“The greatest deterrent
to freedom are men and women of zeal, well-meaning, but
without knowledge or understanding.”
~Justice Louis Brandeis~

"People are so quick to defend their own agendas, but they so often fail to realize we must protect the rights of all if we are to continue to have any rights of our own."
~Jenqu~

Ranch meaning, in general, any real world dwelling probably not involving full care board. Kind of a rural voice of real horse owners, trainers, traders, auction owners, rodeo contractors, etc.. all of us who have taken a verbal beating and called greedy ass hats. Back at the Ranch contributors, moderators, subjects, and so on, are pro-horse, pro-owner, and pro-slaughter.
Back at the Ranch was formed by a group of like minded horse / livestock owners. It is a place for us to try to educate, a place to vent our frustrations with the current equine industry, a place to share humor and snark, and in general try to open the eyes of the public who seem to be anti-agriculture.We do have a section for comments of course, and if you would like to email us you can do so directly or through the contact us form. We like to hear from our readers. I hope you enjoy reading our blog as much as I enjoy managing it.
Sincerely,
Ranch Manager
manager_back_at_the_ranch@yahoo.com

Monday, October 26, 2009

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Conspiracy and We Are So Busted…….

Or More Accurately “Stop Smoking That Shit! It’s Making You Paranoid”


I was forwarded an email containing a link to a blog spot posting this op/ed by the Alpha Mare…..or you can learn her real identity and more about the nature of the beast/educated lady at this link http://www.horseraceinsider.com/ . The blog owner, Mz. Many Names, who by her own admission in her profile is an “old hippy chick”, was much more inspired by the teachings of the Alpha Mare than I.
I was raised in an agricultural community. My friends and peers were raised in agricultural communities. I’ve done night calving. I’ve galloped thoroughbreds and helped load fat cattle, most anything to keep and stay around livestock and avoid getting “a real job”. I learned to “ride” steering my father’s feedlot horse. (The ones cowboys use to ride pens and check cattle not the ones being discussed here by the anti-slaughter visitors from time to time.) You will not meet better people anywhere.
There is a road sign somewhere between here and Widespot, Kansas stating “One Kansas Farmer feeds 128 people”. Maybe the terrible Ag Lobby being black balled (boobed? Since it is the Alpha Mare?) in this commentary are defending people worth standing up for. I choose to think so. Every year American agriculture produces for this nation, the safest, cheapest, and most abundant food supply available anywhere in the world. I don’t think any of them need to be insulted with the senseless, unfounded, and downright silly “visions” of this “author”.
I guess you could say this paranoid imaginary b.s. rant really pushed my buttons. I don’t know if you will find this as “way the f*** out there" as I did but here goes. I think it’s kind of tragic people spend their lives thinking this way. Imagine the sort of mind set it takes to come up with this.
Here is the “PLAN”. Good thing they sent her that email by mistake…….. my comments are in red.

Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer: the Ag Lobby’s Dirty Little Plan, Revealed Monday, April 06, 2009 , Cattle Grower Network“It has been shown that horsemeat is low in fat, low in cholesterol and high in protein- overall a better quality of meat than beef. If horse meat were readily available in the U.S., would you be inclined to try it?”It pays to be on enemy email lists: I received the above link this afternoon, to a website promoting horse slaughter. A faux poll, and several misled people who are contemplating dining on "lowfat" horsemeat. The Ag lobbyists have convinced cattle "growers" that, hmmm, horsemeat might be a yummy thing--I'm thinking that it's a significant part of Ag lobby's push for horse slaughter plants--that if horse slaughter is brought back into the United States, cattle "growers" can get into the biz of "growing" horses specifically for slaughter.
It’s nothing that cloak and dagger. The farmers and ranchers of the country simply understand animal agriculture, freedom of choice, personal responsibility, a bit of human nature, and marketing. Many cattlemen do own horses. They actually ride them. I know I have said this before but…..we have been participating in the “ride your horse to work” program for several generations now. Another little detail that’s kind of relevant…..the ag lobbyists work for the cattle growers……..
This disgusts me. But I'd rather know what they're up to than not. Ignorance is NOT bliss.
I’m glad to see someone is willing to crawl under the fence with a flashlight for the greater good. Don’t inhale….it will be all right.

