Tuesday, August 29, 2006

A Camel in the Tent

I was on the phone, ostensibly about a bulk wheat order. The lady I was talking with is fairly new to having goats and at some point as we were talking about feed stores and the like, she said, “All meat goat pellets have antibiotics in them.”

“No they don’t,” I said.

“Yes they do,” she said. “That stuff for coccidiosis.”

So the next Saturday not long before noon, I bellied up to the bar of a local feed store. “’Bout time for you all to go home for the day, ain’t it?” Some small talk ensued and people who had been sitting waiting for it to be time to go home got up in order to not be sitting there with a customer in the store.

“What can I get for you today?” said my favorite (& vaguely cute in an age appropriate way) guy at this particular establishment.

“I’ll take 200 corn and 100 pig please.”

“That be all?”

“Yep, that’s what I want to buy. (pause) But I was wondering, what exactly does the pig mix have in it?”

“It’s 60% ground corn and 40% pig supplement,” he said.

“Oooookay, what’s in the pig supplement? And I’ll tell you why I ask. I’m in an argument with someone who believes that it is all medicated.”

“No, no medication in it,” he says. “Medication costs more.”

“And the beef mix?”

“No medication. I‘ll get you the little sheet on all of them.”

“Goat pellets?”

“Nope.”

Truth is, I already knew all this. For one thing, medication costs more money than feed, so if you are buying the cheap feed, chances are it isn’t medicated. In the same sort of way that the cheapest food is the best for you (bulk dried beans, rice, potatoes in a 50# sack). But I was looking to be able to prove what I knew so I gathered all the nutritional information tags I could find. No medication in any of it. The only thing I do use that does routinely contain medication is chick starter, which you use for about 12 weeks, max.

But it never hurts to prove to yourself the truth of what you know.

What still stumps me is why would someone believe that all commercial feeds for meat animals are medicated? That probably isn’t a good question because it calls into question another’s motivations. But the fact remains that they are touting and living as if something that isn’t true is true, and I believe they find some thrill in doing that, in being afraid of a ghost that isn‘t there. I believe that that sort of vague and falsely attributed and amorphous fear is the basis of a whole lot of what is wrong with the world.

2 comments:

madcapmum said...

Could be that she was assured most solemnly by some feed salesman that all feed is medicated. I've been in that position before, and if I hadn't gone to more than one source, I'd still be believing the nonsense. (It wasn't about feed in my case, of course!)

But then the question becomes why are people content with one viewpoint and so goshdarn incurious?

the Contrary Goddess said...

Actually, she was mad at the feed store man because he told her she should just feed her milk goats any old goat rations which she considers meat goat rations since so many meat goats are raised around here (and so few milk goats). At least that's how I understood it, which you and I very well know, is not a full understanding and thus mistaken in any case.