Tuesday, December 29, 2009




Checking cows on stocks Dec 29, 2009 with a little hint of what the past week has been like here in Central Nebraska


Jim my Percheron on another Frosty morning in the heat of Global Warming. Steer watching in the background is one of Libbi's 4-H steers for this coming year.

Saturday, December 26, 2009





Cattle at my place Christmas Day 2009 braving temperatures at 20 below and seeking protection from North Winds in excess of 30 mph for 3 days.

Friday, December 25, 2009



The "Real World of Global Warming" while ranching on the Great Plains of America Christmas Day 2009 at windchill 20 below with sustained 35 mph winds for 3 days.
videoSows without a factory farm not enjoying Christmas 2009 at my place in Central NE.


Landri and Lindsi Loos one week BEFORE Christmas


Lindsi Trent Kelli Libbi and Landri Loos on Christmas 2009

Thursday, December 24, 2009



Here I am riding my best mount Lady Blue next to Apache the Super Dog. Photo taken by Misty Horn.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009



Apache the world's greatest cow working dog at the age of 10 years

Monday, October 26, 2009








Kristi Knisley the extremely impressive artist

Monday, August 24, 2009

Time magazine article of lies

Getting real about high cost of cheap food


My letter to the editor

Mr. Walsh your article is the most bias piece of reporting I have witnessed in some time. You completely ignore the benefit of science and technology with today's efficient food production. The best example comes from Ivy League Cornell University indicating that modern food production is the most sustainable any nation has ever seen. Today's dairyman use only 10% of the land mass they did in 1944 to produce the same gallon of milk. Examples such as this exist in each industry yet you chose to not report the facts. I think most logical thinking American's will recognize you as a fiction writer. Please contact Disney right away because they too like to hire people who recycle information without verifying the truth.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009




Gotcha Mobile Machine displaying messages about "Cured Meats for Healthy Heartbeats" to 200,000 people gathered in St. Louis, MO for All Star Game 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

All-Star Game attendees encouraged
to eat ‘Cured Meats for Healthy Heartbeat’

Medical research shows hot dogs and other cured meats offer health benefits

Nothing goes together like baseball and hot dogs, and with a growing body of medical evidence that suggests dietary nitrates - like those commonly found in hot dogs - are vital to the prevention of heart disease, attendees at the 2009 Major League Baseball All Star Game July 14 in St. Louis, MO, are being encouraged to enjoy both.

“Those attending this year’s All-Star game should enjoy a hot dog during the game knowing that it takes cured meats for healthy heartbeats,” said Trent Loos, a sixth generation farmer/rancher and founder of the Faces Of Agriculture.

For the past 10 years, Dr. Nathan Bryan, a medical researcher at the Brown Foundation Institute of Molecular Medicine, The University of Texas, Houston Health Sciences Center, has been working to determine the importance of dietary nitrite and nitrate consumption as a means to prevent and treat cardiovascular disease and other diseases associated with nitric oxide insufficiency in the diet. In the process, he also has examined long-standing claims that the compounds cause certain cancers and found that indeed those risks do not exist.

Since the early 1980s there have been numerous reports on the association of N-nitrosamines and human cancers but a causative link between nitrite and nitrate exposure and cancer is still missing, according to Bryan. Furthermore, he noted that a two-year study on the carcinogenicity of nitrite by the National Institute of Health has conclusively found that there was no increased evidence of carcinogenic activity in male or female rats or mice as a result.

Moreover, if nitrite were a carcinogen, Bryan said people would be advised to avoid swallowing since saliva contains nitrite. Nitrites also are pumped directly into the heart for therapy purposes when heart attacks occur, he said.

“Nitrites and nitrates are naturally found in our bodies and are in no way a health risk. Quite simply, they are good for us and essential for our cardiovascular health,” said Bryant. He noted that cardio-protective levels of nitrites and nitrates can easily be achieved by increasing consumption of nitrite/nitrate-rich foods such as cured meats and leafy green vegetables.

“As a food producer, I’m quite excited about the work being conducted by Bryan and others regarding the medical benefits of hot dogs and other cured meats. I find it amazing that the much-feared nitrites that groups have been trying to scare us about all these years are really nothing more than a vitamin-like substance that turn out to be good for us and our hearts,” said Loos.

To tell the story of the health benefits associated with cured meats, Loos has hired a mobile media truck to drive around St. Louis on the day of the All-Star game with a billboard that simply reads, “Cured Meats for Healthy Heartbeats”. The mobile billboard will feature a young consumer enjoying a tasty and “healthy” hot dog, he said.

“A decade worth of research proves the health benefit of nitrites and nitrates in our diets. It is critical that this message begin to be heard and that people recognize it is okay, and actually good for them to enjoy cured meats in moderation and as part of a balanced diet,” said Loos.


Interviews/media availability:
To schedule an interview with Trent Loos or Dr. Nathan Bryant, call (515)418-8185 or email Loos at trent@loostales.com. Loos will be in the St. Louis area on game day and available for interviews.


For more information on meat as a health food:

- Cardioprotective actions of nitrite therapy and dietary considerations

- Food sources of nitrates and nitrites: the physiologic context for potential health benefits

- Nitrate in foods: harmful or healthy?

- Dietary nitrite prevents hypercholesterolemic microvascular inflammation and reverses endothelial dysfunction

- Cardiovascular prevention by dietary nitrate and nitrite

- Forward by from the medical textbook: "Food, Nutrition and the Nitric Oxide Pathway: Bioactivaton and Bioavailability." Written by Nobel Laureate Lou Ignarro

- Watch a video with Dr. Nathan Bryan

Friday, June 26, 2009

Message of integrity

I fully believe that lack of unity within the agricultural industry is the greatest challenge facing the future of all domestic food production. The soybean producers have proven that we can’t get along even within one sector of agriculture. The dairymen’s division between large and small has led the rejection of a technology that provides dairymen of all sizes a tremendous advantage. Some beef producers fully realize that they are producing beef while others demand that they only market cattle. I fully understand that divide and conquer has long been the weapon of choice when comes to winning battles and I personally don’t want to contribute to that arsenal. We can no longer sit back and allow anybody at any time to say whatever they feel like saying in the name of marketing their products.

For quite some time I have been troubled with the marketing campaign of Chipotle Mexican Grill but honestly I have been reluctant to say anything for the reason mentioned. That is no more. On June 16 Steve Ells was on Nightline discussing his “Food with Integrity” approach and completely misleading people about modern pork production. I have decided I will not let him get away with it anymore. I have recently forwarded the following letter to the owner of the fast food chain.

Dear Mr. Ells:

As owner of Chipotle Mexican Grill, I hereby request you immediately refrain from using the phrase “Food with integrity” until you find some yourself.

I have just watched the June 16 segment on Nightline and as a sixth generation United States farmer who has personally provided daily care for more than one million farm animals in my lifetime, I was appalled at some of your statements.

First off, as the filming was taking place, the pigs were seen drinking their own urine. I prefer my pork to come from pigs that consume fresh clean water instead of stale urine and feces-laced puddles.

As a kid, we raised pigs out in the hills and in those mud holes pigs exhibited their “piggyness.” Compared to today’s modern confinement pork production system, where comprehensive manure management plans are in place to protect the environment, our system of 30 years ago was not good for the environment in any shape or form. Trees still do not grow in the area where our pigs once roamed.

You also referenced that the free-range chicken served in your restaurants comes from chickens only fed vegetarian diets. I still today have free-ranging hens on my farm and they eat a vast number of insects and any dead animal carcass that might accidentally show up. So I am telling you there is zero integrity in a man who states our chickens only eat vegetarian diets if they come from free-range conditions.

Mr. Ells, I have been at every level in animal agriculture and I can tell you that modern agriculture, through confinement housing, has taken our nation’s food system to the most elite in the world. Today’s farmers produce the safest, most wholesome supply of food with fewer resources impacted than at any time in recorded history.

While we do indeed live in a country where you have the choice to reject the science and technology that has been the success story of American agriculture, I assure you I will not stand back and allow you to mislead the citizens of our country about the accomplishments of the livestock industry in the past 50 years of food production.

I do request that you issue a public apology for the incorrect information you have put forth to the American consumer.

Respectfully Trent Loos

I am pleased to report that I have received a response from Chipotle already but disappointed to inform you that they deny misleading American consumers. I plan to fully hold them accountable for the information they present and let the American public know that Chipotle Mexican Grill is not a place where they should be eating. Modern agriculture and confined animal agriculture is sustainable agriculture and if anyone attempts to tell you otherwise they are probably trying to sell you on their product and perhaps you need to double check their integrity.


Please send your comments as well here is the direct link
http://www.chipotle.com/#/flash/speak_comment

If you would like to view the Nightline piece link here

Friday, June 19, 2009

Chipolte pork comes from pigs that drink their own urine. I have just watched the Nightline segment that aired this week. Here are the comments I posted to their website

I am a sixth generation United States farmer and grew up raising pigs in this manner. I cannot believe that Nightline would promote the environment damage that comes along with this style of food production. We moved to confined facilities because we had no ability to protect the environment. I could take you to those pens today 30 years later where hogs had been rooting and show you the destruction of native vegetation. Most importantly the consumers should understand that those pigs in the background were drinking water from the very same puddle they urinated in. I prefer my pork from pigs that drink fresh water. I will never buy from Chipolte again. Furthermore invite me on your show to tell the real story of modern agriculture.

Link to orginal story

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

My comments submitted to Good Morning America in response to June 9, 2009 episode

As a sixth generation United States Farmer from Loup City NE, I am extremely disappointed with the bias information presented on modern food production in today’s program. As Chris obviously or intentionally missed the hypocrisy in the information presented by both Michael Pollan and Robert Kenner promoting Food, Inc. The most glaring example would be the mention that food shortages are looming yet the solution presented was reverting back to food production methods of the 1930’s when one farmer fed 10 people. Today’s American Farmer feeds 164 people annually with the safest most reasonably priced food the world has ever seen. Last year the American consumer still only spent 10% of his/her disposable income on food despite reporting of higher food prices by major media sources such as Good Morning America.

