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Our Bovine Cousins

The following letter was published in The Globe and Mail during the crisis that crippled Canada's large beef export industry after a cow in Alberta was found to have bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or "mad cow disease," in the spring of 2003.

Our bovine cousins

Thursday, August 14, 2003 - Page A14

Winnipeg -- Call me a disloyal Canadian. I care about the livelihood of farmers, but I care about the lives of cattle even more.

When I hear phrases like "kill capacity" roll off the tongues of so many good Canadians without so much as a quiver of shame or regret, I grieve for the state of our country's conscience. Solidarity with farmers and ranchers, by all means.  Mercy for our bovine cousins, how can we deny it?

Some livelihoods are better not pursued.

Syd Baumel


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