Good intentions gone awry

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If your heart is healthy enough, Google the words: Global Roundtable for Sustainable Beef. If this wonderful little effort does not make your head explode, survivors may want to make comments on the proposal. This is all brought to us by NCBA, Walmart, McDonalds, JBS and the World Wildlife Fund among others. I suspect that the document was written in Denver because it reads like they were smoking something that has recently become legal in Colorado. Sounding like the boy scout pledge, we are to be socially responsible, environmentally sound and economically viable.

In order to be socially responsible we are to protect human rights in accordance with the United Nations’ guiding principles on business and human rights. You can be sure that there is no Second Amendment at the UN. Evidently they didn’t ask any Ukrainians to be part of the discussion as they might have pointed out the dismal record the UN has at protecting people’s rights. We are also instructed to respect the cultural heritage of all parties throughout the value chain. When Nelson Story pointed his trail herd north from Texas in 1866 I am certain he made a similar request of his cowboys. Hard to know if they had a value chain handy.

According to the GRSB, we are to ensure all cattle are free of pain, injury and disease. I have not done a very good job of avoiding pain in my own life and I have no idea how to make sure the cows never experience pain. Looks like NCBA has now come out against vaccination, castration, pulling calves, branding, wolves, bulls fighting and blizzards. The next line promises that we should address any of these problems when identified. There seems to be a bit of a contradiction to banish pain in the first sentence then ask you to fix it in the next. In our world we might have to lance an abscess with a pocket knife to save a calf. In the brave new world of GRSB we provide bliss to the cows, except when we identify that proper bliss isn’t occurring. We should never inflict suffering but pain will always be with every living animal.

Adam Smith might suggest that we let the market provide the direction to what we produce but GRSB wants to have multi-stakeholder engagement and collaboration. These great schemes have a way of ending badly. Chairman Mao had the Program for Agriculture Development. In 1960 China exported 2.72 million tons of grain. Unfortunately, 36 million Chinese starved to death between 1958 and 1962. It’s bad enough that NCBA has run off with our check-off dollars. Now NCBA wants to create socialist utopias where we have continuous improvement. I don’t think we are going to enjoy whats for dinner. F