Tag Archives: waste

Where’s the beef?

This isn’t one of my normal word metric posts, so feel free to move on if that’s what you’re looking for. Tomorrow is my flex day and if I make any writing progress I’ll probably post about it.

Today, I have an independent thought to share with everyone. Might be a rant, but we’ll all find out together.

In America, COVID-19 is interfering with the food chain. We have dairymen pouring milk on the ground, produce going to landfills, and more. Some folks have tried to remedy this by donating to shelters, or allowing people to harvest what the restaurants would normally buy. Nothing’s perfect, but anything is better than total waste.

I’m not so sure a tutorial about how to make ricotta or something would help use some of that raw milk, but certain animals will eat it, too.

The one that frosts me is that we’re about to have shortages of meat because this damned virus is disrupting the operation of the slaughterhouses and such. I totally understand that it’s not the employees fault, and there will be some bobbles along the way.

This isn’t about suffering animals, and I won’t be weighing in on that. My concern is the damned waste that’s going on because they’re in the process of euthanizing perfectly good animals. These animals go to the dump.

I did some research and understand their problems. It takes about 45 days to get a chicken ready for market. It’s like an assembly line, and you have to harvest at the end or the next generation clogs everything up.

Eventually, I assume someone will stop producing at the lower level to alleviate this to a degree. We’re all doing the best we can, and nothing is going to be perfect.

I’m just going to note that even an older chicken makes good soup, and they can grind it into multiple products. Maybe some donations here will prevent some of them from just going to the landfill. (Also, pigs will eat them, and pet food is a possibility.)

When it comes to pigs and cattle, that’s where I have the biggest issue. If you keep an animal alive, it doesn’t need refrigeration. Both of these animals can be pastured. Their use is delayed, but they aren’t completely wasted.

I get that private pasture isn’t readily available, but we do have millions of acres of federal land. I’m not talking about taking away anyone’s grazing rights, but why couldn’t we issue some temporary allotments for putting these animals outside for a while. Sure, you might have to fence in the pigs, but that can’t be impossible. Lots of potential shepherds out of work right now, too.

The BLM and Forest Service might take a brief hit, but we’re talking about a couple of months. Not decades of overgrazing. There is plenty of land outside the allotments people are not depending upon for a living.

Aside from that, any sexually capable animals might have value to someone who wants to increase the size of their herd. (Not steers and such, I get that.)

Additionally, I can’t be the only person left in America who knows how to dispatch a large animal and is capable of butchering it myself. Give me one of those steers from the feedlot awaiting a trip to the slaughterhouse. You buy the paper and tape and I’ll share it with you.

I’m upset that we’re all going to have shortages, at the same time animals are being disposed of. I really hate waste. The shortages are inevitable. Sick workers can’t get the job done and I understand that. However, an animal can still be eaten after it’s due date as long as you keep it alive.

BLM and Natural Forest will heal, and a few months aren’t going to hurt anything. It’s not like I’m asking to put livestock out there for many years. After we get beyond this, remove the animals and leave the land to do its thing.

I just hate for the answer to, “Where’s the beef?” to become, “In the trench behind the barn.”

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