Farmer Trent Loos recently called on High Plains Journal readers to “eat meat,” claiming that our society “loves the cowboy, but they sure hate the cow.” In this opinion piece, he argues that cows represent a symbol of “freedom and independence.”
As someone who advocates for the legal rights of animals and increased regulation of the animal agriculture industry, I ironically agree with the phrasing of Mr. Loos’ philosophy. Our society expresses a deep love for industrial “cowboys,” the producers who are heavily subsidized by taxpayers via a scheme of crop insurance, water rights, and government advertising programs. But animals, whose treatment we hide under the humane-washed phrases like “free range” and “pasture fed,” are hated in practice. These animals are “destroyed,” to use Mr. Loos’ words, as we turn them into products for human consumption.