I would request the opportunity to come on the show and set the record straight not only about the safety of today’s food system but also how “green” or efficient the whole system is. Cornell University just this week released a study indicating that today’s food system emits 63% less carbon per unit of food produced than the same unit of food produced in 1954. Please give me the opportunity to tell your viewers what is really happening with science, technology and human intervention that benefits 6.7 billion people globally.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


With the Western action on my Facebook page in the past week I feel compelled to share some thoughts with my real friends. I do appreciate all of the calls with your concern about my mental health but trust me I had a plan.

In the past nine years as I have taken on more a of public life dealing with and confronting the challenges I see ahead of us in Animal Agriculture I have met several people like Dave Warwak and Camille Marino. I felt as it began to unfold a little over a week ago it was a tremendous avenue to show you up close and personal how some people see those of us in animal agriculture.

First lesson I hope you picked up is the people like this truly see themselves as the modern day Martin Luther King Jr. for animals. They have convinced themselves that taking the life of an animal is no different than that of another human being. As foreign as this thinking may be to you and I who have grown up in agriculture you must understand they see the ownership of animals no different than the ownership of slave’s pre-civil war.

Consequently when we argue it is matter of person choice they see it as you saying we have slaves if you don’t want them that is your choice. I believe you can see how effective it will be and was. One person who has very public about his belief along these lines is Dr. Stephen Best who until very recently was teaching a course with this as the moral at the University of Texas, El Paso. If you would like to get more details link here
http://netcu.wordpress.com/about/what-is-animal-rights/

Finally you ask what do we do? I believe the only avenue to combat this is to speak to the essentials that animals provide to humans. As Christians we believe the life of a human is superior to all other species. It is our moral and ethical obligation to tend the land and animals and in turn improve other human lives. Which brings about another common denominator that I frequently find with individuals who further the rights of animals, that is the lack of Christianity.

One another note 9 years ago as I started this crusade militant vegans were out there and could be found. I don’t need to tell you what has happened to the number people involved in agriculture in the past 9 years and at the other end of the spectrum the individuals I just introduced you to are MUCH easier to come by.

One side note. Wayne Pacelle President and CEO of the Humane Society of the United Sates does not differ in his belief from that of Dave and Camille. He simply chooses a much different approach in accomplishing the end goal, Animal Liberation.

I hope whether you agree or disagree with the approach I have taken in the past week you will at least respect and have a better grasp on some the extremism that does exist as all of us strive to be better advocates for an way of life that others fail to understand.

Trent Loos
Proudly 6th generation United States Rancher

Friday, May 15, 2009


Written for Feedstuffs Newspaper May 16th 2009

Memorial Day approaches

I have finally found a place where I have a hard time coming up with words. I have been seeking every opportunity I can find to say thank you to all men and women who have been willing serve in the United States Military. With Memorial Day fast approaching, it is time we pause for moment in our otherwise hectic lives and remind ourselves how lucky we are, thanks to the American Soldier. Dating clear back to May 30, 1868 we began honoring the fallen soldier and saying thank you. While most of us in the business of animal agriculture think of it as great grilling weekend, it is our obligation to pause for a moment in remembrance of the millions of soldiers who died protecting our freedom.

Last week I had Captain Bret Bellizio on my Rural Route Radio program. He contacted me because, in his words, “the major media sources always talk about what is happening in Baghdad but rural Iraq has tremendous story to tell” For one hour he spoke of the one year he served in rural Iraq and how they are working hard to bring back the agricultural heritage that was once there. Honestly, as he walks through his daily routine and the number of times he puts himself in harms way, I simply find it hard to feel like I have contributed much of anything to the betterment of the world in comparison.

In April 2008 a great friend of mine, Vietnam Veteran Bill Broadie from Ashland, Kansas, began the All American Beef Battalion. Bill has it in his head that he will be able to feed every soldier a beef steak. In the first year, he has successfully fed nearly 12,000 American Soldiers a steak saying thank you. I have been fortunate enough to be a part of some of these events. My first one was in Watkins, CO on July 3, 2008 for a group of soldiers just returning from Iraq, and their families as well. Imagine if you will, fifteen cowboys - real ranchers - show up with their grill and the tools and equipment to feed over 200 people in less than 20 minutes.

The most recent event I attended was just over a week ago in Wichita KS. The soldiers here were from the Fort Riley Wounded Warrior Transition Unit and some real revelations hit me while we were eating. I was eating and just listening to the soldiers talk about life after war. In fact, these three were discussing how they cope and they all agreed that it took years after returning home before they would not grab a weapon during a thunderstorm. In fact, one said it was so bad that during last years Independence Day celebration, he had to go the basement to isolate himself from the noise. How does that hit you? The very celebration that we shoot off fireworks to honor the soldiers who were on the front lines protecting our continuing freedom and it forces them into hiding. I don’t think the average citizen can even imagine what they have gone through or must deal with upon their return.

I am so humbled every time I interact with a soldier and I don’t feel like I find the right words to express my appreciation. I still strongly encourage you to wear a red shirt every Friday say “thank you” to the soldiers you know or meet. I still plan to get into all 50 states with Chuckwagon and feature a veteran just to say thank you. I still plan to show up at as many All American Beef Battalion steak feeds as I possibly can. I certainly plan to spend the appropriate amount of time this Memorial Day thinking of the soldiers. All of that still doesn’t seem to be enough.

The American Soldier and the American Farmer/Rancher are absolutely the two individuals most important to the national security of this country. I honestly believe that if we will continue to stand side by side with one another we can continue to maintain a safe, free nation. For 233 years individuals have been willing to risk everything for the sake of ensuring the freedom of American citizens and from where I sit I know folks from Rural American will continue to say “pick me.” Thank you!

Thursday, May 14, 2009



The All American Beef Battalion closing in on feeding 12,000 American Soldiers a beef steak in appreciation for serving our country. I was in Wichita with them last Friday, Red Shirt Friday and on Loos Tales we recognize the man with the vision Vietnam Veteran from Ashland KS Bill Broadie. Click here to listen to Gabriel Lippincott and I discuss his efforts.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009



Four year olds like Landri love bacon and guess what now Bacon is a health food. From Bon Appetit Magazine

Bacon
Ever see that old Woody Allen movie Sleeper? The one where he goes to sleep in 1973 and wakes up 200 years later, only to discover that decadent foods (fudge, cream pies) turned out to be healthful? Well, here comes Jennifer McLagan, author of a book simply called Fat, telling us that 45 percent of the fat in bacon is monounsaturated, the good-for-you fat that can help lower bad cholesterol levels. Better still, bacon's monounsaturated fat turns out to be oleic acid, the same fat found in olive oil. So that means that some could argue that bacon is about half as good for you as olive oil and about 100 times more delicious. Of course, moderation is key here, and you should seek out artisanal varieties without preservatives. One of the best things about bacon is that a little goes a long way. Not convinced? Fry up just one slice along with the aromatics for a pot of soup, or chop it up and use it as a garnish for fish or sauteed greens. For more ideas, check out our Everything's Better with Bacon slideshow.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009



Riding my pastures last night I found this dead calf. Do you suppose as the coyote was eating it worried about if the 13 day old calf felt any pain? Do you suppose it felt any guilt in the murder of a baby? NO the coyote is suppose to find food and survive. Humans are no different although we have the obligation to prevent pain and suffering and harvest our essentials of life with respect and understanding ....unlike our non-human counterparts. Respect and understanding is the key.

Monday, May 11, 2009





Haskell County Kansas Sheriff Troy Briggs never imaged when elected part of his job would include feeding horses but it does after they seized 30 horses in alledged neglect case. Listen to special audio feature about how the locals have stepped up the plate and came the horses rescue. Click here

Sunday, May 10, 2009







A great day for animal agriculture was had in Hays, KS on May 7, 2009 called BEEF Builds Beautiful Bodies Fort Hays State University.
Dave Warwak said on my FaceBook account at 8:49pm May 10

It is not a "personal choice" when you are eating my friends and you are ruining my world. When you made your "personal choice" did you ask the animal if you could confine, torture, and murder him or her? When you made your "personal choice" did you ask me if I mind all your pollution and devastation? My tax money subsidizes your "personal choice." Just because we personally make selfish choices does not make them "personal choices."

Tuesday, May 05, 2009



Libbi and Lindsi Loos enjoying a bone in ham at home

Pork on a fork

Last week the Egyptian government, while admitting that pigs do not pose a human health risk, began slaughtering their entire 250,000 head population of pigs. Pig farmers, stripped of their livelihoods, took to the streets in riot and were pushed back with tear gas and rubber bullets. Knowingly, the Egyptian government acknowledged the lack of risk yet chose to slaughter the pig herd. Here at home, pork producers have been struggling with high input costs and were just about to see a little light at the end of the tunnel when major media sources, along with the Center for Disease Control, turned the tunnel dark again.

Our nation’s pork producers are in desperate straights. I am one hundred percent about using the law of supply and demand but I think the answer to this situation is to find a way to increase demand and do it immediately. It just so happens that I have an idea.

Let me first state that I question whether or not the change in domestic demand for pork has been affected much by the outbreak of the H1N1 virus. It is not a scientific poll by any means but I contacted people that I know in the retail and restaurant business to get their takes on the subject. Mike Endsley, who works for Newport Meats based in Los Angeles, calls on high end outlets in Southern California and tells me demand has not cut back at all with the latest flu situation. He did tell me that they have stepped up their own educational efforts in an attempt to make sure customers have the facts surrounding H1N1 but pork is an excellent product with a lower purchase price.

Next I called on my favorite BBQ restaurant in the entire country, which happens to be in Memphis, TN, called the Germantown Commissary. I talked to the owner, Mr. Walker Taylor, about the same situation. He told me that no costumer has even asked about the situation and his level-headed costumers recognize media hype when they see it.

