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Babes – And Adults – In the Woods
Wednesday, August 20, 2014 • Posted August 21, 2014

What do you think would happen, just hypothetically, if all the dairy cows and all the chickens that live on farms in the United States were suddenly kicked out to fend for themselves? I’ll tell you exactly what would happen – most of them would die within a week, and the rest would follow in short order. And the coyotes and bobcats and foxes would be so fat they couldn’t waddle.

That’s what the peta folks want, though. They think it’s rude to keep dairy cows and chickens cooped up on farms. Which makes you wonder what would happen if all the peta followers were suddenly kicked off their government programs and forced to fend for themselves. I think we should find out.

Pat Wentworth, who often sends me interesting stories, recently sent one about a peta protest in Toronto, or some such. The peta folks were all bundled up, because this happened in the winter, and they seemed to think dairy cows could somehow survive in such weather. One of them said that’s what would happen – if given enough time the cows could find stuff to eat. She also said caring for those cows is nature’s job.

Well. I got news. Nature takes care of dairy cows, but not by providing forage during the winter in Canada. Nature provides for those cows by putting them on dairy farms, and giving them dairy farmers, who build them nice, warm barns, and who feed them every day. That’s what nature does.

The peta folks aren’t all quite that naïve, however. Some of them seemed to realize the cows and chickens need help to get by. And they propose, according to one protestor who was interviewed by SUN News, that ‘sanctuary farms’ be set up, for the cows and chickens to live on, happily, of course, ever after. Or something.

When asked who would pay to run these santuary farms, the protestor claimed that if we shut down all the dairy farms, then the sanctuaries could be funded by the almond milk and rice milk industries. Yes.

Now, I happen to love milk (that comes from cows) and cheese (made from milk that comes from cows) and especially ice cream (made from cow’s milk). Unfortunately, I happen to be lactose intolerant. Actually, I’m intolerant of a lot of things, and lactose is one of them.

So I can’t drink cow’s milk, or eat cheese or ice cream made from it. And I’ve tried just about all the substitutes available, including rice milk and almond milk. And although I figured, before I tried them, that rice and almond milk would be pretty bad, I was wrong. They’re actually much worse than that. They’re repugnant.

So I’m thinking, as much as I’d like to like fake milk, the fact that I don’t probably means a lot of other lactose intolerant people don’t, too. So the rice and almond milk industries are probably not exactly raking it in with both hands, if you know what I mean.

Consequently, I seriously doubt those industries are going to be able to subsidize a bunch of cows and chickens who aren’t doing anything productive for society except fruiting all over the plains. And if they’re forced to subsidize them anyway, they’ll probably go under.

But peta folks, as incredibly illogical and unrealistic as they are, are probably not the dumbest people around. That title may belong to our illustrious congress and senate.

Another reader, Wade Herrington, sent me an email that contained a list of conversations between a certain Washington, D.C. airline ticket agent and various U.S. representatives, or in some cases their aids. At first I doubted the authenticity of these conversations, but then I recalled one of my favorite videos, in which congressperson Hank Johnson (D-Ga) hypothesized that, if the island of Guam becomes overpopulated, it might capsize. So these stories are probably true.

Bernie Sanders, a Vermont congressperson, got angry with the ticket agent, because he’d been booked into a hotel in Orlando without an ocean view. When told Orlando is in the middle of Florida, and therefore an ocean view is impossible there, Sanders said, “Don’t lie to me! I looked on the map, and Florida is a very thin state!”

Illinois congressperson Jan Schakowsky wanted to know how her plane could leave Detroit at 8:30 and arrive in Chicago at 8:33. When an explanation of time zones failed, she was told the plane went very fast. She was then satisfied.

Congressperson Carol Shea-Porter of New Hampshire asked for an aisle seat on her flight, so that her hair wouldn’t get mussed from sitting by a window. I honestly have a hard time even believing that one, but remember that Guam might capsize.

Senator Diane Feinstein called and wanted to fly to Pepsi-Cola, Florida, and wanted to know if she would have to take a little computer plane.

But my favorite was congressperson John Adler of New Jersey, who wanted to fly to Rhino, New York. The ticket agent couldn’t find it, and finally asked if Adler meant Buffalo. He said, “Whatever. I knew it was a big animal.”

Cow and chicken sanctuaries? Might not be such a bad idea. But we’d better put someone besides congress in charge of them, or the animals will starve to death . . .

Kendal Hemphill is an outdoor humor columnist and public speaker who never flies on computer planes. Write to him at

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