Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Weird Wednesday: Gummy Cows

Recently, I wrote about skinny monkeys.  This post is about cows on a sugar high.  They run around the pasture knocking things over, refuse to take a nap and then melt into tears in the middle of the grocery store, attracting disapproving stares from all the other shoppers whose cows would never do such a thing.

You know who you are.  Try getting your cows to settle down after they’ve been fed a steady diet of gummy worms.

I am not making this up. 

The Orlando Sentinel reports that desperate cattle ranchers are feeding their cattle “cookies, gummy worms, marshmallows, fruit loops, orange peels, even dried cranberries.”  The nation’s drought has dried up the corn crop so that feed costs have skyrocketed and corn-based feed is sometimes not available at any price.  So, the cattle are being fed castoff candy. 

Doesn’t sound healthy, you say?   Well, neither is the corn.  Corn-based feed is used to fatten them up because of all the starch and sugar.  So, farmers are just finding other sources of bad calories to feed their herds.

Some high-falutin’ analysis is called for here.  But, it’s early and the high-falutin’ analyst is still asleep.  So, you’re stuck with me.

First off, I live in Texas.  Y’all don’t know drought.  We have been in drought for three or more years.  Our best chance for precipitation is to coat high school football teams in hydrogen and oxygen atoms and hope that big hits will fuse them into water.  Concussions are a small price to pay for a shower after the game.

The high-falutinest point, though, is the irony of the situation which is apparently lost on one rancher quoted in the story.  This cattle businessman points out that because cattle are ruminant animals, with a four-chamber stomach, they can eat things humans consider garbage. 

That’s the whole reason cattle were domesticated to begin with, thousands of years ago, long before gummy worms.  Cattle were a source of dense protein, but the animal’s tough gut enabled it to eat things like fibrous grasses that humans just couldn’t gnaw down and digest.  Cattle did not compete with humans for food, so they were low maintenance protein factories. 

Modern humans, though, could not leave well enough alone and now cattle compete with us for the corn that is in everything we eat.  In this newest outrage, they’re taking our gummy worms and marshmallows.

Soon, cowmandos will parachute into Manhattan, kidnap Michael Bloomberg and demand large sugary drinks.

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