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February 07, 2004 - 7:44 p.m.

Vampire Cows!!!

My Beef With Beef

Friday’s New York Times Online has this article by Denise Grady which I urge you to read before proceeding. To access it you may have to sign up for a free subscription, but it’s damned well worth it. If you have no interest whatsoever in subscribing to the NYT Online, I’ll be quoting from this article pretty liberally anyway. However, reading the entire article before I begin my rant will give you a good idea what all the fuss I’m about to make is about.

So what is my beef? My headline says it all, Vampire Cows. Oh sure, the high and mighty New York Times doesn’t use that phrase per se, but you tell me what you call a cow that drinks the blood of other cows, hmmm?

Vampire Cows.

I’m bloody serious, although that won’t stop the bad puns.

According to Ms. Grady, “… For years, calves have been fed cow’s blood instead of milk, and cattle feed has been allowed to contain composted wastes from chicken coops, including feathers, spilled feed and even feces.

She states that due to the Washington State incidence of Mad Cow Disease, the FDA has now barred this practice, but “…did not prohibit other practices that involve using animal remains to make cattle feed.

“Though the United States banned the use of cow parts in cattle feed in the 1990's, it still permits rendered matter from cows to be fed to pigs and chickens, and rendered pigs and chickens to be fed back to cows.

Ahhh, the Unholy Circle of Death! Cows eating chickens that eat cows! Woohoo, doesn’t that all sound appetizing?

As I understand it, years ago when Mad Cow Disease first made it’s appearance in Europe, The European Union banned these types of cannibalistic hijinks. Why the hell are we in the United States just now getting around to discussing it?

And will someone please explain to me just why why WHY we started feeding blood, meat and meat-by-products to herbivores anyway? Hmmm? You know herbivores, right, The Plant Eaters?

What kind of goddamned Dr. Frankenstein genius first decided, gee, if we feed our calves blood instead of milk, maybe they’ll produce more milk?

Why didn’t someone grab that man by the collar and just say “No you psycho freak, cows eat grass, plants, vegetation! That’s just wrong! Don’t do it!!! ” and then slap him silly until his head is raw!

Nope, we just kind of let it happen, our government allowed it, and anyone who complained was just some inconsequential environmental crazy. Excuse me, who’s crazy? Who? Who exactly is feeding blood and guts to cows? Damned!!!

The focus of The Times article is clearly on Mad Cow Disease and whether or not this practice would help the spread of the disease.

Who the hell, cares! Yeah, yeah, yeah, of course I care about the spread of Mad Cow Disease, but I want this practice banned regardless, because it is just plain sick and twisted! Cows eat grass, dammit!

Dr. Gary Weber, executive director for regulatory affairs at the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, said the cattle industry was prepared to change feeding practices if the F.D.A. determined that doing so was necessary.”

Screw that, We The People should decide what is necessary.

If you believe in God, then ask yourself if God Meant For Cows To Drink Blood! Seriously!!! If you don’t believe in God, then we’re just back to the insanity of fundamentally screwing with the natural order of things; cows don’t eat meat, cows don’t eat meat, COWS DON’T EAT MEAT!!!

I really am seriously considering going vegetarian over this, no fooling. I am bloody sick to my ulcerous stomach at the thought of feeding blood and body parts to cattle.

The problem is, not only do I like meat, but I’ve managed to lose a good 70 pounds doing Atkins, and for the life of me I can’t imagine my Low Carb Lifestyle without meat! I mean, yeah I love nuts and stuff, and there’s always soy products, but it just doesn’t seem doable. I really have to research this and figure out what the hell I’m gonna do for food!

This Dr. Weber also explained that “ ‘ … in the dairy industry, in order to sustain high levels of milk production, they have needed these proteins and felt it was important in high-producing dairy cows. ’ ”

According to Our Esteemed Ms. Grady’s article “…meat and bone meal (is) used in feed supplements for animals; 43 percent goes to poultry, 23 percent to pet food, 13 percent to swine, 10 percent to cattle and 11 percent to other uses, among them the production of feed for farmed fish.

So how does this bode for Larry’s Low Carb Lifestyle?

No Milk, Cheese or other Dairy Products, gotta go with Soy Milk, Soy Cheese, etc. No Beef, no Chicken, no Pork, there goes 90% of my protein sources! No Farmed Fish (like catfish), meaning I’ve got to take my chances with wild-caught Mercury-laced Fishies, yummm, yummm!

*Sigh*

I really am at a loss, much more thought and study is needed on my part. Are so-called “free-range” animals free from this sort of meat contamination? I would guess so, I’m assuming that’s what this means, but who knows! I’ve been too damned complacent and oblivious all these years and haven’t given proper thought to what it is I’m actually eating until now.

Also, I’m barely making ends meet as it is, how much more expensive is this free-range stuff, plus all of the soy substitutes? Just what am I getting myself into?

I do know one thing, I’ll never look at a cow the same way again! Bloody vampires, feh!


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