Target: Nick Smith
Goal: Stop feeding candy to cows
At United Livestock Commodities in Mayfield, KY, Nick Smith is feeding his 1400 cows candy which has been declared unfit for human consumption. Complaining of high corn prices of eight to nine dollars per bushel, the farmer chose to enhance five to eight percent of his animals’ diets with fattening candy, including the wrappers. Candy may be clever combinations of corn, ethanol, corn syrup, and sugar, which are already the ingredients in the factory farmed cow’s diet, but the disregard for the nutrition and comfort of these animals is unacceptable and the farmer needs to find ways to solve feeding problems, not temporarily remedy a grave systematic fault in feeding corn.
Already, the bovines raised for meat in the US are primarily fed corn, which causes inflammation and discomfort in their digestive systems. The draught in the Midwest has hurt the corn supply and the scarcity of the product is causing prices to rise.
There are several problems with the subsidized corn industry in the US, including its overproduction causing imbalance in American’s diets, as well as its unnatural and ubiquitous presence in the feed of livestock. Nick Smith is solving nothing. The problem of pricy corn is merely a symptom of a fatally flawed food system.
The farmer claims that this is a relevant solution to rising corn prices because it keeps candy out of landfills, and fattens up the cattle to cause the marbling consumers desire. Corn-fed cows harbor chemical imbalances, causing unhealthy meat from animals festooned with sores and disfigured with cysts and muscle mass. Grass-fed beef more efficiently produces healthier protein, with one-third less fat, higher omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and conjugated linoleic acid. Unfortunately, American consumers let price, not quality, dictate their buying habits. Furthermore, consumers may think this is comical. It is imperative to tell Nick Smith that he is creating more problems for his livestock, and that they deserve a diet appropriate for their bodies. Even when corn is available, it is still unethical to tamper with his animals’ biological demands.
Dear Mr. Smith,
The decision to feed your cows candy is concerning to meat consumers and animal welfare advocates, alike. Though the price of corn is rising, it is not acceptable to feed animals a diet that includes wrapped candy. The real problem you are facing comes from a concentrated feeding mentatlity that demands the largest product over the shortest amount of time, making the farmer dependent on corn to deliver such results. The solution is not candy; it is returning cattle to eat and flourish off the phytonutrients of grass.
We urge you to be an example for how our food system needs to change for farmers and their animals to thrive independent of government-subsidized corn. Instead of responding to the comical inquiries of your practice, we would like to see the candy-feeding stop, and more forward-thinking solutions be employed in order to maintain your dignity as a farmer and a model for intelligent animal husbandry.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: WPSD Channel 6