Grazing the Net
Greg Henderson and Friends
Our editors spend some time roaming the web looking for stuff cattle people and others in agriculture might find useful or entertaining.
Pig Tattoos: Art or Abuse?
May 27, 2014
We had some experience with hogs in our youth, enough to assure you that a hog will not like being tattooed. We know that with certainty, even before we read about Andy Feehan who was working on his master of fine arts in 1977 and decided his project would be, "The Tattooed Pig as an Aesthetic Dialectic."
Let's just pause for a moment and try to absorb that title …… Yeah, didn't help us much either.
Feehan, in fact, did tattoo a pig, and said in a magazine article in 2000, "I wanted them to be art. I wanted them to have an unusual life of luxury, like a pet, like a precious weird animal in the circus of humanity." More recently, Wim Delvoye began tattooing pig skins, and then live pigs, establishing an "art farm" in Beijing, China, where pigs were raised exclusively to be tattooed with his artwork. After the pigs died their skins were sold as artwork, fetching as much as $100,000. Even as Delvoye's "art farm" saved pigs from the dinner platter, many saw his work as abuse. We just think it's strange.
Mexico Coach Bans Beef
Soccer never interested us. Kicking a dodge ball up and down a field seems trivial compared with American-invented sports. For instance, there's the oblong ball where players pile on the guy trying to carry it down the field. Or, the much smaller ball with no air that guys throw at other guys who are trying to hit it with a stick. Sporting preferences aside, the world's eyes will focus on Brazil this summer for soccer's World Cup, where Mexico's coach Miguel Herrera says he won't let his players eat beef leading up to the games. He's afraid steaks and burgers will cause his players to test positive for banned drugs, eliminating them from competition. The drug is clenbuterol, and the concern is apparently legitimate – if the beef is from Mexico. The U.S. and Europe ban clenbuterol in food-producing animals. The drug is a nonsteroidal anabolic and metabolism accelerator, and can increase lean meat production. Five Mexican players were banned in 2011 after testing positive for clenbuterol, but were reinstated after Mexican Football Federation and world soccer governing body FIFA considered the presence of clenbuterol in Mexican cattle a public health problem. Which is why we prefer American beef with our American sports.
Waiter, There's a Robot Making My Soup!
Be careful what you protest. That might be the advice fast-food companies have for workers demanding higher wages. Many of those companies are beginning to experiment with new technology that would eliminate many jobs in the coming years. "Faced with a $15 wage mandate, restaurants have to reduce the cost of service," according to an ad from Employment Policies Institute published last year. "That means fewer entry-level jobs and more automated alternatives -- even in the kitchen." Panera Bread spent $42 million developing a new automated service system, and announced last month that it plans to bring self-service ordering kiosks to all locations in the next three years. Chili's and Applebee's already have tablets on their tables, allowing diners to order and pay without interacting with human wait staff.
Cattle Feeding Margins Dip $31 Per Head
Cattle feeding margins dipped more than $31 per head lower last week to average $157. The loss in profitability was due to an average $1.86 per cwt. decrease in cash cattle prices, according to the Sterling Beef Profit Tracker.