LETTERS – for May. 3, 2010

Beef Is Not The Tarsands

I rely completely on the cattle business to try to make a living. I am writing you because of an article published in MACLEANS magazine Mar. 28. It was titled “The War on Meat.” It was an extremely one-sided article about livestock and the environment. I was so upset I did send a letter to MACLEANS. I have also sent a request to the CCA to respond to this article. I guess I want to make sure you are aware of this propaganda being published in a well-respected national publication. I love the cattle business but it is getting very frustrating dealing with trade, currency, environmental, traceability issues and consecutive years of low prices. These issues are all for naught if the greatest stewards of the land are lumped in with the tarsands as far as care for the environment.


Calving cover just fine

I was completely shocked to read Dr. Ron Clarke’s letter in the March edition of CANADIAN CATTLEMEN in regards to the cover of the Calving Edition featuring little Levi Debney and a twin calf.

I don’t think many (if any) parent would purposely try to expose their child to any danger from a calf or anything else that life has to offer. I would also argue the fact that there likely haven’t been too many farm homes that haven’t had a calf on their kitchen floor trying to save it either from the elements or other factors. You may have noticed that the calf was completely dry and Levi was staring at the calf not even touching it. Linda is a wonderful mother and would never

put her kids at risk and when calving in the North and the temperatures are -40 without the wind the kitchen might be your best bet to save a calf or two (in this case.) No one is promoting this, and I agree you might be over-sensitized.


Hello again from the Debney family (See Calving tales, pg. 54 January Calving issue). Well we are down to single digits of this year’s calving season so I thought that I would give everyone a little update. To date we have had six sets of twins!! Although one set was aborted about a month and a half before our calving was to start. So we really have tied last year’s numbers with another five sets.

Now there is one more thing that I would like to bring to your attention. I am not sure how many read the letters to the editor in the CANADIAN CATTLEMEN magazine but I did. And I just wanted to say how hurt I am as a mother and a cattle producer about the comments said that my picture was not to be promoted and was quoted as being “provocative.” I could not believe what I had just read. How is it that a simple picture can be turned into something that should not be promoted in the cattle industry? I felt that I was being told that I had put my own child in danger.

As a new mother you are bombarded with hundreds of things you cannot do, feed, or have your child sleep in and the list goes on and on. Not once did I ever think that allowing my child to experience the thrills of farming could be considered wrong. It is a way of life. A way of life that is becoming increasingly rare to be a part of, and I am thankful every day that my children will be able to experience this way of life with all its ups and downs, even if it means helping a cold calf on the kitchen floor.

With all the negative publicity that the cattle industry faces I think this picture should bring a little hope to producers that there are still young farmers in Canada that are willing to pass on the tradition of hard work and perseverance.

So for those who do not think that this should be promoted then maybe for next year’s Calving Special we could have a picture of a young child in head-to-toe biosecurity wear standing behind protective glass observing cattle. Would that be a better way to promote our industry?




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