Ah, every now and then, the Good Guys catch a break. Just when you thought that the battle to keep equines safe from slaughter was a losing effort
Nothing hard about that battle….don’t sell them to killer buyers…..the owner has complete control over the destiny of his or her horses from the time of purchase until the next change of ownership takes place. It is very simple…..keep your horse, put him down at home, lease him to someone, there are many ways to keep horses safe from slaughter which don’t involve the government or the slander of good hard working family ranchers, cattle “growers”, and farmers. Apparently this concept has been overlooked, is too difficult to understand, or in some other way was not made clear to all those involved in sleuthing a conspiracy theory that doesn’t exist. It is easy and it has no drama and I understand that can be a problem. —an email drops into your Inbox that qualifies as a gift from Heaven. A miracle. Hundred-dollar bills dropping from the sky. Today was just such a day.
Did the rescue industry gain a new sponsor with revelation of this nonexistent conspiracy???

Allow me to elucidate. I really like that word. I am a member of American Horse Publications, a terrific organization that brings together every equine publication, website and freelancer in the country. I cannot stress strongly enough how much I enjoy being a member of AHP. But today I appreciate it perhaps more than ever before, for I got an email from a website that turned the horse slaughter thing around for me. Refreshed me. Renewed my resolve.[AHP regularly sends out press releases for its members: some days I get upward of 20 press releases. This is a great service that the organization provides to members. Most days I hear from Missy Wryn, or The Blood-Horse, Thoroughbred Times—the ones I’d expect.]But, ah, today. Today I was frustrated. Today I had a headache, from beating my brains against a post. I’ve been trying for several days to write a follow-up to Montana’s Big, Bloody Sky, but have been stumped. Not that I’ve run out of words—I’ll be yammering on my way to the grave. I’ve run out of patience with the system, a system that allows Governors to play footsie with Ag lobbyists and to disguise death sentences for horses as concern for their welfare.
This would be the same system allowing the votes from the constituents of those agricultural states which produced nearly everything eaten in the country yesterday, never mind all those jobs in countless transportation and manufacturing industries. It would be a shame for their governors which they elected to listen to them the same as menopausal thoroughbred owners wouldn’t it?

You see, Friday was a day of jubilation for we anti-slaughter people. Well, it was a minute of jubilation.We’d heard, first, that Montana’s Governor Brian Schweitzer had vetoed the horse slaughter bill.

Friends and colleagues emailed me to send up the first flares. Start the bonfire, we’re havin’ a weenie roast!That ecstasy lasted about three seconds. I read Schweitzer’s letter to The Butcher (Ed Butcher, that is: the most appropriately-named politician in America.) The letter of “veto” was really a letter filled with amendments. IF the bill is amended in ways that Governor Schweitzer find to be appropriate—he will sign the bill into law.And the reasons for his amendments are to write in protections for those who would build the slaughterhouses—NOT because he’s concerned about the horses’ welfare. Sure, his letter of amendment is filled with language that sounds like he’s concerned for equine welfare—all the “unwanted horses” ya-ya.But the bottom line of it is that he’ll be delighted to sign the bill into law, as long as the amendments are written in—and those magnanimous Belgians are protected. Schweitzer wants to make sure that, once the slaughterhouse is built in Montana—no one can step up to the plate (or courthouse) and close it down.So I’ve spent several days trying to write about something that is on the surface so vague that anti-slaughter folks were tempted to think we’d won. But knowing that we’ve not won, the battle continues, and—if anything—is more frustrating than ever. At this point, it’s out of our hands. Phone calls to Schweitzer’s office will not change a thing. Now we sit and wait to see if/when the Montana State Legislature tosses it back to him.If they do, he’ll sign it. If he signs it, Montana license plates can read, “The Slaughter State.”
Or they could read - “The State That Listens To Our People” “Ranchers Are Voters Too” or “We Know Where Our Bread Comes From” anyway you get the idea……

So today I felt stumped. Defeated. Not sure what to write. Now I know. Today we were given a gift, that of insider knowledge. This is a valuable tool—knowledge. The Truth shall set you free. The light of Truth, shining in the darkness—can turn it all around for the horses.
It probably would if it were at all factual……But hey, it sounds damn good, I can almost hear trumpets now…carry on, manna from the heavens of truth…..

