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LETTERS – for Jun. 13, 2011

They’veAlreadyHadTheCake

In his columnLet them eat cake(pg. 32, April CANADIAN CATTLEMEN) Dr. Weder provides producers with excellent advice; calve in above-zero temperatures, and keep diesel consumption down to a dull roar. But consumers are unlikely to heed Marie Antoinette’s infamous advice to “eat cake,” since they have been having their cake and eating it too for the past 60 years of overproduction and low food prices. But they will eat chicken. The reason the price of cattle has risen is because herds in North America have been killed down and cattle are now in shorter supply.

That will soon change. Ranchers are talking about holding back heifers so that they can make even more money and the 500-hp tractors are about to get busy tearing around the Great Plains and Parklands making sure the pig, poultry, egg, milk and beef factory’s do not run out of feed.

Food producers are not the only ones that have no idea what is going on. The euro zone, U.S., Japan, California, etc., etc., are standing on a precipice staring into the abyss of bankruptcy with a debt avalanche above their heads and they are not going to do anything about it other than print more money. Folks cannot stand 60 years of gratuitous prosperity without getting very soft in the head, and a well-deserved and overdue Darwinian flush is just around the corner.

The best advice Dr. Weder can give readers is to invest in gold, guns and lots of dry power. The future does not lie in producing food that no one will be able to pay for.

JOHN HARRIS

PEACE RIVER COUNTRY, B.C.

Aresponsetocriticismofaggressivecowarticle

We read with interest the article in the JanuaryCalving Issueregarding aggressive cows. We enjoyed and agreed with the author’s take on the subject so the response from Lucie Lamoureux in the March issue got us in a head-shaking mood.

We run a very small cow-calf operation by western standards in Northern Ontario, 30-plus or -minus animals in some fairly rough terrain. Bears, wolves, coyotes, fishers and even domestic dogs are a fact of life here and we have a couple of old girls that take offence very quickly to any of these four-legged interlopers. Unfortunately, we have also had cows that take offence to the two-legged members of society.

We raise our cattle in a stress-free/ open-concept/free-choice environment. They are worked with since birth, and we select sires known for their quiet dispositions. We also use only our own stock cows that personify the qualities that we wish to see passed on to their offspring. Even so, we have had a few renegades. It happens. We give them the old, “every dog is entitled to one bite” chance, but that being said, we do not take any foolish chances. We have stock depending on us to stay healthy, land requiring our attention and family to consider. We do not mess around.

Apparently Mlle. Lamoureux in Montreal has had a different experience with her cattle or perhaps she has been watching too much Walt Disney.

Very much enjoy your publication.

PETER AND KATHRYN LOCH

PARRY SOUND, ONT.

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