Sunday, February 20, 2011


Well, it looks like I opened a can of worms on my last post. I always post my blog to my facebook page, as some of my friends read the blog, but are not official 'followers'. The following arguement ensued. It actually went on a LOT longer than this, but I will spare you the cat fight! I realize there are always going to be different opinions on any new legislation that happens, but here are my reasons I don't want to have to tag and do paperwork on each and every animal I have:

1. I HATE being micromanaged. I won't even get my dogs tagged with city tags. They have tattoos, and a tag on their collars with my phone number on it. Why the hek does the government think they need to track my dog? It's annoying, and so BIG BROTHERISH, I can't stand it. This is my own personal beef, and has no bearing on any real issue!

2. We need to encourage more small farmers, not make it harder for them/us. I live on a very large island. Only 4% of our food is actually grown here. 50 years ago, it was closer to 90%. If there was some disaster (earthquake, tsunami, etc) which are very real worries here, as we are right on the 'ring of fire' earthquake zone, there is only enough food in the grocery stores to feed everyone for 2-3 days. That's it. Then what? People starve. Small farmers and people who have their own gardens will save the day. We can always hope there will never be a disaster such as this, but look at Haiti and Chile recently. People are starving and dying. Doesn't it make you think a bit?

3. I honestly don't think tracking and tagging animals on small farms would change anything. They track beef cows, and there are still outbreaks of listeria and salmonella. ALL FROM FACTORY FARMS, not from small farmers! The lady below who is arguing FOR tagging farm animals doesn't farm. She doesn't garden much. She gets a friend of hers to raise her chickens and turkeys. Does she think she is exempt from all the paperwork that will ensue? She doesn't have to work full time or run her own business to survive. Some of us small farmers do. Personally, I don't have anyone supporting me. I do everything on the farm here myself. I love it, and wouldn't change it for the world, but it is HARD WORK, long hours, and I don't need more put on my plate.

I'll shut up and stop ranting now. Promise! Fun goat and chicken adventures to follow....;-)

 Person #1 holy shit that is scary stuff. If I had to document each and every animal on this place - where does it end? You want me to tag my aquarium fish too???? Jeez la weez! Feels like the gov't is always trying to crush the little guy :(

Person #2 okay so I took a look at your blog and I have to agree with some of it... especially the tagging of your animals. I realize that it is another expense, but honestly how much is a little tag? and in all reality it is no different than your... dogs getting tags. If one cannot afford it then maybe they should consider not having all the extra animals. Everything comes at a cost, and you have to do it the right way.

and as long as you are able to do it yourself... then it shouldn't be to too bad once you get yourself established and set up.

And with all the things that have happened in regards to salmonella and beef recalls... I think the consumer has the right to know where it came from. And if tagging it is the only be it.

As for going after the big guys that are raising their animals in different ways than yourself... it will never go away. Eggs will always come from crammed in chickens and beef will always come from cows on conveyor belts. It is crappy... but that is what life has been like for years... it will never stop. That doesn't mean it is okay... but it is what people know.

And the last thing... people can't always afford to eat the healthy way... so when we we talk about financial burdens, it is not just the farmer, but what about low income families? Everyone deserves to eat the way that they can afford.

Just my two cents...

Person # 1 again:
I disagree.
The issue is not only the cost of the tag, it is the time it takes to take animals, not to mention the paperwork involved. Keeping a record of an animal is easy - we do it here. We don't tag them because, unlike large scale faci...lities, I know my animals just by looking at them. This would likely require a transfer of ownership each time the animal is sold. Again, paperwork. I can afford to feed my chickens. I feed them nutritious food every day. I talk to them, feed them veggie scraps, lovingly collect their eggs, and praise them for their good work in laying me that egg. Who are you to say I should have less animals because I don't think extra paperwork is necessary to keep my animals healthy and the food they produce nutritious? Even if I DID register/mark/tag/record my animals, It likely wouldn't put an end to any health problems suffered by the general public.

As Kelly says, the recalls are from LARGE scale productions, not small scale farmers. Have you noticed - lysteria outbreak from MAPLE LEAF FARMS, salmonella from LILYDALE. We are Not seeing in the news headlines: "small scale farmer has salmonella outbreak", or "farm-raised eggs kill thousands".

If people can take the time to go to to farmers markets, they will likely find the produce cheaper then at walmart. It hasn't been grown in China. I shop for produce regularly at Red Barn market or Russel farms, or at Crazy Dog Farm. I am happy with the produce, and happy with the price, and I am operating on a minimum-wage part time job as I put myself through 4 years of school.

Yes, there will always be chickens crammed into cages and beef grown in their own shit, that doesn't mean I need to raise that animals under those conditions, nor should I be treated as they are.

And, FYI cattle are already branded and ear tagged before they can be butchered at an abattoir or sold at an auction. Therefore, they are already recorded and the government CAN track where they came from. So far, it hasn't helped. We still have outbreaks of this and that and the other thing.

All in all, I will continue to raise my own food just the way I see fit so long as my animals are happy and healthy and live a productive life. They don't need to be monitored by the government for that to happen.

Oh, and I dont have tags for my dog, either.

Me: One of the joys of buying food from a small, local farmer is that you can go to the farm, see HOW and WHERE your food is raised. Make certain you are satisfied with the conditions the animals are raised in. You can ask questions of the farmer. You can't do that with factory farms. You have no clue where or how that animal is raised.

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