He did go on to indicate a certain level of frustration that bone-headed lawmakers may not have the same common sense approach that his customers do and is concerned they may attempt to put something in place that will make it even tougher to get local pork. Mr. Taylor told me point blank, “We can’t get local pork any more.” I am here to tell you that it is not because farmers in the Mid-South have lost the desire to be in business but that excessive regulatory programs have put them out of business. Case-in point is Fineberg Meats, Germantown Commissary’s former pork supplier.

Here is my plan. I believe we truly need to connect the dots not only for our over-zealous lawmakers but for media and consumers globally. You know it has been said that the best way to anybody’s heart is through their stomach. Today I am launching a campaign and encouraging all people who eat food to enter the Faces Of Agriculture sponsored event called “Pork on a Fork”.

I expect you to send photos of family members, friends, customers, anyone, anywhere eating pork. On May 26, 2009 the photos will all be judged and the winner will be announced. The winner will receive a all expense paid trip for two to the World Pork Expo happening in Des Moines, IA June 3-5 2009. I will personally see to it that the winners are given the Royal VIP treatment and access to anything and everything pork related during the event. All entries will be available for viewing during the entire World Pork Expo plus on all Social Networking sites. In fact, the winner could be recorded and become a YouTube Pork connoisseur for all the world to see.

We need to put the sizzle back into the pork business before all of our pork producers are forced to exit their operations and find a new livelihood. Just as Walker Taylor told me, he can no longer get any local pork so it is time we explain to the world the importance of the American pork industry. Another old cliché that certainly makes my point an applies here is “A photo is worth a thousand words.” I can tell you that Mike Endsley from Los Angeles is excited about telling his customers they could be awarded the pork promoter of the year and a trip to Des Moines aren’t you?. Get more details on the website at www.FacesOfAg.com. Send photos to me at trentloos@gmail.com and I will see you in Des Moines at the World Pork Expo.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Trent,

On Earth Day you spoke at Garden City Community College. I get your newsletter and was very excited to hear you speak. Just wanted to let you know that a TON of kids really loved you and the rest of the day the campus was buzzing because we actually had a pro-agriculture speaker instead of many of the liberal, Humane-Society-type speakers that the teachers like and the kids hate. Thanks for not being afraid to say exactly what you believe. We agree with you!

Andrea Kysar, a GCCC student

Friday, May 01, 2009



Written for Feedstuffs May 1 edition out next week.

A bad day

It appears as though many non-agricultural parties are attempting to paint the livestock owners of our nation as a bunch on callus, non-compassionate, axe-murdering Neanderthals. Nothing could be further from the truth. I had big plans for Josh, one of my Percheron draft horses. I have committed to taking him and his lifelong teammate, Jim, to all fifty states pulling the Loos Tales Foodlink Chuckwagon. The purpose is to feature a veteran of our nation and bring a greater awareness to the two groups of people most important for the national security of our country, the American Soldier and the American Farmer/Rancher. In the past twelve months, we have successfully made it to 10 states and had many more scheduled in the upcoming weeks.

I have only had Jim and Josh for about a year but they quickly became favorites with everyone in our family. Jim a very good horse and he seems to have bonded with my wife the most. He likes to try me once in a while but Josh would always being there, telling him, “Nope. We have work to do. Quit screwing around.” Josh weighs about 2000 lbs so what he decides is pretty much what is going to happen. In fact, I have had several horses that I have taken off of the ranch and I learned that even the best ranch horse, when faced with the marvels of the big city, can be a little unnerved. Josh, on the other hand, was right on. The same trusty, reliable teamster no matter where or what the conditions were.

In the past year we have had situations where he would have to be on the trailer for hours to reach our destination just in time to get off, harness up and pull that wagon right through town like he was out in the field raking hay. His calm demeanor was most evident in his last public outing, down State Street in Chicago for the Thanksgiving Day Parade, as 700,000 people stood alongside the parade route, waved, cheered and thanked us. He proudly pulled that wagon, carrying me and Korean War veteran Tony Gallagher and his wife, right past the TV cameras for his brief national television debut, without a flinch.

All of that leads me to what was a very sad event for my entire family. On April 30, 2009, we lost Josh. He contracted a severe bacterial infection and we had been treating him under veterinary guidance. Josh and I had just made our second trip in three days to the vet clinic where he took one step off of the trailer and collapsed. Dr. Randy Grant was right on the scene and quickly administered four different substances in an attempt to save him. After ten minutes, Dr. Grant looked at me and said that if Josh doesn’t show some improvement within twenty minutes, it would be best to put him out of his misery. That is certainly not what I wanted to hear and furthermore I didn’t really want to be the one to make the decision to end his life. I kept thinking, “but what if?”

Well, I didn’t have to make that tough decision because Josh did not make it another five minutes. Honestly, there was no decision to make as it would have been the only option for his sake but that doesn’t make it any easier. The greatest bit of irony is that as Dr. Grant pulled out his stethoscope and confirmed his death at 12:35 pm, the local radio station was playing my Loos Tales radio show for the day and I was talking about the importance of re-opening horse harvesting plants in the country. Josh is a horse, not a member of my family, but he certainly holds a special place in the hearts of every member of my family. Living in a house full of girls you can only imagine that there were a lot of tears shed last night. Josh will never be replaced, and truth be told, he was the one who taught me to drive a team pulling a wagon, not the other way around as it may have appeared to parade watchers.

The one thing about life in this country today that causes me to shudder to the core is the fact that so many people who have never “been there and done that” are making decisions for others who have. It brings me back to a basic premise that I have in life: Every thing lives, everything dies and death with a purpose gives full meaning to life.

No, I am not clear why Josh had to leave us at the young age of 13 but we fully understand the importance of every life and respect that life while it is in our care. My vet said the best diagnosis he could give was a combination of health issues that were out of our control and mostly a case of really bad luck. Bad luck or not, animals do die and we must understand that. If we can make a decision to assist them in a proper death, we should do that. If we can make a decision that assists in that death and improves some other life, we should do that as well.

I decided that the best option for Josh, as a horse that was no longer living, was to be picked up by the local rendering company. I talked to the person in charge and found out that Josh would be used to assist other living animals. You know, I had much different plans for Josh for the rest of this year but some things, many things in nature actually, are out of my control. His body is gone but his presence will forever be felt in my heart and as Josh heads to greener pastures, we say “Giddy up” for one final time.

Thursday, April 30, 2009



Audio feature with Sue Wallis with latest on the legal horse harvesting situation in United States. Click here to listen to Horse Tales

Tuesday, April 21, 2009



Brad Copenhaver joins Trent on radio program Loos Trails and Tales the day of the Boston Marathon as the American National Cattlemen's Beef Ambassadors are in Boston educating athletes about the importance of beef in the diet. Click here to listen.

Sunday, April 19, 2009



I have just returned home from Daddy Daughter Date night at school. Picture Libbi Landri and Lindsi Loos with their dad Trent Loos

Friday, April 17, 2009

Mr. Limbaugh,

I very respectively have to disagree with your support of the Humane Society of the United States. Understandably, the name – Humane Society of the United States – sounds like a respectable organization but in fact, they are a misleading group and animal rights activists that just happen to dress well and try to avoid dressing in suits of lettuce like their ideological friends at PETA. In fact though, both groups have similar agendas – the abolition of American livestock production agriculture.

I have a Ph.D and teach in the agriculture department at Missouri State University. I am compassionate person, I adopt pets from the local humane societies and rescue places…both of which are desperate for funding to take care of an ever increasing amount of unwanted cats and dogs..and now horses. A few years ago, HSUS along with some other animal rights groups, joined forces to end horse slaughter here in the United States. “Americans don’t eat horses” seemed like a good enough reason to them to end the rights of horse owners to send their horses slaughter. (as a conservative – isn’t this an issue with property rights as all livestock are considered “property”). Now, as the horse rescue farms are jammed to the gills with unwanted horses, as horses in the words of Missouri House Rep. Blunt – “are being turned in the national forests” we have a glutton of horses that are being starved to death or being forced to suffer as there is simply no place to take the horses. In many cases, a person is charged a fee when they take a horse to a sale barn..before they might earn a few hundred dollars. What is most shocking about this new development is the cruelty to horses HSUS has generated. Instead of horses being slaughtered under the watchful eye of the United States government, they are now being shipped to slaughter in Mexico…a third world country with no rules and regulations as to the humane slaughter of animals. Not to mention, now that the importation of horses from the US has increased over 100%, their facilities are simply overrun. How can this be humane..in fact, I feel HSUS should be held accountable for this horrible act of cruelty.

HSUS is the most well funded animal rights group in the world with over $200 million in the bank…they spent less than 2% of this in the local animal shelters. Where was HSUS during the famous ice storms that hit the Midwest a few years ago….they refused to help because the cattle were just going to die anyways…so, I guess being frozen to death with no food is a much better death to them than a captive bolt to the head in a USDA inspected facility?

What about the little hurricane that hit east Texas last year…Ike…HSUS again, ignored the request for help from the Texas Cattlemen’s Association and refused to help even though there were at least 30,000 cows, horses and other livestock roaming through saltwater infected pastures with no fresh water in sight.

Please Mr. Limbaugh, farmers and ranchers are some of your biggest supporters…don’t let us down here by supporting the strongest animal rights group in the world….we need all the help we can get. We care about providing a safe food for America and the world and most of us do care deeply about our livestock…support your farmers and ranchers…not the HSUS…


Respectively yours..

Dr. Elizabeth L. Walker

Missouri State University

901 S National Ave

Springfield, Mo 65897

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mr. Limbaugh as a life long fan of you and your ideals I wish to inform you that I believe you have been mislead into believing the Humane Society of the United States is worthy organization.

They have two missions to abolish animal agriculture and end hunting in the United States. In fact Wayne Pacelle has opened admitted they want to be the "NRA" of animal rights.

They have supported initiatives in several states in the United States that takes the American food system down the same path as the EU.

