Media continues to bash our industry

Writers Posted 01/11/19
With all the rain in October many farmers have had to bring the cattle in for winter early.

I guess it was inevitable that after such a long dry spell of weather the heavens would open and we would be in for a soaking, it was unfortunate that it decided to break the day before the local ploughing match.

The day went ahead as planned but it was spent dodging some fairly hefty showers and cowering in the nearest trade stand tent when they did arrive. For those that braved the elements I think it was a good day overall, and gave everyone the opportunity to catch up with people we don’t see that often, but I suspect there were a good number who awoke to some fairly angry looking skies and decided not to turn up. Such a shame when so much work has gone into planning the event. Those that do go should be commended, and I for one are extremely grateful that people are willing to do what they do for events like this to go ahead, they deserve our thanks.

An event that did go ahead, that I would have preferred not to have taken place, was the arrival of the merry band called extinction rebellion who decided to block the main highway into Dover port one Saturday. I understand we live in a free country and everyone has a right to voice their opinion whether you or I agree with their view point or not, but when it starts to cause so much inconvenience to people trying to go about their daily life or even earn a living I for one start to switch off. Organisations such as this rely on building and maintain public support to maintain and continue the message they are selling and I don’t really see how the actions in Dover or more latterly in London really work in the long run. That said it does get in the headlines and the offshoot of that is our industry comes in for more bashing as a result, and it was while I was in the car listening to another session about eating less red meat that I started thinking.

If as a society we go down this road of considerable reduction in red meat consumption the obvious outcome is a reduction in the bovine population.

A prime bullock kills out around 50% and a cull dairy cow 40/45% I believe I am prepared to be corrected but it’s around these levels, so what happens to the remaining 50 to 55/60? You don’t have to look far to find out that for as long as animals have been used as a food source by humans their by-products have been just as important. Indeed, parts of the cow other than the beef are used in the manufacturing process of many industrial, household and health products that we use daily. So I wondered how many of the eco warriors that travelled down to Dover, cause let’s face it Dover is on the edge, use any of the following in their daily lives, cellophane, candles, ceramics, cosmetics, crayons, paper, shaving cream, perfumes, paints, linoleum, detergents, toothpaste, soaps and deodorants all containing fats and fatty acids/protein meals. Bandages, wallpaper, glues, from collagen based adhesives, clothing, luggage, shoes, gloves and belts from the hide, a whole range of pharmaceutical products, Insulin for diabetics, soft cartilage used in plastic surgery, thrombin used as a blood clotting agent, blood factors for treating haemophilia and anti-rejection drugs and assuming that they used some form of transport unless they are so green they walked… tyres contain stearic acid which makes rubber hold its shape under continuous surface friction, antifreeze contains glycerol, asphalt has a binding agent from fat, glue from beef protein used in car bodies, numerous lubricants contain fatty acids from inedible beef protein, such as brake fluid, airplane lubricants, runway foam, car polish and waxes and textiles for car/train upholstery. The list is endless.

I don’t know but I guess many of those involved that Saturday have little or no idea of the ingredients in the products they use, there may be perfectly reasonable replacements for the products/ingredients listed above but there may not, or maybe we just import it all – beware of unintended consequences.

With all the rain in October many farmers have had to bring the cattle in for winter early. This time last year cows were still grazing merrily until late November/December. Straw is slowly starting to move so demand may increase if this weather continues. The maize is now all in the clamps ready for winter and yields appear to be variable. A few breakdowns with the forage harvester meant a delay but all is now finished and hopefully the forager is back on track.

Lewis Hamilton appears to be making a few ructions on social media this week, since opening his new “Neat burger restaurant” in London, he allegedly uses only plant-based products. A quote from him claimed “Agriculture farming is the largest pollutant we currently have by over 50%, far more than our travel industry combined. I’m sad to see so many people inc close friends, ignore what is happening daily. We were taught that eating animal products was good for us, but we’ve been lied to for hundreds of years. I want my life to mean something and honestly up until now my life has no meaning”.

For all Hamilton’s sincerity, he has certainly invited charges of hypocrisy given the size of his own carbon footprint! For many years he has travelled to F1 races in a private jet or using first class air travel around the world. He also serves as an ambassador at Mercedes for chief sponsor Petronas, one of the world’s largest oil and gas plants! He has also been driving around since he was nine using an extortionate amount of CO2!

Fergus is “enjoying” university life! A couple of visits home for mother to assist with washing etc! Probably if the truth be known his visit was to finish his beloved tractor. Fergus was given a 1955 “Old Grey Fergie” by his great grandfather and he has lovingly restored it from scratch… The project is now nearing completion and the final job of replacing the clutch and a respray remain. A fantastic learning curve for him with a little guidance from a friendly mechanic and YouTube.” Monty has moved his ewes to fresh grass in preparation for tupping and has sent 4 of his lambs to the local abattoir. Local lamb will be for sale (freezer ready). The Billy appears to be working well in with the goats…

After a rather large amount of miles….Zara has a new pony. After approximately 1500 miles we managed to find a super pony in Frittenden. Great excitement in our household. (As I write this the long awaited “Kent test” results are imminent). My congratulations to all who passed and for those who didn’t please remember… that it’s not classed as failure just a learning curve that goes on to open new doors, exciting challenges and the future is in your hands. The swear ban continues in our household, young Woody appears to be learning a whole new vocabulary!


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