The Dalles To the editor:
Reading Ms. Lutje’s letter of 3/11/14, it‘s clear she has no idea of what‘s involved in getting a good steak to her table. She has a business far removed from ranching. Most cattle sold for slaughter in this part of the country are humanely killed, because inhumane treatment would affect the meat quality the ranchers try hard to insure so that we may all enjoy a good meal.
Her idea of a pack of wolves running loose in ranch country is naive. Example: What would happen if she and her dog out for a walk met a pack of dogs, each weighing 100-150 pounds, who decided her dog was appetizing? Just one dog can be fierce, let alone a pack, and a wolf pack can pull a full-grown cow down in minutes, just as they would the dog. Would she stand by, shrug her shoulders, and say, “This is nature“? Her idea that domestic dogs “evolved” from wolves, so they are equal, is a joke. Wolves are wild, big, vicious, mean and very cunning. I wouldn’t want to meet one on open range. Someone in another article stated that “campers and hikers wanted to hear the howl of the wolf in the wild.” Yes, hearing that, especially up close, could certainly give someone the chills.
From the time a calf is born until full size, it takes time, food and effort to have a healthy animal that even qualifies for market readiness for eating. Mr. Nash does have valid concerns about his herds. His ranch covers a large area, the cattle are spread out over many acres so it’s not possible to watch all of them all the time — even if he’s out checking every day. True, not all the cattle die by wolves, there are other predators, too, like coyotes. They’re smaller, but a pack of them can be deadly for calves.
She insinuates that cattle aren’t very smart, so someone who spends much time with them can’t be that smart, either. Do you know that modern cattlemen have college degrees in agriculture, animal husbandry, technology, bookkeeping, literature, etc? They also probably grew up learning the practical ins and outs of cattle raising from the time they were born. It takes a capable person to successfully run a ranch, especially now.
Think about that the next time you enjoy a steak, buttercup.