The average cost of food per person in the EU has increased by 33% per person since 1996. During the same period of time the percent of imported food into the EU has doubled, from 20% to 40% in the past 13 years. HSUS continually rejects the science and technology that has enabled the United States consumer to enjoy the safest, highest quality and most affordable supply of food globally.

HSUS has very cleverly disguised themselves and as animal protection organization simply to improve the quality of life for animals. Yet in their own cafeteria in MD they do not allow any animal products to be served. Actions Mr. Limbaugh speak louder than words as you have personally said so many times in recent years.

Finally I am 42 years old a 6th generation United States farmer that has personally provided the daily care and well being of more than one million animals. I do not need some person representing an animal rights organization to tell me what is best for the life of an animal.

As a recent Cornell University study indicated we emit 60% less carbon per unit of food produced than we did in 1945, that sir can not be accomplished by allowing HSUS to throw their $125 million annual budget around attempting to remove food choices for American consumers.

The American Farmer/Rancher has a great story to tell the American public and I believe this is an opportunity for you to assist in getting that job done. I would love to join you any day any time on your radio program to begin that process.

Respectfully,
Trent Loos
Loup City, NE

515 418 8185

for more information

www.FacesOfAg.com
www.LoosTales.com

Sunday, April 12, 2009



Nebraska Beef Ambassador contest Junior division age 12-15 years old

Winners Lacey Uden 1st place, Hannah Borg 2nd place, Shevelle Lee 3rd place


Nebraska Beef Ambassador Contest April 11, 2009 Senior division

Winners(front row)Debra Wray 2nd place, Justin Taubenheim 3rd place, Ellen Hoffschneider 1st place

Nebraska Beef Ambassador Contest held April 11, 2009 12 years and age and under

Winners in the front row Jada Jensen 3rd place, Kane Wellnitz 1st place, Libbi Loos 2nd place

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Carrie Underwood asks BEEF spokesman for recreational sex.

I watched the last fifteen minutes of the Academy of Country Music Awards when Carrie Underwood won the entertainer of the year award. With the other nominees being George Straight, Kenny Chesney, Brad Paisley and Keith Urban Internet, social networking would be the only explanation for Underwood to win the honor. There should be a lesson in that for all of us.

For just a bit of background, Matthew McConaughey the Texas-born actor presented Underwood with the big award, but before his official duties he entertained the audience with a story on how he and his brother once took a road trip thru Texas to see Dwight Yoakam perform. While there the brothers tried to "pick up" a few ladies by telling them that they made a livin' exclusively custom-making George Strait's boots.

"We're like, 'Oh yeah. Say, as I a matter of fact, out in the parking lot, in the trunk of our white Corvette, we have the next year's new edition white ostrich quill George Strait signed series that he's gonna wear on tour next year.' And they got pretty excited about that and said, 'Well, can we see? Can we see? Can we see?'" McConaughey told the audience. "And we obliged ... Point of the story is, we got lucky that night. Thank you, George."

Well, upon being presented the award Underwood appeared to be speechless. Then she turned to McConaughey and said, “Matthew, I want to see those boots”.

First, she endorsed the boots made from what she knew was a dead animal product. McConaughey has also been the Beef industry spokesman for the past year. So Underwood claims to desperately be opposed to the consumption of beef and the use of animals to make clothes but she certainly didn’t mind showing her sexual desire to be with the spokesman of the beef industry in front of millions of TV viewers.

Carrie Underwood does not represent the “Country” segment of our population and I believe that in that trying moment, she revealed her true colors. Call you local radio station and tell them Carrie Underwood does not represent country and she conducts fundraising efforts for the Human Society of the United States who wants to abolish animal agriculture and end hunting. Get Underwood off of “Country” radio stations.

Trent Loos is a 6th generation United States rancher from Central Nebraska. He is also host of the national radio program called Loos Tales and founder of the non-profit Faces Of Agriculture. Trent travels the country featuring the neat people and places in Rural America that truly make it what it is. Get more information at www.FacesOfAg.com or www.LoosTales.com

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


And Lady Blue my main saddle horse waited the storm out before foaling for the 4th time. Another Filly
Received email April 7, 2009

Trent:

I attended your presentation in New Hampton, Iowa two or three weeks ago.
Although I've worked in rural school districts virtually all of my
professional life (going on about 40 years) I had never heard of you
before I received an invitation to attend the meeting which was held at
the Pinicon Restaurant. Since I am seeking to become more informed on
agricultural issues as a newly elected member of the Chickasaw County
Board of Supervisors, I was led to believe that you would provide a useful
perspective on agriculture in America.

I must say, first of all, that I was quite surprised at the presentation.
I expected to hear an "informational" kind of speech, one that identified
the important and urgent agricultural issues of the day from the
perspective of one who travels a great deal and who, himself, learns much
from the people with whom he visits and to whom he listens. In fact, as
you were introduced, I took out of some paper and my pen and I was
prepared to write notes about the points you would make.

As your presentation continued it was clear that you were (or are) an
entertainer, much like Rush Limbaugh (sp?) and many other "media
personalities." That said, as you might suspect, I was disappointed.
Intertwined with your "entertainment" comments, I thought you made several
wonderful points on which one should reflect. I recall that you talked
about the need for American agriculture to have a spokeperson. (I sensed
[and feared] that you wanted to be that spokesperson.) You also talked
about the need for farmers to learn how to communicate with the vast
majority of Americans who really don't understand the food system in this
country (or in the world). Somehow, the language farmers speak needs to
be transformed so that ordinary people can understand what is being said.

I am still not sure what to make of you. Following the presentation, and
still seeking to understand your motives, I googled you and I watched
several youtube videos that you had made--there were several interviews
with Iowa State University faculty members--that I watched. Thus, I am
becoming aware that although there's this entertainment "side" of Trent
Loos, there's also another side that seeks to inform viewers about
agricultural topics.

All of this said, the most troubling part of your presentation to me--and
it occurred near the beginning of your "comments"--had to do with global
climate change. If I understand you correctly, you deny that humans are
influencing the climate system of the world through various emissions,
especially CO2. My view is different. Because of the process that was
used to construct the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports, I
agree with the conclusions expressed by that grouping of world climate
scientists. This view was recently reinforced by a presentation I watched
on television by James Hansen--and it is Hansen's speech which was made on
December 17, 2008 that I would invite you to watch. To get to that
speech, I googled "James Hansen+December 17, 2008" and several webpages
come up. Hansen spoke at University of California at Berkeley on December
17 and his speech, you will find, is now on Youtube. Although the speech
was listed as lasting about one hour, twenty-five minutes or so, at least
some of that time was devoted to questions from the audience. In the
speech, Hansen seems to address some of the issues you raised, if I recall
correctly. I urge you to view the speech and to reflect on your current
position with respect to climate change.

By the way, I do agree with you that somehow, American agriculture does
need a "face." There is a need for spokespeople. One of the immense
challenges to American agriculture is that there are many
dimensions--there's a wide range of interests. My hope would be that any
spokesperson would provide detail about his/her "interest" in
agriculture--whether one was closer to a "corporate" position or whether
one was at the other end of the continuum--whether one was supportive of
maintaining as much as possible, the family farmer, and, perhaps "family
values." And, obviously, even this is a gross oversimplification.

I agree also that Americans (and others) need to understand much better
the "food system." Because I have lived in Iowa, I believe I have a more
"developed" view than some Americans but even then, I know that I am very
ignorant of important parts of the system. I know that I do not have a
sophisticated view of the overall "structure of agriculture" in this
country (nor in the world). There is a desperate need for much
ag-education.

There are many other points about which I could try to make an intelligent
comment. However, my main concern at this point is that you re-consider
your view about global climate change. It's hard for me to imagine that
one who seeks to be a spokesperson, or who, de facto, IS a spokesperson,
would have the view that you currently appear to hold about global climate
change. Again--I believe the conclusions of the IPCC group. I believe
James Hansen. His speech was nuanced. There's obviously much that is not
known. But his explanation of the "science" seemed sufficiently strong
enough to be credible. I recognize that if one accepts the notion that
global climate change is real and that humans have a role in causing an
acceleration of the change, then one needs to examine his/her own behavior
and the various "systems" that are currently in operation that influence
the rates of emissions that could cause life on earth as we know it be
dramatically different within the lifetimes of our grandchildren. That's
a scary proposition, but one that needs to be explored.

Best wishes,


John Andersen

Thanks John I appreciate your comments. I would encourage you all to read Ready for a little Global Warming

By the Grace of God. The weather in the Great Plains of America has been extremely tough on livestock in the past thirty days from floods to blizzards and tornadoes. Living with your "kids" takes on a whole new meaning in this conditions.

The day after the worst storm Sunday April 4, 2009

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Agricultural youth in our nations Universities tremendously inspirational...Here is my point, great job Drew.....Trent

LETTER: Meat and dairy just as beneficial as any other diet
I grew up on a ranch in the middle of North Dakota, where my family raises beef cattle. I am now a second-year veterinary student at Iowa State, and I plan on practicing food animal medicine. I read Sophie Prell’s March 31 article on vegetarianism, and I can’t disagree more with most of what she wrote.

I have no problem with people who don’t eat meat because they don’t like the taste. I do have a problem when people defend their choice by saying that animals are treated poorly.

Anyone who has spent time on an animal operation knows how much producers care about their animals. It’s in their best interest to have healthy, happy animals that will maximize production. Most producers spend more time with their animals than they do with their families.

We also need to look at what would happen if we banned eating meat, which is what groups like PETA would like to accomplish. Food production animals are provided food, water and protection and wouldn’t be able to survive in the wild today. To the people who say cattle and pigs should be set free to roam, because they were once wild? I hope you won’t mind giving up your dogs and cats, because they were wild too.

As for the ISU Vegan Club’s 10 reasons to “go veg,” there are several incorrect statements that I would like to address.

1.“Meat is almost always contaminated with E. coli.”