We have the ammo we need now: the email I received via AHP today carried the subject line, “Would You Eat Horse Meat?”I turned on my mental heel. They had my attention. I had to peek inside, and see behind the curtain. This email was from a website that identified itself as http://www.cheyenneoutlaw.com/ I’d never heard of them before. I thought it might be a group of cowboys, perhaps a newsletter of cowboy poets. Not quite. Cheyenne Outlaw Ranch is—you guessed it—a cattle ranch in Wyoming.
I did look on the Cheyenne Outlaw Ranch website…..They are indeed a cattle ranch. A three hundred acre cattle ranch raising Lowline Angus cattle for the organic grass fed specialty market. Now, I realize in New York looking out my window , 300 acres sounds like a lot, but in Wyoming it’s a very small ranch. Hardly the personification of the Ag Lobby Big Brother is killing my horses, theory and certainly not what I would call a smoking gun.

Why, you might ask yourself, would they wish to contact those of us who work in publishing in equine industries? Hmmmmm…tap yourself on the chin. Think about this a minute. It all became wildly clear the minute I read the email: supposedly, The Cattle Grower Network had conducted a poll. Uh, yeah. And in that poll, they asked if readers would eat horsemeat if it were available to them. Uh-huh. A rigged poll. People who are members of Cattle Grower Network, answering a question that, on its surface, seems simple. Disgusting, but simple.
I would imagine in a poll conducted entirely among ranchers and cattlemen would be somewhat slanted. The same way a poll on Fugly, Alex Brown, or COTH would be rigged toward the other side. FYI…..pro slaughter people do read horse publications too. I know it sounds wild, but ranchers own horses and do read equine publications so they are aware there is an equine publication industry. The underlying implication is enormous.
???????????? How????????? What difference would all this make even if it were true?

Finally--the Truth behind the push for horse slaughter plants. The Truth, that those who are proponents are no more concerned about “unwanted horses” than a bald man is about unwanted hair.
So we have been told time and time again. We will keep this in mind while we ride them, care for them, and keep working with them to produce USDA choice beef.

The Truth is that the Ag lobby is working with the “cattle growers” not only to re-introduce horse slaughter into the United States—the underlying reason for doing so is that the next step after reintroduction is to create a market for horsemeat IN the United States. The beef industry has been hurting lately. Too many people actually concerned about silly things like, oh, I don’t know—cholesterol. Fat. Colon cancer.
The cattle industry is in trouble? The High Plains Journal or the Certified Angus Beef board hasn’t heard the news. http://www.hpj.com/journal/livestock/index_livestock.cfm
The following it quoted from the above link: A steak sizzling on the grill is to a consumer what a cash register cha-ching is to a grocer. Despite economic conditions, those sweet sensations were in the air this summer as demand for high-quality beef cuts picked up for the world's largest branded beef program.
The Certified Angus Beef brand set repeat records in July and August for the most sold in a single month since the inception of the program in 1978. Licensed restaurants and retailers marketed 60 million pounds in July, and then bested that monthly high mark by another couple-million pounds in August.
"Historically these are big months with the summer grilling season, and retailers always carry most of that weight," says Clint Walenciak, CAB director of packing. Fourth of July and Labor Day holidays help drive sales. "Combine that with the economy that had more people going to the grocery store, and it added up to back-to-back chart-topping months."

