Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Greener Pastures

Has anyone stopped to think of what the world would be like if the environmentalists were in charge? For a glimpse of our eco-future, look to America's farms, where tractors are being replaced by oxen. Yes, that's right: oxen, those large bovines, primarily steers (which are castrated bulls) that are taught to work and are often seen yoked together in pairs. On rare occasions, they come in blue and show up in tales about big lumberjacks. Oxen were once common on the American farm. But they've been replaced by tractors and other modern machinery. Rising fuel prices, however, are prompting some farmers to park their equipment and resort to animal labor just as their ancestors once did — and Third World farmers do now. A feel-good story in London's Daily Mail this week briefly chronicles the plight of a Wisconsin farm couple. Faced with "soaring petrol prices," they "took the bull by the horns" and dumped their "tractors, hay baler, plough and rotavator" in favor of oxen. They were taught how to farm with the plodding beasts by Dick Roosenberg, a "former peace core volunteer." And where did he learn the oxen trade? Africa. This appalling and tragic regression to a method used in destitute nations is the direct result of our government's energy policy. If, for whatever reasons, farmers want to return to employing oxen, or any other beast of burden, they are free to do so. But they should never be forced to because Washington is dismantling centuries of technological progress by rigging the energy market...more

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