E. coli is a bacteria that lives in the intestines of animals. If meat gets contaminated it is during slaughter, just like fruits and veggies that get contaminated with salmonella during harvest. The bacteria is killed if meat is prepared correctly, and according to the CDC only 23 people out of every 100,000 in the US get infected with E. coli each year from all sources.

2. “Animals you eat are often fed the remains of mad cow-infected animals.”

“Mad cow disease” is the cattle form of a group of relatively new diseases caused by abnormal proteins, called prions. The outbreak in Britain in the 1990s was caused by contaminated meat and bone that was ground up and fed to cattle. In response to the outbreak, the United States banned the feeding of animal by-products to cattle in 1997. Cattle by-products can be fed to pigs, but there is no evidence that “Mad cow” can be transmitted to pigs. The United States has only had 3 cases of “Mad cow disease,” and one of those animals was imported from Canada. Only 3 people in the US have ever gotten the human form of the disease, and 2 of the 3 acquired it while living in Britain. Cattle are randomly tested during the slaughter process. The abnormal protein is only in the brain and spinal cord tissue, which are both removed during slaughter.

3. “Slaughterhouses send animals through the line still alive.”

It’s true that animals are alive before they are slaughtered. Animals are restrained, then stunned. This renders them unconscious so they don’t feel pain or exhibit reflexes. The animal has to be deemed unconscious before the slaughter process can continue. The animal is then bled out quickly, well before they regain consciousness. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has many regulations for the slaughter of animals. FSIS personnel must be present at all times if the facility is operating, and these personnel perform animal-by-animal inspection of all carcasses and ensure proper sanitation is being maintained.

4. “More than half of all water used in the US goes to the meat industry.”

The US Geological Society’s Summary of Water Use in 2000 stated that combined water use for livestock, aquaculture, and mining accounted for 3 percent of all water use, while irrigation for crops accounted for 34 percent. Even if all crops grown with irrigation water were fed to animals, those numbers combined wouldn’t account for more than half of the United State’s water use.

5. “Chickens have their beaks burned off.”

Shortly after a chick hatches the sharp point on its beak is blunted. This is done to decrease injury by pecking other chickens, similar to why we dehorn cattle. It is for the chicken’s protection. Stress levels are comparable to cutting the umbilical cord of a newborn.

6. “Huge amounts of grain are used to feed animals that could be used to feed humans.”

I can’t argue this one much; food that isn’t eaten by one animal can be eaten by another. But, any industries use grains to produce a product. Ethanol production in 2007 used 14 percent of our corn crop, and that number is expected to climb to 30 percent by 2010. When we take into account the fuel used to plant, harvest, and transport the corn used for ethanol, one gallon of fossil fuel is used to produce 1.3 gallons of ethanol. At least animal production creates food that humans can eat.

7. “Vegan diets lower your risk for diseases.”

A low fat and cholesterol diet lowers our risk for certain diseases. A vegan diet is also not without risk. People eating a strict vegan diet are also more likely to get osteoporosis, rickets, and even anemia. Animal products are high in calcium, vitamin D, B vitamins, iron, and protein that would be deficient in an all vegan diet. Total calorie intake can also pose a problem. Children who follow a vegan diet have also had slower growth than those that eat animal products, and vegan women who are pregnant need to take iron and vitamin supplements. Poorly planned vegan diets can result in infant malnutrition and fatalities.

The inaccuracy of these “facts” shows that our own Vegetarian/Vegan Club is no better than PETA or the Humane Society. They all conjure up numbers and stories at their own discretion and portray them as fact. I hope people can think for themselves and see that meat and dairy products, when part of a complete diet, can be just as healthy and beneficial as any other diet.

Drew Magstadt

Sophomore

Veterinary Medicine
Internet Folklore love it or hate it... who couldn't love this one?

In honor of the 44th President of the United States , Baskin-Robbins Ice Cream has issued a new flavor, " Barocky Road ". Barocky Road is a blend of half Vanilla, half Chocolate, and surrounded by Nuts and Flakes. The Vanilla portion of the mix is not openly advertised and usually denied as an ingredient. The Nuts and Flakes are all very bitter and hard to swallow. The cost is $100.00 per scoop. When purchased it will be presented to you in a large beautiful cone, but then the Ice Cream is taken away and given to the person in line behind you. Thus you are left with an empty wallet, no change, holding an empty cone, with no hope of getting any Ice Cream. Aren't you feeling stimulated?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009



Yesterday at my ranch in Central NE the weather was bad like so many places in the Great Plains this winter. But just before dark after a day of 50 mph wind, snow and total misery the calm and sun came and this image explains why it is all worth it.
I was in Bozeman, MT last Friday for the MT Ag Bankers meeting. Bozeman once a great cow town has been littered with yuppie's walking dogs. I did dispel one myth though at the local Oasis Steakhouse in neighboring Manhattan. click here to listen until Friday this week

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Written for High Plains Journal April 2009

When it all goes South

I don’t care what her legs look like with the wind blowing her skimpy dress all around, she isn’t singing the country music of this nation. Three years ago I attempted to share with everyone who would listen the news that Carrie Underwood is not country and should be rejected at every turn by the country music industry. Today she has proven that those of us that were upset with her three years ago were absolutely correct. Tapping into her rock side, she recently recorded Motley Crue’s bittersweet ballad “Home Sweet Home” as the theme song for people booted off of the reality TV show American Idol. Oh, wait! Not only has she tapped into her real roots, she is also donating proceeds from the sale of the single to the anti-animal agriculture group, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

In the past two weeks, CBS and the American Country Music Association have been conducting an online poll for country fans to vote for their choice of Entertainer of the year. HSUS was apparently organizing what they thought could be a quiet, underground campaign to get votes for Underwood. It is obvious that with a designation like Entertainer of the Year and their additional fundraising efforts, the two plan to work together even more in the near future.

Enter a real country star: Craig Henkel of Bayard, NE. Craig called me last week and he was completely upset that a local store in Scottsbluff, NE had a poster of Underwood hanging up to promote some beverage. Craig did the right thing and sent the owner of the Mercantile an email stating what he had discovered and briefly described how HSUS was working to end to abolish animal agriculture and end hunting. Let me share with you the most important part of Craig’s email.
Owen, you're shooting yourself in the foot by letting Ms. Underwood's face be shown in your stores. If she and her friends get their way, you (and I) will be out of business.

I object to this advertising, and ask that you remove it. I will not be back in any "The Mercantile" outlet, nor 21st Century Equipment until I am confident that you have come to your senses. These groups are wacko and are run by wackos.
This email is not intended to make anyone mad, just to inform.
Within 24 hours of sending the email, the owner of the store thanked him for bringing this information to his attention and assured him that all Underwood references would be removed. Craig Henkel could have ignored the poster and said “Man, she sure is pretty” but instead he understood how she is working day in and day out to chase animal agriculture out of business and she needs to be stopped. Beauty, in this case, is only skin deep!

Another fellow Nebraskan that on the front lines in attempting to motivate the agricultural community to become more aware of what HSUS is really up to is the current President of Nebraska Soybean Association Debbie Borg who is a farmer from Allen, NE. Debbie even went out of her to way to sit down with the Governor one-on-one to ensure he truly understands that HSUS is a wolf wearing wool in the sheep pen.
Debbie has experienced a certain level of frustration because even though some of us have understood the mission of groups like HSUS for years, some IN agriculture prefer to keep their heads in the farrowing crate instead of coming outside and looking around to see what is really going on.

I will once again state my plan for winning the war against HSUS. First of all, if you think those words are too harsh then you are the one I am talking about that is filled with ignorance. Animal agriculture is not about sustaining our lifestyle on farms and ranches. It is about providing the essentials of life for mankind. Human life cannot continue if we are not allowed to continue to convert natural resources into human consumeable products.

The future of mankind is up to us. We must respond and become vigilant by bringing awareness to all of the players and letting be known the true agendas of the people and organizations involved. The entertainment world is just like American Idol - we choose who stays to sing and who goes home. We need to vote Carrie Underwood off and her send-off theme song could be any one of these great Alabama tunes: “Why lady why” “Take a little trip” or “When it all goes south.” Regardless of the exit song you prefer, we need to send her and her big bank account, her vegan agenda and her skimpy little skirts a packing.

Monday, March 30, 2009

The Fundamental Truth of Animal Agriculture:


why it is so important to defeat efforts to criminalize consumption of horse meat;

and why it is so important to re-establish horse processing facilities in the United States.

An Informational Position Paper


Representative Sue Wallis

Wyoming District 52

Vice Chair, Wyoming Legislature’s Agriculture, State and Public Lands, and Water Resources Committee

Vice Chair, National Council of State Legislature’s Agriculture and Energy Committee




Introduction

Private property as a central institution of European civil law started with the Roman law of Justinian, and the English common-law tradition that started with the Norman Conquest. The protection of private property from the Crown was a major purpose of the Magna Carta as early as 1215. Centuries later, the key writers who set the intellectual framework for our Constitution—John Locke, David Hume, William Blackstone, Adam Smite, and James Madison—all treated private property as a bulwark of the individual against the arbitrary power of the state.

Our founding fathers had a keen appreciation of the central role of private property in social life. Just as a strong view of the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion is necessary to serve fundamental constitutional values, so, too, is a strong view of private property in a free and democratic society.

The institution of private property is as old as civilization itself. The exclusive possession, use, and disposition of property have long been recognized as forming the core that lies at the center of organized social life. Its social importance helps explain why private property has been so vital to the organization of every legal system. Traditional legal thinkers in both the Roman law and common-law tradition constantly insisted on this key proposition: “property is the guardian of every other right.” The logic that drives this expression is that only a system of private property lets people form and raise families, organize religious and other charitable organizations, and earn a living through honest labor. (Epstein, 2008)

Private property rights include exclusive rights of possession, use, and disposition, and our legal system includes effective systems to record title and to transfer ownership. No one disputes that all domestic animals are private property.