Or these October 10 marketing reports from the same publication…..Steers: Auctions, Medium and large frame 1, 250 lbs., 123.00 or $307.00 a head; 330 to 400 lbs., 113.50 to 125.00 or an average of $420.00 per head; 400 to 450 lbs., 107.00 to 117.50; 450 to 500 lbs., 105.00 to 114.00; 500 to 550 lbs., 100.00 to 107.50; 550 to 600 lbs., 90.25 to 102.50; calves 600 to 660 lbs., 91.00 to 97.25; 700 to 800 lbs., 90.00 to 96.00; 800 to 900 lbs., 87.50 to 93.50, calves 835 lbs., 88.50; 900 to 1000 lbs., 80.60 to 91.25; 1000 to 1100 lbs., 80.75 to 86.00. Medium and large frame 1 to 2, 500 lbs., 101.00. Medium frame 1, 410 to 415 lbs., 99.00 to 105.00; 460 to 465 lbs., 94.00 to 99.00; 540 lbs., 91.00; calves 665 lbs., 90.50; 710 to 780 lbs., 83.00 to 86.00; 820 lbs.,. 83.75. Direct, Medium and large frame 1, FOB price, 925 lbs., 87.00. Delivered price, 700 lbs., 97.00.
Heifers: Auctions, Medium and large frame 1, 330 to 350 lbs., 106.00 to 114.00; 375 to 400 lbs., 100.00 to 110.00; 400 to 450 lbs., 94.00 to 104.00; 450 to 500 lbs., 91.00 to 99.00; 500 to 550 lbs., 91.00 to 96.25; 550 to 575 lbs., 89.00 to 96.75; 620 to 635 lbs., 93.75 to 94.35, calves 610 to 650 lbs., 88.00 to 91.00; 650 to 700 lbs., 84.25 to 94.50; 700 to 800 lbs., 83.00 to 92.25; 800 to 900 lbs., 82.25 to 89.50; 900 to 1000 lbs., 77.50 to 86.10; 1000 to 1020 lbs., 82.85 to 83.10. Medium and large frame 1 to 2, 550 to 560 lbs., 85.50 to 89.00; 695 to 700 lbs., 87.50 to 91.50. Medium frame 1 to 2, 580 lbs., 89.75.
You get the idea…Cattle markets are pretty steady right now…..they have certainly been worse…so I don’t think the future profitability of raising horses for slaughter is a big concern.
What, oh, what, can a “cattle grower” whose profit margin is flagging do? Hmmm…got land. Got grass. Got fields fenced in. Beef, fatty. HORSE…not so fat. Horsemeat = a marketing strategy that could save the necks of the ranchers who’ve invested millions of dollars into an industry that is threatened by a growing American concern for health. Read the link above, to the “poll” and those who agree with the results of the poll—that, supposedly, horsemeat just may be an acceptable addition to the American diet. Read the words, then let them set in.Realize that this is a well-calculated campaign. This is NOT random people who happen to think that horse slaughter is a good thing. This, my friends, is every bit as insidious a campaign as the tobacco industry creating chocolate cigarettes for children.
The drama and the hype are pretty catchy but that’s really about it. Many cattle ranchers do raise horses also. Those good ranch bred performance horses the east has gone so crazy over. Western Horsemen has the past few years devoted a whole section to western “ranch horse” sale articles. They really don’t want to eat them or market them like feeder calves.

This campaign was hatched in the boardrooms of The Beef Council. This plan is being executed by the Ag lobbyists and the ranchers. This, they believe, will be the plan that saves the ranchers. All this time, we anti-slaughter people thought they were merely executing the “slippery slope” argument, that, if horse slaughter is taboo in America—they’ll come for the beef industry next. That passive-aggressive approach—that’s what we thought they were up to.
Actually, we weren’t up to anything other than standing up for what we felt was right and minding our own business.

