Co-operative spirit in the world of farming is best says The Clare Echo farming columnist Joe Melody who also hit out at the basis for arguments in favour of veganism.
“How are you going to get those cows down into that slatted tank JJ,” that was the retort to my father showing an official from the planning office the plan for his new slatted shed in the 1980s. This official believed the cattle would reside in the tank not over it. Common sense is not so common seemingly. This a classic case of bureaucratic Ireland meets rural Ireland.
As I travel around the county, I pass many great farms being farmed by people who through knowledge passed from generation to generation as well as the use of modern best agricultural practice have endured and continue to thrive in harmony with nature. These men and women are the custodians of our environment and understand it best. However in recent years, the reprehensible act of virtue signalling by elites has become more prevalent.
Former President of Ireland Mary Robinson has been telling the world that we need to go Vegan for the sake of our planet. What background does this finger wagging relic of Ireland’s political class have in farming or the environment? Her areas of competency are with the legal and political fields. I would not expect her to understand the intricacies of food production and land management just as I would not be expected to understand the complexities of constitutional law. In this case my sense is she is able to articulate a flawed idea best of how to counter climate change and as the old saying goes, “The world belongs to the articulate”.
The internet has created huge opportunities and I am seeing that at home on the farm where my brother Frank has seen unprecedented demand for his pasture raised eggs that he has promoted online through his Instagram and Facebook pages. This demand is the silent majority countering the propaganda that is being spouted through various media such as Netflix where shows such as ‘Game Changers’ and ‘Cowspiracy’ set the false narrative that cows are to blame for everything from environmental woes to bad health.
There is vested interests behind these documentaries with many being large shareholders in vegan food companies. Common sense will prevail with most people as the choice between a food raised on lush pasture versus a processed vegan food grown in a test tube should be an easy one to make.
We’re well and truly into the winter routine here at home currently with the milking cows settled on their diet of silage and 3kg of dairy nuts, we have now moved to once-a-day milking to reduce labour and to maintain cow body condition. This silage was made on the 27th of May and has turned out very well. The rest of the stock are still at grass but we will watch this situation very closely if conditions deteriorate with all this rainfall.
We are selling the last of our cattle for the year through our local Sixmilebridge mart. Most of these cattle are forward stores mainly dairy cross but also some Charolais cattle. This mart is a huge asset to the area, this is the cooperative model at its very best. As farmers we have to remember that it is the cooperative spirit that enjoys the better harvest.