And yet there are now bills introduced in both the US Senate and House of Representatives that would make it a felony to possess, ship, transport, purchase, sell, deliver, or receive, in interstate commerce or foreign commerce, any horse with the intent that it is to be slaughtered for human consumption. To use a horse for food would become a felony crime commensurate with aggravated assault and battery, arson, burglary, illegal drug sales, embezzlement, grand theft, tax evasion, treason, espionage, racketeering, robbery, murder, rape, kidnapping and fraud.

These bills represent an arrogant cultural bigotry that should never be contemplated in polite society, much less received a second’s consideration by any elected official. The United States slaughters and exports beef, pork, and chicken, all of which is killed humanely under regulated inspection, but horse meat—which is consumed by the majority of world cultures including our closest neighbors in Canada, Iceland, Mexico, and South America; which appears on the menus of the finest restaurants in Europe; and which is purveyed in grocery stores right alongside the other meats all over Asia and Polynesia—would be a felony for Americans. Horse meat was widely consumed in the United States and Britain until the late 1940s.1 In some regions horse meat can still be found in small, specialty shops and ethnic markets today. It is prized by many of the ethnic populations who have immigrated to the United States.

This would represent the first time that the consumption of ANY domestic animal is prohibited in the United States. If it can be legally established that the regulated slaughter of horses is in and of itself inherently cruel and inhumane—then it is also true that the regulated slaughter of cows, pigs, and chickens is also cruel and inhumane. There is nothing that makes horses different than any other livestock animal. Thus the legal precedent would be set to make it a felony to consume the flesh of any animal.

This would be the first time that Americans are prohibited from consuming any food item based on purely social and political reasons. The first time that the US Congress has contemplated the audacity of trying to influence or change the culinary traditions and food practices of other nations.

Even though US horse owners would be criminalized for accessing a world market, that market would not stop eating horses, they will simply turn elsewhere for the meat they seek to import.

It would deprive American horse owners access to a market, and deprive them of their property rights without compensation—which is blatantly unconstitutional under the 5th Amendment.

Because so few people are actually involved in the business of animal agriculture in the United States, less than 1% of the population, and because these few people produce the highest quality protein, and the most nutrient dense food stuff available, it is imperative that policy makers have at least some understanding of how the business actually works. The environment surrounding this debate is full of passionate rhetoric, graphic images presented out of context, half-truths, untruths, and manipulated sound bites. This paper seeks to counter this with clear descriptions and factual information about the implications and impacts of these efforts.


The Basics of Animal Agriculture

The first thing to understand is that everything that human beings consume as solid food, except for a single mineral, salt, is a living thing. What you put into your mouth, whether that is a piece of meat, or a fresh-pulled carrot out of your garden, interrupts the life cycle of a living thing. The business of agriculture is to produce food.

The second thing to understand is that human beings, in order to thrive and be healthy need both plant and animal foods. A purely vegan diet that contains no animal derived products of any kind—spells death for the human species. More than 85% of a human’s brain develops in the first three years of life, and a vegan diet for either a child or a nursing mother does not provide the necessary nutrients for proper development. (Planck, Vegan Babies at Risk, 2007) People deprived of animal products die slow, painful deaths of malnutrition, vitamin and protein deficiencies, and grow up with weak, fragile bones and systems vulnerable to disease. (Planck, Real Food: What to Eat and Why, 2007) While no human society on earth is completely vegan—those multi-generational vegetarian societies that come the closest in India and Asia have the frailest, least robust bodies and the shortest life spans known to mankind. (Jarvis, 1997)

You don’t need to be a physician, a nutritionist, or even have a fancy degree to understand why humans eat meat. Just check the teeth in your mouth. There are twenty of them devoted to eating meat, but only twelve for fruit and vegetables. As Dr. Max Ernest Jutte, MD, points out, “the stomach is a carnivorous organ designed primarily to digest lean meat, and the small intestine, pancreas, and liver are mainly herbivorous and designed to digest vegetables, fruits, fats, and farinaceous (starch) foods.” (Jutte, 2004) Most obvious of all, we’ve got eyes in the front of our heads to see and hunt, rather than eyes on the sides of our heads to see in all directions like most herbivorous prey animals. Human beings are designed to eat meat. 2

Rather than try to transform Americans into vegan purists obsessed with food, which according to even the experts, is the only way you can be a vegan and preserve any semblance of health—wouldn’t it make more sense to eat what humans have eaten for thousands of years? Eat real food. Eat some meat and lots of plants. Don’t eat anything your great grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food. Stay away from the middle of the grocery store—do your shopping around the edges where you find the meat, dairy, eggs, and fresh, whole vegetables and fruits. (Pollan, 2008)

The third thing to understand about animals and animal agriculture is that every domestic animal has been used for many purposes since the dawn of time. For instance, cattle are kept for their milk, as beasts of burden, and for meat—but there are literally thousands of useful and necessary things made out of every piece of a cow from meat to pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, to leather, bone and blood meal, to adobe brick made out of their manure. The same is true for poultry, pigs, sheep, and goats. Horses are no different. The big, meaty breeds—Belgians, Friesians, Clydesdales—were bred in Europe specifically as meat animals, and as work and war horses. In Asia they milk mares and either drink it fresh, or ferment it into powerful hooch by spitting in it and letting it sit around for a few days.

The basic equation for animal agriculture in the United States is this: first, a producer selects appropriate breeding animals based on the desired characteristics of individual animals for the primary product they will be used for—if it is meat, they will be selecting for ability to grow meat as quickly as possible, on economical feed, and for the highest quality ultimate product in terms of flavor, tenderness and nutritional value. The main purpose of breeding animals is to produce offspring, and a sustainable supply of the product.

Animals destined for harvest are given quality feed and clean water so that they stay healthy and grow quickly. When animals are handled they are managed as stress free as possible—stressed animals do not thrive. When animals are butchered and their carcasses broken down into all of the useful components it is especially important that animals are not stressed when they are killed for a number of reasons—from a quality standpoint, adrenaline and lactic acid builds up very quickly in any animal that is frightened or agitated and the meat will be tough and flavorless. If an animal is handled roughly the meat will be bruised and unusable. Contrary to incendiary rhetoric, neither horses nor any other animal are “beaten and dragged across the border where they face horrific torture and cruel death.”

Both United States and European Union food safety regulations require that all animals, including horses, be guaranteed free of drugs and so are maintained in a controlled environment for a minimum for 30 to 45 days to ensure that all drugs have cleared the system. This is why horses destined for the export market are kept in feed lots in the US for this time period near the borders, and then they are carefully loaded and hauled a much shorter distance, and all of the corrals and chutes have rounded corners so as not to risk bruising the meat. There is every economic incentive for care and zero tolerance for abuse when a horse is destined for the finest tables in Europe and Asia. 3

Most agricultural people believe that it is spiritually important for humans who are harvesting animals to use systems that are humane—where animals are treated with dignity and respect and the killing process is quick and painless. It doesn’t matter whether it is a rancher’s carefully placed bullet, a properly used captured bolt in a facility processing hundreds or thousands a day, or a rabbi-wielded sharp knife, slit throat, and a quick bleed-out, the end result is the same—all sensation ends within a few seconds. That is why the work of Dr. Temple Grandin, Animal Behavior Scientist at Colorado State University, and her optimal work to transform industrial slaughter facilities from the animals’ point-of-view is so important. (Grandin)

According to Dr. Grandin and her designer, Mark Deesing, horse slaughter facilities can be designed and operated to be humane—but it requires BOTH good design and good management. Mr. Deesing adds a wealth of experience with horse handling facilities to Dr. Grandin’s impressive credentials. He has designed horse facilities for the Bureau of Land Management to handle wild horses, and has worked and observed horse slaughter facilities so he has solid understanding of the components necessary to ensure proper handling. (Grandin & Deesing, 2009)

Even when domestic animals are not destined for meat production, that valuable asset will eventually be salvaged. The dairy cow’s business is the production of milk. She is bred to a bull in order to produce a calf, thus activating her normal annual cycle of lactation. The calf is a by-product that is marketed separately—sometimes to be raised as a milking or breeding animal—more often as veal or beef. Once the dairy cow reaches the point in her life cycle where milk production decreases substantially or ceased because she does not conceive she is marketed for her salvage value as a meat animal; with the salvage value being reinvested into young dairy cows. Another example would be sheep where the primary product might be fine wool, but almost all of the lambs as well as the older, less productive animals are marketed as meat. In a world where someone starves to death every 3.6 seconds and 75% of those people are children under the age of 5, we should be thankful so many facets of agriculture ultimately produce healthy, high-protein meat.

The primary purpose of horses might be for breeding in order to improve a particular bloodline; it might be as riding animals for ranch work; for sport—rodeo, racing, dressage, jumping, hunting, or polo ponies; they might be used to pull carriages, wagons, plows, and chariots; they have been used in the past as mighty steeds in open warfare; and fleet, intelligent transporters of people and goods since the first cave woman decided to raise an orphan colt along with the kids and dogs in the camp. Many horses are never suitable for any of these purposes, and even those who are will cease to be either through injury or age. When that time comes, depending on the beliefs, philosophies, and/or financial circumstances of the owner—some owners will need to sell horses for their salvage value, and some of those horses will be used for food.

Today, less than 1% of Americans are actively engaged in animal agriculture, and yet this is the one industry that provides all Americans with absolutely essential food for existence. Animal agriculture is a business. To be successful, a producer must build up an asset, must preserve and grow that asset, and market products. In a free market system that means producing a product that somebody wants or needs enough to pay a fair price and create profit for the seller. When the asset is no longer profitably producing it needs to be sold for whatever salvage value is possible, and the proceeds reinvested back into more productive assets. It doesn’t matter whether you are producing widgets, or pounds of meat, the fundamental realities are the same. One of those fundamental realities is that the salvage market, whatever the market is for products of lesser quality, is what establishes the baseline, the floor, for a market.

