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Beef and oil: The rest of the story

Dear Editor,

This letter is in response to David Krest’s “It takes oil to raise a cow,” a letter hardly worth a response, other than to point out a few facts. I don’t know where Mr. Krest got his information, but I think 284 gallons of oil to fatten a beef cow a small amount compared to the amount a single human will put in their car, truck or SUV in a single year. This does not include the amount spent on heat, lights and all our other modern conveniences.

I wonder if many people realize that when you take down the fences and let the cattle out, we will be missing not only a vital part of most Americans diet, but a few other things as well.

More things than we realize contain by-products of beef. Just to name a few things you probably ate this month: marshmallows, chewing gum, mayonnaise, yogurt, and even ice cream. Many medicines contain beef by-products, including iron for treating anemia and insulin. The things that you have in your life every day that contain by-products include: tires, the leather seats in your SUV, drywall, paints, cosmetics, soap, deodorant, antifreeze, asphalt, and possibly even the ink that makes it possible for you to read this. For an even larger list of beef by-products, I found a web site. It is http://www.telusplanet.net/public/jross/beefprod.htm.

I realize that is possible to make most of these synthetically and I assume that is what Mr. Krest would prefer. But if he is worried about the amount of oil to grow feed for the cattle, I can only wonder at the huge amount of oil used to make the everyday items synthetically, not to mention the pollution that will make its way to the ocean and pollute the seaweed he must be eating.

I know if those fields weren’t growing crops, they would be a subdivision, and personally I prefer to look at the fields. I don’t know the numbers, but am quite sure the amount of oil used by people living in a subdivision is much, much larger than when it used to be a field.

Raising cattle is not a profitable business any longer, and we thank those of you who believe the way Mr. Krest does for causing this. Ranchers let you work in peace and get rich, yet they are constantly tormented by the high cost of grain, hay, and troublemaking people who are out to save the world. So one by one our valley’s ranches will become subdivisions as the ranchers go broke and their only choice is to sell out. Eventually those of us who enjoy our meat, which humans have eaten for thousands of years, will have to depend on another country to feed us.

In closing, I say, let the fences down and the cattle roam. I’m sure the first place they will come to feed is on your lawn. Just make sure you watch where you step.

Kelly Porter

Silt


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