Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Interviewing Local Farmer: Jon Flyer

I interviewed Jon Flyer to get his take on farming. This man has been a farmer for just a short amount of time. Most farmers were raised in the ranching business whereas Jon decided to pick it up when moving to Humboldt County from Los Angeles. They claim that they have too many animals to truly give them proper attention, so it seems that they should not be able to have as many animals as they do. Interviewing this small town farmer will give us a view of what it's like being a new local farmer vs a factory farmer, who hold the stereotypes of being inhumane and not giving proper care to their animals.

How long have you owned your ranch?
We bought this december 28th 2007

Why did you decide to buy your property and become a rancher?
Because I feel that people have lost touch with how to survive without modern conveniences. I felt I had nothing left to teach my children because I’m a trained burac.

What is your favorite part about being a rancher?
Seeing newborn cows, teaching my family, and learning with y family. Fresh eggs, yummm.

Have you ever had an incident that worried you with the health of your animals?
Everyday. Because I don't know enough. If the cows look at me sideways I think something's wrong with them. I think the worst one was when they had to pull the dead calf out in pieces; that was gross.

How would you describe your relationship with your animals?
I think were partners, they grow, I eat… them. We’re partners. But we treat the mama cows very good and care for our bees, I do think the horses are a waste though. But we are partners. I need them and they need me

What animals do you raise and how do you benefit from them?
We raise cows right now, we run cow calf beef combo. It's a beef operation, so we sell steers and bees make our honey. We have our chickens that lay their eggs and we eat them.

Have you had animals that you've gotten rid of? Why?
We have raised sheep, but they were a lot of work and really stupid. A lot of maintenance needed with no buck for the bang. Goats are too smart, they're great escape artist and I was tired of chasing them around. Pigs were also too smart. I just couldn't look them in their eye because they were being raised for meat.

Have you had a unforgettable moment that changed the way you thought, or felt about the animals you care for?
I’ve had a few of those. Seeing a cow from birth to taking it to the slaughter yard is very hard for me. Also, slaughtering our meat birds. I do the killing, and looking them in their eyes when they're choking on their own blood is very hard. Also when the white flies attack my beautiful vegetable garden, it drives me crazy.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

*Could Animal Abusers Become Cold Blooded Murderers?

The article titled “Do Mass Killers Start Out by Harming Pets?” by Gail F. Melson Ph.D. speaks greatly on the correlation between animal abusers and killers. This has been a question asked many times and is a very controversial subject. Theres many things that lead to the harm and abuse of other creatures. Animal abuse is seen in young children and many adolescents. Although many young children will pull a cat's ears or tails just out of curiosity, there are other children who will do much more than that when you're not looking. Kids who grow up around abuse or who have mental health issues are much more likely to abuse. A study done by Ascione assessed 1,433 children of abuse, ages 6-12, and from that study 60% of those children had reported abusing animals before. Although the overall percentage of kids who purposely harm animals is only about 5%, it could help us catch early dangerous signs in other and our own children.

Kids who abuse animals are much more likely to live a life of abusive and murderous crime. There has been countless stories of kids who have done unimaginable crimes and it all started with harming or killing a pet or animal. According to the article, “On Oct. 1, 1997, Luke Woodham, a sophomore at Pearl High School, in a suburb of Jackson, MI, stabbed his mother to death and then opened fire on classmates with a hunting rifle, killing two girls and wounding seven other students.  Investigators later found Woodham’s account of his torture and killing of his pet dog Sparkle, which the boy described as his first kill.” This is just one story out of many that proves that abusing animals can lead to much, much more. That means that events like these can be completely avoided by simply not ignoring your child when you see them being too rough with people or animals.

I, myself, do strongly believe that animal abuse can lead to larger crimes such as these. Animal abuse is all about wanting power and wanting to feel greater than something; and when that gets old or boring, what else are those people left to do? This is also a great reason why there should be greater laws against animal abuse. The article states that, “Jeffrey Dahmer, Albert DeSalvo (the “Boston strangler”), David Berkowitz (the “Son of Sam”) and Carroll Edward Cole, a serial killer accused of 35 deaths, all recounted animal torture as their first violent act.”. People such as them could have been locked up and could have been known to be aggressive if we simply made abusing animals a bigger deal; as it should be. Noticing and stopping animal abusers can help us prevent and stop killings; so why would we not do something to bring more awareness to this?