saving either animals or the planet is a fool’s mission, begging for servitude. I do not say this here to condemn, but to spare these well-intentioned but misinformed people the consequences of what they are seeking.

The technocratic destruction of America’s farms (documented in Wendell Berry’s seminal work, The Unsettling of America) pushed millions of Americans into cities for work, where they are disconnected from the soil microbiome upon which the human companion (the stomach) depends. Inhaling toxic air, crammed into compact housing, feeding on plastic-wrapped factory fare trucked into the cities, drinking a long list of unpronounceable chemicals in their tap water, more and more Americans are waking up to their Orwellian enslavement and embarking on homesteading journeys, or at least trying to reclaim a responsible relationship with their food.

In the cities, the vegans and their climate warrior allies dine on styrofoam-packed vegetables raised with tasty glyphosate and atrazine (a ubiquitous endocrine disrupter that imitates estrogen). These consumers do not rebuild soils like cows and their regenerative masters do, but they advocate for more regulations against farmers. They strive to protect bees from suffering by embracing policies that will extinguish all bees; they embrace no-animal policies that in the name of animal welfare will end all livestock animals being alive—and with them, the manure upon which plant agriculture has always depended will vanish.

Sickened by toxic food (and perhaps a deficiency of vital amino acids), big-ag consumers will need more medications to counter the ill effects of their unnatural diets. No worries—the same technocrats are available to proffer more drugs, just like with the CAFO cows. Drugs for obesity replace exercise; bottled water is teaming with microplastics; new antibiotics may be effective for a little while longer. Rushing to enslave themselves like animals in a cage, the animal rights and climate activists who think they are on the “right side of history” are unwittingly reinforcing their dependence on the corporations that have long damaged ecosystem and human health.

My cows and sheep have much healthier lives, and much greater freedom, than these self-enslaved human consumers. My livestock do not require rescue from a generation of people so disconnected from farming that they are attacking the natural systems upon which their future health and food security depend.

My animals are that future.

Image Credit: George Inness, “A Summer Morning” (1882) via Flikr

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  1. You have pointed out in just this one article how insane the “save the planet” ideology is. Thankfully, there are others like you who have sacrificed and suffered much in order to start a farm or move to regenerative farming, all the while being attacked with federal and state regulations which serve the industrial corporations bottom lines.

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