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Home On The Range

If you've never had the job of taking care of a herd of cows, then you probably are unaware of the work involved to run a large group of animals that you intend to sell or kill at some point,

I spent some part of my youth as an actual cowboy.  We had about 400 head of cattle, more or less depending on the time of year.  Even during the school year, there was work to do before and after school, moving the herd from field to field to prevent over-grazing, rounding them up for shots and parasite dusting, throwing hay and feed in the winter months, and hauling cows to the auction on Saturday mornings in Schulenberg or Gonzales.

Folks don't realize how much work is involved here.  Four hundred animals is a lot of time and effort, and most of it is rote chores that even the animals get used to.  They know when it's time to go to another field, or get their shots, or line up for slaughter, and they willingly assemble for the events.

This morning, I saw two articles that made me think back on the cowboy days.  The first said that 25% of fopolledlks  thought robots would make better politicians, the other article said the average American dies $62,000 in debt.  I don't know about you, but I didn't even have to go further than the headlines to start seeing the correlations to running cattle.

The first thing is that we no longer have surveys, we have polls.  Have you noticed that?  It may seem like a subtle difference, but bear with me.  A survey - to me anyway - implies asking people what their opinion is.  Lord knows all free people have opinions.  A poll, however, is (in cowboy talk) what you do when you cut the horns off of cows so they can't hurt you.  Getting head-butted by a cow is painful enough, but when it includes hard spiky things that puncture your flesh and rip up organs, well that's quite a different story.

Basically, polling is disarming a cow.  There are any number of ways to do it - fire, saw, chemicals, breeding - but the end result is a much less dangerous cow.

The next thing I though about was how great it would have been to have robots do all the dirty work.  They don't get tired, feel overworked, need meals, and they always do the job right because their decision-making processes are precisely controlled.  All that would be needed is to train the cows to follow robots instead of cowboys - and a couple of good dogs - and life would be so much more relaxing on the farm - at least for the herd owners.

The next thing I though about is the fact that each cow represents a pretty hefty investment.  Even breeding them, which you'd think gives you free cows, requires selecting which cows and bulls to breed to give you the best results, and that requires separating the herd into breeding pens.  Plenty of work to do.

Then there's the hay, which you have to grow, bail and collect in a barn, or buy and store in a barn.  And you'll want to supplement the grass and hay with molasses-covered cottonseed hull, or Purina pellets for extra nutrition and to fatten up the cows before auction to make sure you get the most money out of them.

In any event, those cows owe you quite a bit of money by the the time you sell them, so you wait for the best market prices and try to keep the cows as fat as possible so they paid off in the end.

Yep, reading those two articles reminded me a lot of being a cowboy.  They also reminded me a lot of modern humans.  From a certain point of view, we are all cattle.  We need to be polled to make us less dangerous.  We need to be rounded up from time to time to get our shots and be deloused.  We need to be moved from field to field to make sure we don't overgraze.  We need to be kept nice and fat so we fetch a good price at auction.

If you can train folks to follow robots, it sure frees up the Masters quite a bit.  They don't have to worry about the cowboys going rogue or taking the wrong day off.  In fact, you can automate the entire process of herding the masses so you can sit back on the porch and drink mint juleps and talk about the weather.

And if Americans are dying thousands of dollars in debt, then WHOOPIE!  That means you've completely harvested all the value out of them.  Nothing to pass on to the next generation to give them a head-start.  That little bit of debt doesn't matter, since you created the money out of nothing and you get to reclaim anything of value from their estate through taxes and foreclosures.

Yessiree, we are all cows, folks.  We are herded and maintained just like cows.  We are disarmed and castrated, just like cows.  We are fed and jabbed just like cows.  We are bought and sold, just like cows.  And just like cows, our entire lives are nothing more than profit centers for the Ranch Owners.

Hell, we even get branded with IDs and numbers, just like cows.

This System is ubiquitous.  It is everywhere. You cannot be a little bit part of the herd without being all in.

So tell me now there's nothing wrong with the System.  Tell me now that there are people and ways to fix the System.  Tell me there's no conspiracies or elites.  Sorry, but if you've ever taken care of a herd of cattle, then you know exactly what our world is like: 200-some-odd ranches with 7 billion cows and certain rich ranchers trying to buy up the rest of the competition.

It's a fact of life and you either accept it or try to change it.  There really is no middle ground.

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