Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Cavemen vs. The Vegans

Disclaimer:  I used to be a vegan, and before I got old and fat on a healthy home-cooked low-soy, vegetarian diet, I looked even better than Denise Minger. So there.
As I mentioned in my last post, I really got into watching I, Caveman, and have been reading what other ancestral bloggers had to say about it.
Dr. Harris has posted more detail on the elk hunt, and there is a discussion of the viewpoints of hunters and vegans in the comments sections.
Just sayin!  I was a vegan for ethical reasons, but stopped it when my health was affected.  This was also before I became a farmer.  Oh, and what I now know!  Vegans who buy their food from grocery stores, farmer's markets, pretty much everywhere else don't know how much they are participating in animal killing.
When I was an undergrad chemistry major, the university I attended was situated right next to prime U.S. farmland.  Some days, the stench from the recently-applied steer manure was so bad, we had to hold our breath as we hopped from building to building.  Veggies are grown in steer manure.  Everywhere.  All those organic veggies that vegans eat.  But, people already know that.  Here's what many don't know.
One day I heard gunshots in the cornfields, and I imagined that they were lighting flares.  This went on all day long. Why?  I thought it was maybe to keep track of each other in the fields.  After all, corn can get pretty tall, and it is easy to get lost in it.  I remember thinking that they might do well to get some small walkie-talkies instead.
It wasn't until later that I realized that the crew was using a gopher blaster.  Check this out.  (Warning:  this vid can be disturbing to vegans and other animal lovers.)
Gopher blasters aren't considered suitable for organic farming, since the certifiers think it is like pouring live gasoline right into the ground, but the blasters would probably be approved if converted to methane that was produced on the farm from animal waste.  Organic farms still have to use a variety of snap traps.  Personally, if I was a gopher, I think I'd rather be blown up instead of caught in a trap, but YMMV.  Gopher smokers are also not organic approved since they contain an artificial source of nitrogen, and of course, most poisons are out.  So, the organic farms use stuff like this:
I can tell you that I have never met a commercial farmer who didn't kill these animals with a bit of glee, and I can assure you that few farmers are praying over their kill, or have the type of respect for animals that people who hunt to eat do.
Oh, and if you think being a fruitarian is better, don't let me get started on the problems with bird netting.....


  1. I just don't like that you don't get more comments - so I'm commenting, to comment. This is great blog, and I love your style.

    Growing up on metropolitan Long Island, NY, I don't have this farm experience. Blowing up gophers has to be some of the funniest shit I've come across in a while (ooooh, can we curse here?)!

    When I lived in WA we had moles on our lawn - man, if only i knew about this back then.

    Thanks for sharing that youtube piece. (I'm sorry, I know this is not what the post was about, but how could I resist?)


  2. Thanks for commenting! I do have other followers here, and they do comment in other places, but it is nice to have a dialog.
    I think that any gardener who has battled ground animals can relate to the video. I have seen hoards of shovel-weilding community gardeners chase baby rabbits all around. Vegetables are all stained with blood.
    But, I do thank each and every snail and weed for their service before I end their lives and they are allowed to pass over to a new form in the compost pile.

  3. My DH grew up on a farm and honed his sharpshooting skills (which the govt. exploited in VietNam) taking out groundhogs - they are very dangerous to equipment and cows in the fields, with the holes they leave -

    all life lives at the expense of other life, so the lines that are drawn are a matter of personal preference -

  4. Hi Kaki! I try to take out gophers, too. One year they took out an entire leek patch, and several huge tomato plants.

  5. This discussion reminded me of "Caddyshack":

    "Au revoir, gophaire."

  6. yes! A funny movie, and I can certainly understand their frustration. I have also seen hoards of grown men chase baby rabbits all around the neighborhood garden armed with shovels. The baby rabbits usually win.

  7. Do you know where organic farms find their trapping supplies? Is there a specific way that they have to trap the animals? Do you know if there are any companies that do that for them?

  8. Hey Roy, sorry for not responding till now.... Most farmers I know go to the local farm stores or mail-order. Organic farmers also work off an approved list for everything. If some device is not on the approved list, they might do well to check their certifier first. I don't know of any service that will come in and trap. Trapping and controlling animals on the farm is time-consuming and never-ending. Organic farms oftentimes keep interns for this sort of thing.