Protecting ALL animals – Vote NO on Measure 5

North Dakota is an agricultural state. No matter what happens in the west with the oil boom, agriculture will still be here for generations to come…if we protect our heritage.

There is a measure that will show up on the November ballot that can put all of that at risk, and it’s up to us, the citizens of our great state, to stand up and let others know that we fully support and wish to protect our legacy.

What am I talking about? Measure 5 is a poorly worded, narrow-focused measure that has been crafted by an out-of-state animal-rights group that has a history of coming in with big guns, lots of money and slick ads, changing state laws and then pushing anti-farming, anti-hunting and pro-vegan agendas. All while making you feel warm and fuzzy that you’re helping little kitties and doggies.

Do you know how much of the Humane Society of the United States’ budget goes to truly help hands-on pet shelters? Less than 1 percent of the multi-millions that are in their budget. The rest is spent on pensions, lobbying and suing others to make them follow their guidelines.

We cannot let a group such as this in the door.

Let’s take a closer look at the measure, not just the people behind it.

To start with, the measure only addresses horses, cats and dogs. Why would that be? Well, it seems pretty plain to me that they’re aiming at easy targets for an emotional argument. It’s a great marketing ploy. If you were to set my dog on fire, you better believe that I want you to see jail time. In fact, jail is probably the safest place for you, because if I have an opportunity to inflict harm on you, well, I may face a little jail time myself.

Hurt one of these little guys maliciously, and you better hope you’re in jail, where I can’t get a hold of you. Yet, she’s not included in the measure.

But the same is true for my cows. And they wouldn’t be protected under the measure.

Another problem I have with the measure is the scope of “crimes” that it addresses. Here it is directly from the measure: “Any individual who maliciously and intentionally burns, poisons, crushes, suffocates, impales, drowns, blinds, skins, beats to death, drags to death, exsanguinates, disembowels, or dismembers any living dog, cat, or horse is guilty of a class C felony.”

I agree that all of those things are cruel, malicious and worthy of jail time (or worse), yet those things rarely happen in our state. In fact, when you search for crimes like these in reports, you have a hard time finding any at all.

Yet, the most common types of cruelty are not addressed. Things such as starvation and animal hoarding, which cause much more distress and harm to the animals, aren’t even mentioned. Why? Perhaps because a law such as this would seem to be a no-brainer, but once we let HSUS in the door, we’re open to litigation, interpretation by the courts and forced to defend those things that should be seen as protected rights.

I’m not asking people to just vote “No” and call it a day. There is a group of people that have worked hard to come up with an alternative that could be passed legislatively, making it easier to adjust as concerns come up and easier to amend when times change.

Let’s send the message that we don’t need out-of-state interests coming in to our state and telling us what to do and how to treat our animals. The scare tactics they use to push these measures is almost laughable, if it weren’t happening right here.

Defeating this measure is not going to be easy. When their advertising revolves around cute cats and puppies and ignores the issues surrounding the measure, it’s pretty plain to see what we’re up against.

We love our cats…and our dogs…and our cows. But Measure 5 is not the right answer, for any of them! Vote NO!

I love my dogs, I love our cats…but I also love our cows. Voting “No” is not a vote against our pets, it’s a vote for common sense and a vote for the future of agriculture.

Do you have questions? Would like more information on the history of HSUS and their involvement in other states? Stay tuned. I’ll answer anything you care to ask (or find the answers if I don‘t know), and I’ll be showing you the track record this group has in other states.

But I’ll warn you, it’s not pretty.

Safe at home

We made it home last night. It was a relief to finally pull in, see the lights of home, hear the cows mooing to their calves, see our lab sitting at the front gate and to hear George raising a ruckus, because he knew where we were…home.

Our last appointment went about as well as our first. She did order another test to check his ferritin level, since I told her that he was waking up during the night a lot. (Apparently it’s a measure of iron, and a lack of it can cause your legs to feel restless.) Normal levels are between 25 and 336. George’s were 11. So we start a multivitamin to combat the low Vit. D and the low iron.

I asked about getting a prescription for a trip to Florida for a week or two. Dr. L said that the sun would work, but Boss Man piped up that the vitamins were cheaper. He’s no fun.

When I sat at my desk last night, I was going to write up a new blog post, but then I read a few of my friends’ posts and decided to wait until today.

Apparently a group, called Mercy for Animals, released hidden video footage of animals being abused on a dairy farm in Texas. Again, this group is attempting to undermine all of animal agriculture, because of one sick, twisted situation.

Here’s my take on the situation: If you are on a farm, and someone is abusing an animal, they should be IMMEDIATELY reported to the proper authorities. If they are a hired hand, they should be fired and turned in. If they are the owner, they should be turned in. Simple as that. The animal deserves better. Yes, I raise animals that I know are being consumed by someone. I know that our cows will someday be processed into something that will feed others. But we treat our cattle with respect.

There is no excuse for the action taken by the perpetrators in the video. That’s not what raising cattle is about. I don’t know of one single cattle producer that would condone such behavior…and it’s definitely the exception, not the norm.

We just spent three days away from our farm. We were on a medical trip with our youngest child. Although our focus was definitely on George’s appointments, part of Mark’s mind was back here. He was constantly on the phone, making sure that there weren’t any problems, the cattle were being fed, none had become ill, the mud wasn’t becoming unmanageable, planning for what to do when we got home, etc. It was non-stop. He spent hours upon hours before our trip, preparing the lots, so that things were easier when we were gone. Making sure that there was enough feed ready to go. Moving panels so that the mud was a little easier to manage, for both the tractor AND the cattle. That’s just what ranchers do. That’s what ANY animal caregiver would do.

I didn’t watch the latest abuse video. I don’t need to. Hearing about it is enough. It disgusts me. It angers me. And it frustrates me when groups try to tell the rest of the world that those types of actions are normal in our industry. It’s not. No way. No how. And if you don’t believe me, come to my farm and I’ll show you.

And I know of many others who would do the same.