But today’s email revealed the Truth—Hallelujah, the Truth will set the horses free.The real motivation of the Ag lobby and the Beef People is not to prevent beef slaughter from being outlawed—for that would never happen. The real motivation is to open wide the door to horse slaughter so that RANCHING HORSES for meat will not only become acceptable—it will become an exciting, viable new market for the cattle ranchers. “Branching out,” as it were. Creating a new market, and giving it the old hard-sell.
This makes no sense…..the cattle industry had decades to “create” this niche to save their so called dying industry by making horse the new red meat. The idea of this having any merit would have been much easier to implement when the plants were running all those years and the only hurdles were marketing and cultural taboo. Sorry that was logic I will try not to use it again.
The Beef industry chose instead to invest in marketing, quality control, and numerous other programs to benefit their own product. Maybe in other countries there is and always will be a thriving industry of breeding slaughter horses but not here and this might be in part because we don’t have to but……
The U.S. butcher horse is a walking definition of the word by product. Whether a urine line draft cross foal in a feed lot, an also ran claimer, or an unbroken, oh excuse me “trained” backyard pet who’s family is out of the notion, he is an 1,100 pound remainder of another plan gone south. Reason number one and number one hundred and ten why there will also be more horses produced than horsemen to care for them. Most people don’t set out from scratch to raise a butcher horse, much as this little piece would have us believe. I doubt, in spite of the “evidence” produced here they ever will.


Once horse slaughter plants are put in Montana and the Dakotas—it’s all downhill from there. They think that we anti-slaughter people will just give up, and go away with a whimper.
Not really, most pro-slaughter people don’t really care what the anti-slaughter camp does after the market is opened back up. They would like input on humane transport and slaughter laws we can all live with though. We simply want to put a floor back under the market to avoid horses being treated like stray pets and garbage. We have this misguided opinion it is better for them to die with a purpose and a value. That is the conspiracy theory nothing more nothing less. We would like to do this once, do it right, have it make sense for all concerned.

No doubt they even aspire to converting Willie Nelson: their clever marketing wonks envision Willie as a potential ally, the face of The American Horsemeat Council. Once that door to slaughter is flung wide-open—the possibilities are endless.
I can’t speak for everyone in the Pro-slaughter camp but if I feel the need to drink, smoke dope, and evade taxes I will look to Willie as a leader, mentor, and poster child. I kind of like making my own choices rather looking to the “stars”. Martha Stewart, Beau Derek, and Taylor Swift don’t influence me much either.

I am not arguing in slippery slope here, friends. All you need do is read this nonsense from the cattle “growers,”
What would be a more appropriate term for them?
this email they sent to their allies, to see through their transparent motive. If we open that door—if we let Governor Schweitzer amend so vile a bill as to make it palatable, and pass it into law—then the Ag lobby and beef “growers” can institute Phase II: the cultural and governmental acceptance of horse ranches. If you don’t want to see billboards for “Secretariat: the Other Red Meat”—you must work with us. You don’t need my vivid imagination to see that this is the real motivation for the push for slaughter: all you need is eyes to read; a brain to comprehend and a heart to give a damn. Ag lobby—we are finally on to you. We’ve got you in our scopes. You’re goin’ down. No Alydar Alpo for me—and no Filly Filet at Peter Luger’s. Not now. Not ever.
The sky really is falling I understand nobody can be too careful or have to big an umbrella. I might suggest not hanging out with Willie so much, your paranoid hallucinations are getting kind of out of hand..
By RH1

6 comments:

  1. This is even sillier than the last one! Are you SURE this isn't Saturday satire?????

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  2. I know RH2 it's crazy isn't it!? Someone needs to tell this loony stoner that you don't bite the hand that feeds you.
    I could not, for the life of me, figure out why she kept putting growers in quotations....cattle "growers". Apparently she doesn't understand that they do grow?... I went back and forth from being angry to laughing my ass off at the stupidity and paranoia.

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  3. Come on now- you know it's part of the conspiracy! Perhaps they're not really "growing", but are in some sort of Alice in Wonderland realm? You HAVE to laugh-it's too crazy to get upset about. I love that she uncovered our deep, dark secret, and can FINALLY bust open the big conspiracy!!!! Maybe we'll see her on one of those television news expose shows soon. One can only hope:)

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  4. It is funny but I do get angry when it seems someone wants to take my beef away! I could probably live without but hubby and son may go on a rampage! lol
    the sad thing is there are people who actually believe this type of insanity and think the paranoia is perfectly normal....

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  5. just me (RM) testing something...

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