Some people in America who are far removed from animal agriculture—people who have no concept of animal husbandry or what it takes to manage living animals for profit—insist that horses are inherently unsuitable as food animals. They believe the only use for horses is as pets, as companion animals, and for sport and when no longer useful for these narrow purposes the owner’s only option should be to kill them and dispose of the carcass. Such people ignore or dismiss the fact that horses have historically been used for food in the United States, and still are in the majority of world cultures. If this dangerous viewpoint can be foisted on Americans through court actions or legislation, then the end result will be the denial of an important food source to a starving world, plus complete elimination of a salvage market for horses.

This is unfortunately happening in the United States today! The last three horse processing plants in the nation, operating in Texas and Illinois, were closed by state court action in both states. The last one closed in 2007. These actions were financed and directed by radical animal rights organizations led by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) who advocate vegan diets for all Americans, and insist that animals should have the right to be represented by human lawyers in a court of law. Because so many Americans are emotionally attached to horses as pets, and have no relationship or understanding of animal agriculture economics, rich and powerful lobby groups such as HSUS and PETA (which twist, exaggerate and misrepresent facts and present graphic images out of context) have been able to successfully manipulate public opinion.


Horrific Unintended Consequences

Today the only market left for unusable horses in the United States is through processing plants in Canada or Mexico. This has resulted in horrific unintended consequences that most of the nation is only just now beginning to realize.

The timing couldn’t have been worse. Just when the economy is taking a major downturn—jobs being lost, homes being foreclosed on, livelihoods disappearing—horses as expensive luxury items are no longer saleable. Local governments and livestock agencies have seen a doubling and tripling in the number of neglected, abandoned, and starving horses every year since 2007. (A Million Horses: Documenting Abandoned, Abused and Neglected Horses)

Pre-2007 most jurisdictions had provision for trying to determine ownership and responsibility in these cases, and if that could not be done the animals could be sold for the cost of the feed and care. Now, most sale barns won’t even let you unload a horse unless it is in good shape and healthy, you leave payment for yardage (feed, water, and commission), and agree to pick them up if they do not sell. Since the livestock agencies can no longer recoup the costs through the marketing of abandoned horses, feed, care, euthanasia, and disposal costs all become an additional burden on taxpayers. (Board, 2009)

An undergraduate research project conducted by Utah State University led by Equine Specialist, Dr. Patricia Evans, and Economist DeeVon Bailey concluded the following:

The ban on harvesting horses has put employees at the harvesting facilities out of jobs at a time when the nation is facing unemployment and recession concerns. At the same time, these groups have put tens of thousands of horses in a prime situation for neglect and abandonment. It does not take too much insight to understand if the U.S. harvest facilities remain closed and there is an attempt to stop transportation of horses across our borders the federal government will have to take on a prominent role to ensure that unwanted horses are cared for humanely. This will require money from already overspent budgets to supply patrols at the border in an attempt to stop horses from crossing. The drain on the U.S. economy will continue as other regulations and funding are required to fix the current and future situations that develop to a problem that did not exist. “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” is a statement that seems to apply to the U.S. horse harvesting situation. These facilities provided an export market for unwanted horses amounting to approximately $26 million in value and also provided employment to U.S. citizens, both with limited government involvement. Public policy should not be based on emotional appeals, but rather on hard facts. It appears that no one read nor listened to the facts and now the facts are haunting even those who made the wrong decision.

While not the focus of this paper, questions about what the economic effect of the ban will have on the U.S. economy deserve attention (hay producers, feed mills, tack shops, and the price of horses). It is clear that persons purchasing horses will now need to consider disposal costs for the horse at the end of its useful life rather than anticipating any salvage value for the horse when it is sold. Evidence suggests that horse prices have decreased since the implementation of the ban and indicate that the negative effect of the ban on the industry is widely based. (Evans, Bailey, Rice, Jones, Shumway, & McKendrick, 2008)


The Problem with Wild Horses

All of those starving and abandoned horses join the more than 30,000 so-called wild horses that are now standing in feed lots and holding pens off of public lands in the West, and the more than 100,0004 still running wild on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) ranges and destroying the ecosystem because they are over-populated and over-grazed—all at taxpayer expense.

In Washington the Yakima Tribe is struggling with the problems created by more than 12,000 feral horses that are severely impacting their traditional cultural practices and tribal land uses. Western states continue to ask the federal government to mitigate the overgrazing and ecosystem destruction caused by wild horses that are eliminating wildlife habitats and constraining multiple use priorities for public lands. Unmanaged horse herds double in population every four years and only a fraction of the number necessary to maintain sustainable wild herds are being removed. Nonetheless, there are now as many wild horses in feedlots and holding facilities off of the public lands as the BLM acknowledges are still running wild--all being fed and cared for at taxpayer expense.

One of the problems of trying to maintain feral wild horses as if they were wildlife is that wildlife is managed aggressively in most jurisdictions to ensure a sustainable population—generally through hunting seasons or lethal predator controls. While outside of the scope of this paper, an excellent discussion of this problem is contained in New Mexico State graduate student, Ashton Graham’s paper on Wild Horses and Federal Tax Dollars which concludes:

Though wild horses are a part of our American heritage, some action needs to be taken to reduce the numbers of wild horses in the open range and in captivity. One of the biggest problems with the numbers of horses that the BLM has to manage is the public’s opinion about what should be done with the excess horses. Adoption and fertility control appear to be acceptable options, but these options do not come close to solving the cost-benefits problem. Individuals and groups have played on emotions without giving adequate thought to the inefficiencies of the current program. While the BLM itself states that costs are rising, the American public resists the most efficient way to solve the problem. Emotion, not science, is driving the decisions that allow the inefficiency to continue.

Until pressure is put on the US Government and the BLM to comply with the law and effectively manage this inefficient program, costs will continue to outpace revenue. The Secretary of the Department of Interior must strengthen compliance and enforce consequences. Enacting legislation to prohibit transporting horses to Canada and Mexico would be detrimental to the equine industry and would inevitably put more strain on government entities for both horses in the private sector and horses under federal care. Americans need to accept and embrace the idea of using horse meat for human consumption outside of the United States. While the decisions may be difficult, science and fiscal responsibility should dictate responses instead of emotions and special interests. An important solution is available and should be implemented. That solution would benefit the government financially and would benefit others around the world by providing a food source. (Graham, 2008)


Valuable Asset to Expensive Liabilities

It used to be that when a horse owner fell upon hard times that horse was still an asset that could be liquidated into cash long before the horse suffered the agonizing prolonged emaciation, disease, and pain of starvation because the owners could no longer afford to feed them. Even if you considered your horse an old pet and never wanted to see them slaughtered, you could almost always find an equine rescue or recovery organization willing to take them. With more than 10,000,000 horses in the US today and nowhere to go with the 1% to 2% that can’t be used, or the owner can no longer support, these organizations are overwhelmed.

For those of us who understand the realities of animal agriculture the ethical, moral and responsible thing to do when you can no longer care for an animal is to ensure their end-of-life experience is as quick, painless, and stress free as possible. For us to see an animal starved to death is an outrage beyond comprehension. Part of our ethical responsibility to animals as the spiritual creatures that they are is to make sure that nothing is wasted, and that the sustenance and usefulness we gain from their lives is acknowledged and respected, that their lives have not been in vain. Any rancher faced with extended drought or changing circumstances will sell their breeding animals for slaughter, even at a loss, long before they starve.

Even a botched captured bolt death in a kill chute is over in less than one minute and far, far preferable to an agonizingly prolonged death by starvation.

Almost every rancher I know keeps a few old pets around who never make it to the food chain. My grandpa had an old longhorn steer named Poncho who lived so long both horns turned down. I think he was over 20 years old when he finally died. My cousin’s daughter keeps a 500 lb. sow that she raised for 4-H and can’t bear to part with. Old horses who have been with a family a long time are often allowed to live out their lives as pensioners, and when the time comes and they begin to suffer, we put them down ourselves. Same goes for any animal—cow, dog, pig, cat, or sheep—that becomes too sick or injured to recover. A quick and merciful death is an ethical and moral imperative, and part of our responsibility as owners of livestock.

As a result of the US plants closing, the only unusable horses that have any market at all are those that are in good enough shape to be worth the trucking to Canada or Mexico. Remember that in the business of animal agriculture, and the production of food—the product we sell is pounds of meat. Horse sale barns across the country are going broke, and are having to institute draconian policies like insisting on a $350 deposit to cover normal feed, water, and care in the yard, and euthanasia and disposal of the carcass if a horse doesn’t sell. Because there is no bottom, and very little salvage value left, the value of all horses as assets has plummeted by as much as 70% to 80%. For us that means a young saddle horse we could expect $10,000 to $12,000 in 2007 will be lucky to bring $1,500 today.

At a recent public hearing (March, 2009) at the Montana Legislature, one horseman testified that he used to buy a loose horse going through a sale ring, thus diverting them from a kill pen. If he could train and resell the horse his gamble paid off in a good profit—if the horse was untrainable, or didn’t work out for whatever reason, he had the option of re-selling the animal for about the purchase price. This is no longer the case, and the once viable segment of the horse industry where this man and countless others like him made a living has died. The universal loss of value in the equine industry nation-wide is affecting everything from the availability of financing, to insurance coverage, to the entire health of rural communities and service industries in areas with significant numbers of horses, not to mention tax revenues. Those who raise and train horses for a living have seen their net worth, livelihood and lifestyle disappear. If even a part of your agricultural assets are in horses (saddle horses on a cow outfit, for example), your net worth has dropped proportionately.

