Pennsylvania legislature voted unanimously Friday April 8th 2011 to provide Bovine subsidies to cattle farmers to help them comply with their ultra strict Pennsylvania Climate Change Act of July 2008. This subsidy will reimburse farmers $1,000 per a head of cattle. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett said to reporters today, "this is really a win, win bill. No one loses, when the earth wins".
Cattle farmers have been struggling to comply with these new greenhouse gas restrictions, but many of them say the cost of compliance is simply too great. Many Cattle farmers such as Jack Mehaulf, have reported that they are on the verge of going out of business due to the added expense of equipment and installation.
Jack has been a cattle farmer his entire adult life. When asked what he thought about the Pennsylvania Climate Change Act of July 2008 and the newly passed Bovine Subsidies Act he said, "I have over 1000 dairy cows which are used for producing milk, all of my cows because of the strict F.D.A. rules in regards to what we can feed a cow intended to produce milk for human consumption, the cost of feed and Alpha fa Hay alone is nearly cost prohibitive. Now we have the added overhead of waste gas clean up".
Although many groups such as Earth First say they sympathize with cattle farmers, many of them and other environmentalist have hailed this Bovine Subsidies Act and the Pennsylvania Climate Change Act of July 2008 as a victory for the planet, but still say we have a long way to go before the earth is given a chance to heal from mans intrusion and environmental destruction.
Along with this Bovine Subsidies Act, a bi-annual inspection and testing of emission control devises will be necessary and required by law. Many cattle farmers and those who don't agree with this new law protested in the state capital. Many of them specifically protesting the new emissions testing by the newly government funded B.E.T. (Bovine Emissions Testing). Many claim the cost of transportation of the heard to these facilities are unfair, and unjustly attack cattle farmers, not to mention the added stress to the cows.
Among this group of protesters was the co-founder of the Farmers Freedom Rally Of America. Ben Dover, was asked what he thought about this new bill. "I am scared, real scared". He said. "Where does the governments power end? What gives them the right to shovel their ideals down our throats and up our butts? It's a shame the government is trying to stifle the prosperity of the American cattle farmer."
Animal rights groups have come out in defense of cows and are not only protesting this new legislative act but the human consumption of cows, which according to a P.E.T.A spokesman Bud Wieser, who said simply, "cows are people too, and just like we wouldn't eat our neighbor or go anal probing them, so why would we do that to such a docile creature as a cow?"
One young protester by the name of Jean Poole spoke to us as she struggled to hold back tears. She said to us, "have anyone even cared about hows the cows feel about this"? Adding, "the cows are not the only ones to fart, people fart too. You should see my uncle and dad have fart battles after Thanksgiving dinner. It takes hours to air out the house. Would it be fair for the law to force a converter up my dad and uncles butt"?
This reporter for one can't see any fault in the logic of this innocent child.
9 year old Jean Poole offered to take us to her dads farm so we can see the emotional distress this new law is putting their heard. Jean tried her best to comfort Bessy, one of their farms many crying cows. It was clear to this reporter just how traumatized these cows truly are. I for one was unable to hold back my tears as I saw Bessy's big brown eyes seek comfort in Jeans young arms. It's in these times I wonder if the true cost isn't only financial, but of the sacrificing of our own humanity.
Jeans aunt, Lotte Nockers, took us to another part of the farm so we can see the true emotional impact this new law has on the heard. This section of their cattle farm is reserved for all the cows who have already undergone the installation of the Cowtalytic converters. She explained why they have to keep them separated from the rest of the heard, "we do this to keep the personal insults from one cow to another at a minimum". She stated that, " when we first started to do these installations we failed to keep them separated afterward, which was a mistake on our part. We know now how the criticism from other cows can cause bouts of deep bovine depression".
In fact the Poole cattle farm has reported that they have lost 8 cows over the weekend to suicide, and expect to lose several more before the emotional adjustment is completed by the heard. The Poole family farm has called severl animal psychologists including the well known bovine whisperer, to help combat the widespread depression.
Lotte, took a picture of the Poole farms first cow to undergo the cowtalytic installation. Lotte however stated to this reporter that unfortunately, Sandy the cow soon after installation became infected in the rump-roast, and had to be euthanized, and because of the way regulations in this new bill is written, the hardly used cowtalytic converter had to be dis-guarded and couldn't be reused.
Several cows in a last ditch effort to stave off installation, are using their own farts as a weapon against installation technicians. One technician was hospitalized after Tiddles the cow used a high fiber diet to build up flatulence and then lite the methane gas with a lighter as Luke Warm a technician with Cowtalytic Conversions Inc. was preparing to perform the installation. Security cameras caught an image of Tiddles the cow earlier that day planning, and practicing her devilish act.
Doctors expect Luke Warm to recover, but fear he will be scarred for life.
Jack Goff, reporting from the Pennsylvania state capital.
To see my original article with images go here.