The National Animal Identification System is a new plan being proposed by the USDA. While it purports to “enable 48-hour traceback of the movements of any diseased or exposed animal”, there are many alarming implications of the plan:
- Farmers will have to have GPS monitoring on their farms and electronic ID of every animal. They will have to pay for all of this chipping and monitoring, driving up their costs and dramatically increasing the cost of food at the market and the grocery store. Small farmers and homesteaders who simply raise their own food will risk heavy non-compliance fines if they do not purchase the expensive equipment or will be driven out of business. Yes, the USDA is offering up to 14.3 million dollars in funding to aid with the first phase of compliance – but that is not nearly enough to cover the costs to register all of the facilities in this country.
- The NAIS plan also covers animals that are raised for purposes other than food, such as llamas and horses. This is in direct contradiction to the stated goals.
If the government really wants to implement new legislation to protect consumers, they might address: the importation of animals from outside the US and the unhealthy but still legal practices in factory farms such as housing many animals together in small spaces, giving them lots of antibiotics, and feeding animal waste and slaughterhouse byproducts back to animals. It is these practices that will allow for the rapid spread of diseases such as bird flu (and other super-germs) and mad cow disease.
For a more in depth look at the implications of NAIS, please read Walter’s excellent Sugar Mountain Farm blog. Then, and most importantly, please help spread the word about this harmful legislation! Write a letter to the editor of your local paper. Write to your local and federal representatives and senators. Like much of the more sinister legislation that is being proposed, the backers of NAIS are trying to get it passed without any media coverage or public comment.
Note that the NAIS is a Federal plan that has not been passed yet. Wisconsin has already passed similar legislation. We must speak up before this becomes a nation-wide law.
Editor’s Note: Walter Jeffries has established a website to keep up with NAIS-related information around the country.
About the only thing I have found I dislike about Montpelier is the amount of dog doo left lying about. There is less and less grass area were we can safely walk our dogs without having to worry about any of us treading in something. And these aren’t small dogs either. Sometimes I wonder if someone is secretly housing an elephant in town. From what I have heard it gets worse as winter goes on, and that come mud season the melting snow revels more than just crocuses.
It is not only gross, it is illegal. Below is the information from Section 8-210 [PDF] entitled “DEFECATION.”
(a) The person in control of any dog which defecates in a public park, walkway, sidewalk, street, public way, playground, cemetery, school grounds, state property or on private property shall remove such material immediately and dispose of it in a sanitary manner. This provision shall not apply to private property used without objection of the property owner or to off-trail, wooded areas of public parks.
A month ago we were yellled at by one business person because he was fed up with people’s dogs crapping on the property. At the time I was picking up after someone else’s dog, but any attempt I made to explain this to the person fell on deaf ears—and blind eyes since I was obviously picking up a mess and not abandoning one. But I understand his frustrations.
Since that event I have made an effort to have a baggie in view as I wander around mumbling “go potty” to my companions, simply because I hate the looks of those people who also are fed up with the messes left behind in Mont-poo-lier.
This morning as we were climbing the escalator at the Silver Spring Metro stop we encountered something we see a lot around these parts this time of year: tourists. And as tourists are wont to do in our fair city, they were standing on the left side of the escalator. People who know me, know I have no love for the “tourons,” but I am a reasonable person, and know that local customs are unlikely to be known outside of the area. As I passed the visitors, I said to the adult male, “It is local practice to stand to the right so that others can walk on the left.” A woman in front of me turned around and said “Yeah!” and I told her that they couldn’t know, and it’s not like there are signs.
We continued to the platform to wait for a train and a few seconds later the tourist I spoke to, and his 2 pre-teen daughters, walked near us and I smiled at them. The gentleman said “sorry, we’re not from around here.” I replied “I assumed as much, which is why I was trying to be nice and let you know before you got downtown and someone wasn’t so nice.”
What he said next stunned me.
“You weren’t nice.”
“Excuse me?” I said. “The woman in front of me may not have been nice, but I believe I was very polite,” and I repeated exactly what I said to him. He nodded, but it seemed to me that what I was saying was going in one ear and out the other.
All the while, his daughters scowled at me.
I could have easily titled this “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t,” but I am trying very hard to stay positive.
I’d like to start this post by saying how much I appreciate people who want to be parents. You see, to me, parenthood is something like being a doctor, police officer, or waste disposal technician (or perhaps a bit of all three). I have a lot of respect for people who choose to be parents. I believe good parents make an invaluable and underrated contribution to our society. I just wouldn’t want to be a parent myself.
And that’s because: Once you have a kid, it’s like going camping every day. Every day! Did we pack the diapers? The two extra changes of clothes? Rain gear? Sun gear? Wipes, lotions, ointment? Bottles, snacks, juice? Toys, blankets, shoes, hat and mittens? Can we even fit the baby in the stroller with all that other stuff?
End of summer? No. Beginning of autumn? Nope.
Bug season. More specifically, cricket season.
I am sure many of you are thinking “What the heck is cricket season, you mad freak?” Well, cricket season is that time of year when crickets who live outside start to wiggle their way inside. Once inside, they proceed to rub their wings together at the most inopportune times—such as when you are trying to sleep!
Last night we were taunted by one particularly loud bugger who was well protected by the radiator. After about 10 minutes of trying to find him we gave up and dragged our cranky asses to the futon, defeated and exhausted.
It is hard to blame the stupid little insects though. Apparently they are able to tune themselves out!
Wish we could the same.
However, since we can’t, we are going to make the cricket a little cocktail.