Our family doesn’t eat horses, but we aren’t bothered by the fact that lots of people do, and are certainly appreciative of the fact that there is a very strong export market…if we can just get to it. China and Brazil are the largest importers of horse meat at 100,000 metric tons per year each, with Europe, Japan, Asia, French Canada and Mexico close behind. All of the US plants were owned by foreign companies supplying these export markets, as well as a limited domestic market for pet food, zoo meat, and ethnic markets. Since 2007 the US is now importing more than 500 metric tons of horse meat. (USDA, 2008)


Abhorrence of Horse Meat is a Cultural Phenomenon

The abhorrence for horse meat that some Americans have is a purely cultural artifact. Horse meat was widely consumed in the US until well after World War II, and it still is in almost all of the rest of the world. Walk into a supermarket anywhere in Europe and you will find it on the meat counters right next to the beef, pork, and chicken. It comes in steaks, mince, burgers, family bags, barbecue packs, you name it.

Austrians eat it in hot dogs, dumplings, or in a warming stew with a peanut sauce. Belgians like it smoked (for breakfast) or raw (in steak tartare). The Swiss are partial to steaks, the Germans have it in sweet and sour sauce and, in Iceland, horse fondue is quite the thing. One recent NPR report mentioned that frugal Icelanders, in light of a diminished economy, were avoiding imported beers and returning to traditional foods like horse meat, which is half the price of beef. (Frugal Icelanders Prepare For The Holidays, 2008)

While France is traditionally most associated with horse meat, the Italians devour the most—accounting for more than 80% of the Eastern European horse export market—and favor it stewed, shredded in a rocket salad with a twist of lemon, or made into sausages.

My brother and his family spent two years working in Sicily and horse meat was on all of the menus there. My son, a graduate student, attended an academic conference in Finland last summer and reported that the horse steak he was served was much better than either the reindeer steak with lingon berries, or the plate full of little fried fish. A recent email message that I received from Wisconsin reported that they were able to get horse sausage at a local butcher shop until just a couple of years ago.

Gordon Ramsey, one of the celebrity chefs, has put horse meat on his London menus. A meat which is delicious and nutritious, described as ever so slightly gamey, lovely and sweet, gorgeously tender and, best of all, very low in fat. Horse meat is high in protein (twice as much as beef), low in fat (it has 40% fewer calories than the leanest beef) and is rich in both iron and Omega 3. Horse meat is free from Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (mad cow disease) - horse breeding for meat has never been industrialized and horses are fussy, only feeding on grass and grain.

British presenter and writer Janet Street-Porter was much taken by the new superfood after visiting a horse farm in France, a race track, and a barbecue featuring horse meat, and trilled "Horse meat is a really good source of protein and one we should take seriously.” It is also fabulously versatile and can substitute beef, pork, mutton or lamb in virtually any recipe. "In a world of mad cows, we should be opening our eyes to new types of red meat." (Fryer, 2007)

And, why not? After all we eat cows, sheep, pigs, chickens, ducks and deer on a regular basis. Over recent years we’ve embraced all manner of faddy meats – ostrich, emu, even kangaroo and crocodile. Some people will eat a rattlesnake, and lots of people in Asia and developing countries will eat rats, and dogs, and cats. All you have to do is flick on the TV to see Survivorman chowing down on all sorts of disgusting slugs and snakes, or the Food Channel to see some guy traveling the world eating weird food from grasshoppers to monkey brains.

So…from a strictly logical standpoint, the American aversion is more than a teensy bit irrational.


Criminalization of Horse Meat is a Radical Imposition on Liberty

From a political and regulatory standpoint the effort to criminalize the consumption of horse meat is a radical imposition on the liberties of Americans, and indeed a futile and arrogant attempt to change the diet and food practices of other nations—including our closest neighbors. Dr. Terry Whiting, who is the Chair of the Canadian Veterinary Medicine Association’s Animal Welfare Committee probably articulates this best in an article he wrote for the Canadian Veterinary Journal:

”In liberal democracies, governments are usually reluctant to limit personal freedom unless there is an objective, demonstrated public good. For example, some human nudity, specifically public nudity, is restricted by statute in Canada and the USA. Private nudity is uncontrolled and the commercialization of nudity in the entertainment industry is only somewhat regulated. Although under certain circumstances nudity is “offensive” to the general public, it is in no way prohibited. I would argue that good laws are written in a way to protect the innocent from injuries that they could not be protected from in the absence of a statute.

In application of this principle of liberal democracy to the horse meat discussion; the USA is a major exporter of poultry, pork, and beef products, so the export of other meat is not offensive. Provided horses born in the USA are raised, transported, and slaughtered under conditions similar to those for beef cattle or pigs, in what way is an American injured by Canadians or Europeans and Asians consuming horse meat? If a claim of injury is made, what is the nature and severity of that injury? There is agreement that horse slaughter is offensive to some; however, when is personal offence sufficient cause in a liberal democracy for state enforced prohibition or the use of force to deny personal choice to other citizens? Critics of government typically argue that government should refrain from doing that which individuals are capable of doing for themselves. It is an immense expansion of government powers to extend into the regulation of the average citizen’s diet or, apparently, to attempt to alter the diet patterns of other nations.” (Whiting, 2007)


Summary

Because these efforts have become such a threat, and the rights of Americans are close to being abruptly curtailed through the efforts of well financed animal rights organizations, and well meaning, but uninformed horse lovers, there have been an increasing number of states, tribal governments, organizations, and animal agriculture supporters across America including the National Council of State Legislatures, the National Association of Counties, the State Ag and Rural Leaders, the Council of State Governments - Midwest, the International Livestock Identification Association, the Horse Councils of nearly every state in the Union, the American Quarter Horse Association, the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, and many more rising up in opposition. In checking with a nation-wide network of activists it appears that legislative action is taking place in a number of states including Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah and Wyoming--and legislative efforts in support of the horse industry are being considered for introduction in a number of other states including Georgia, Kentucky, New Mexico, Nevada, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington.

All of this activity is focused on convincing Congress to oppose legislation that would restrict the market, transport, processing, or export of horses; to recognize the need for humane horse processing facilities in the United States; and not to interfere with State efforts to establish facilities in the United States.

Serious legislative efforts to reverse the court actions in Texas and Illinois and re-open horse processing facilities, are joined by pro-active legislation to encourage investment in horse processing facilities in North Dakota and Montana.

It is unlikely that any foreign investor will take the risk of investing in another plant anywhere in the US until bills which have been introduced in Congress have been defeated. (H.R. 503 - 2009 Prevention of Cruelty to Equines Act & S. 727 - Prohibit Horses for Human Consumption) This misguided legislation would make it a felony for any person to transport or sell any horse for slaughter. If passed, it would result in a number of devastating and far-reaching consequences:

What little market remains for unusable horses through export to Canada and Mexico would be eliminated.
It will be the first time that Americans are prohibited from using or selling any domestic animal as food. The prohibition will be based entirely on social and political grounds.
Horses are not unique. All livestock animals are intelligent, sentient, living and breathing creatures who have emotions, feel pain, experience fear, and ultimately die.
Once it has been legally determined that the process of killing horses is in and of itself inherently cruel to animals, then there really is no difference between that and telling dairies that they can no longer market steer calves and old cows for beef, no difference between that and making it illegal to use sheep for anything except wool.
Animal agriculture is a business. Prohibiting horse owners from a salvage market is the same as prohibiting a rental car company from selling their cars once they have too many miles on them.
Horses will be instantaneously transformed from valuable assets to expensive liabilities.
The economic incentives to keep, breed, and improve the species will be massively impacted.
Ranchers, breeders, trainers, and all of the related equine service industries will see their livelihoods greatly diminished, and the rural communities which are based, in part, on the horse industry will be deeply hurt and with the entire economy of the United States in a shambles, their ability to adapt, recover, and transform themselves into something else is very, very limited.
Most importantly of all, the private property rights of individual citizens, and the constitutionally guaranteed rights of states to regulate and conduct commerce, will have been totally compromised. For that reason alone every American should be deeply concerned whether they have ever set foot off of pavement, or ever touched a living animal.

Animal welfare is important. The necessary laws and regulations to protect animals from unnecessary abuse and neglect are already in place. Animal rights are another thing entirely. To give any animal, under any circumstances, the legal rights and privileges of a United States citizen is a folly that leads ultimately to a stupid and senseless suicide for our political system. In the short-term it means the destruction of a traditional and valuable agricultural lifestyle for a few Americans. For the long-term it spells the eventual starvation and demise of the human species because the masses who don’t have a clue how to take care of themselves have eliminated the few who still know how to put food on the table.

Recently a comment attached to a blog post has been circulating the internet:

“Hunting needs to be outlawed,” it says, “why can’t you hunters just go down and buy your meat at the store where they make meat in packages…and no animals get hurt?”

Grocery stores do not make meat. Living, breathing animals and the people who care for them make meat. The hard, cold, truth is that living things die for you to live…this is an irrefutable, unchangeable fact that no human being can avoid… and survive.

Bibliography
A Million Horses: documenting abandoned, abused and neglected horses. (n.d.). Retrieved March 20th, 2009, from http://www.amillionhorses.com/

Wyoming Livestock Board (2009). Wyoming Unresolved Estray Comparisons. Cheyenne: Legislative Service Office.

Frugal Icelanders Prepare For The Holidays. (2008, December 11). Retrieved March 19th, 2009, from www.npr.org, Morning Edition: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=98116248&ft=1&f=1006&sc=YahooNews

Fryer, J. (2007, May). Mail Online - Health. Retrieved March 19th, 2009, from London Daily Mail Online: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-453170/Gordon-Ramsay-urging-Brits-try-horse-meat-em-em-eat-it.html

Grandin, D. T. (n.d.). Retrieved March 19th, 2009, from Dr. Temple Grandin's Website: http://www.grandin.com/

HR 503 - 2009 Prevention of Cruelty to Equines Act. (n.d.). Retrieved March 20th, 2009, from http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/thomas

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Planck, N. (2007, May 21). Vegan Babies at Risk. Retrieved March 20th, 2009, from http://www.ninaplanck.com/index.php?article=vegan_babies

Pollan, M. (2008). In Defense of Food: an Eater's Manifesto. New York: Penguin.

USDA. (2008). Livestock Marketing Statistics. Washington, DC.