Another nail in the coffin….and another step away from being natural.

Approximate Reading Time: 2 minutes

Ranching, recreation collide in the great outdoors

By Nicholas Riccardi, LA TimesNovember 27, 2009

The mountain biker was excited about her big race in Colorado’s wilderness. And nothing irked the sheepherder like the sports crowd. It was a disaster waiting to happen…

Working Dogs

Working Dogs

Many people seem to believe that every natural place should be available for recreation, and that all other uses should defer to them.

People who try to raise animals ethically and naturally repeatedly come under fire, but I don’t see all of North America going vegan any time soon, so eventually, the ONLY way left to raise animals for meat will be through factory farms. That means all of our meat (and the billions and billions of other animals products that end up in almost everything we touch) will be ‘rendered’ by enormous corporations headquartered in urban centers who care primarily about the bottom line, and who have powerful lobbies that ensure that NO-ONE sees what they really do – only how cheap it is to buy a McNugget or a Big Mac, and how smoooooth their skin feels after using their creams.

Here’s another scenario:

  1. The sheep rancher’s dogs will be put to death for doing their job.
  2. The sheep rancher will go out of business because the local predators will eat too many of his sheep.
  3. The wolves, coyotes, and cougars who have been keeping their distance because of the livestock guarding dogs will now move into the territory.
  4. Some hapless tourist will get attacked and possibly killed by a cougar.
  5. Trigger happy (dare I say it? bloodthirsty) hunters will demand the ‘freedom’ to go in and get rid of those terrible savage animals, and the urbanites will let them.
  6. Top level predators will be wiped out from the area, but the tourists will have safe passage (for a time).
  7. Prey animals will multiply until they either become diseased or starve due to overpopulation.
  8. The entire district will get paved over to become a new residential neighbourhood, or become a  tightly controlled “ranchland” where cattle (owned by giant corporations) change the landscape forever. All remnants of what it used to be will be gone.

That’s better, isn’t it? Who cares about the prairie chicken anyways – ya can’t make McNuggets out of ’em. The only things that REALLY matter is that we continue to be able to get cheap food, we get to recreate where ever and however we please (freedom and all that, right?) and that the NRA rules.

How different the story might have been if only someone had done the neighbourly thing and inform the ranger of the event.  His dogs (and probably his sheep) would have been confined for the day. No-one would have been hirt, and there would have been no story.

Too bad we don’t get to hear more about the non-stories – those that DON’T result in a trip to the hospital…..

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