Your Reading List

We need a pandemic of common sense

I spent part of the past week with some highly influential
people in the Canadian beef industry. The first important group was six southeastern B.C. ranchers,
and the second group was guys who work for or have some links  to an organization called the Canadian
Cattleman’s Association (I had to shower after that session! I’m kidding they
are a good bunch of fellas too).

But I had coffee last week to discuss beef production issues

with Joe Masi, Gus Fiorentino, Tony Pighin, Lonny Jones, and brothers Collin
and Don Morrison who all ranch in the East Kootenay region of B.C.

So I talk with these guys for a couple hours about some
local challenges and then a few days later I sit down in the evening to watch
the national TV news and see Canadian hog producers rallying to assure the
world that Canadian pork is safe to eat. 

The common thread between the beef guys at Fort Steele and
the hog producers dishing up pulled pork sandwiches on Parliament Hill is that
they are just a bunch of farmers who want to do what they know and love and
that’s produce food. Hopefully somewhere along the line they make a dollar or
at least break even, but there is no hidden agenda, no subversive activity, no
terrorist objectives. They just want to be allowed to do their thing.

And yet aside from the basic challenge of trying to be

efficient livestock producers in a volatile and unpredictable market, they also
have to defend what they do against the pressures of media hype, public
ignorance, and misguided, incorrect, and often malicious perceptions.

I’m just an observer, but I listen to the nonsense that goes
on, whether it be over a local issue or an international frenzy over a
non-existent human health threat, and it makes me weary. My immediate reaction
is ‘why bother, give it up, quit now, save yourself the frustration, let the
bastards starve’….(not me, just the collective masses who are peeing their
pants over non-existent issues).

But here is an agriculture industry, that for the most part,
goes about a activity which I’m guessing must be among the top five priorities
on God’s to-do list, and yet it is continually battered and criticized and put
on the defensive against issues which have no basis in science or fact.

How many millions of people are there in the world starving

to death who would give anything to have a pound of beef or pork or a bushel of
wheat to keep their kids alive today, and yet we have the well-educated,
well-clothed, well-sheltered, affluent masses in the developed world fretting
they may get a runny nose if they eat a slice of bacon. (Even if that risk was true, so what?)

If I was in charge I’d say we feed those who really
appreciate the food and let the rest experience what a hungry belly really
feels like, and that hopefully might trigger a pandemic of common sense.

Please vote for me as King of The World.



About the author

Field Editor

Lee Hart

Lee Hart is editor of Cattleman’s Corner based in Calgary.



Stories from our other publications