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Old 06-13-2008, 09:45 AM   #211
FlagRS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DR. Rock

About a half a mile along the road past the compound, we pass some cattle, they scatter, and I see this one twitching, and foaming at the mouth.

B. Ride back to the ranch buildings, and try to find someone and tell them about the sick cow.
"B" ?
Great Report Doc!
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Old 06-13-2008, 11:50 AM   #212
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Ride back FTW, but I did chuckle at the big stick idea.
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Old 06-13-2008, 01:28 PM   #213
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If I were going on a trip like that I'de probably have a gun, I'm suprised you don't. Going out in places like that there are probably druggies around, among other things...
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Old 06-13-2008, 01:54 PM   #214
kl Richard
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Wink It's Obvious, course I'm no Dr....

C. Ride on.

The cow's probably Rabid, and you haven't got the fuel to spare!!!!

I see your still crushing the Jim Beam bottles.....No leaks YET????

Great story, keep writing!!
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Old 06-13-2008, 01:58 PM   #215
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This is one your best pics....Skywise!!!


A group of us NSDSC'ers traveled under Skies like that last night.
Only a few drops of rain though, did you folks fare as well?

Great Story....Keep writing

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Old 06-13-2008, 02:05 PM   #216
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I'd pick C. (But I hope you picked A so there'd be less chance it ended up in my next burger )
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Old 06-13-2008, 06:29 PM   #217
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Dung lung in the making

While on the Great Divide trail last summer I came across lots of cattle, out there they seem to know to use the
road for a potty. I suppose that makes sense, we would be unlikely to crap in our fridges. But what came to mind
was the dust, which from the quantity of cows probably consists of 99% dried dung. From that thought, came
the fear that we ADV'ers will, later in life be diagnosed with some rare lung disease. DUNG LUNG !!!!
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Old 06-13-2008, 10:20 PM   #218
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Great ride report, I just read it start to finish. Makes me a bit nervous about spending 12 days on my Dizzer...I haven't planned on tools and replacements for the chain...I may need to make a quick trip to the m'cycle store tomorrow before I leave on Monday.

Keep it coming!
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Old 06-14-2008, 04:06 AM   #219
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I have been following your report with gusto but now find myself having to cross into Canada and will miss out for the next 6 to 7 days...

I look forward to getting caught up when I hit Alaska!

Tell LDF for me.
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Old 06-14-2008, 07:11 PM   #220
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DR. Rock
We passed through a ranch. I don't mean the open land, well, that too. What I mean is that the road passed through a cluster of buildings... the house, the shed, a barn, a yard, a shop, another building.

We didn't see any people, but it looked well kept and habited. There was a pen with some horses, a couple of vehicles, two big tanks one labeled "Diesel" and the other "Unleaded". Even though we weren't trespassing, (we were on a public road), I didn't stop to take any photos, because it felt like we were invading through someone's personal space.

About a half a mile along the road past the compound, we pass some cattle, they scatter, and I see this one twitching, and foaming at the mouth.



It had obviously been seizing there awhile, the dirt around its legs and head was swept as if it had been making a snow-angel. It's eyes were glazed over, and it while didn't seem conscious, it was painful to watch. I think through my options:

A. Put the beast out of its misery ASAP. (How? I don't know... a big stick?)
B. Ride back to the ranch buildings, and try to find someone and tell them about the sick cow.
C. Ride on.

Hope you pick A, I can't stand to see an animal suffer.

If you've got a knife, stand behind it and slit it's throat.
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Old 06-15-2008, 11:27 AM   #221
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Survey says....

there doesn't seem to be a consensus, does there?

I've given this alot of thought subsequently. My answer at the time was C. and I'm sticking to it.

This was my logic: Option A: definitely had it's appeal. except for two things, first someone owned this cow, and even though it's in a bad way, they might get pissed if I just went bashing its head in, or slitting its throat. After it's dead, it's just my word that it actually was suffering. And maybe a vet or something would be able to take a blood sample to make a diagnosis which would have to be done while it was still alive. Second, there were the logistics of killing a large animal with bare hands, or available tools. Rabies definitely crossed my mind, and I literally didn't want to get splattered with blood or cow spit, or kicked, or even get too close.

And no, we don't have a gun... they're more trouble than they're worth IMO. YMMV. Plus, sound carries out here, and there probably isn't a better way of attracting attention than firing a gun.

Another consideration with option A is that the cow didn't seem awake or aware, which begs the question of whether suffering can exist without consciousness. A rock can't suffer, a healthy cow can, presumably, so what about this cow? My conclusion was that the majority of suffering was on our part having to watch it. Plus, it's an animal, and one that I eat no less. If I'm not losing sleep about being a carnivore, should this animal's suffering be my primary concern given the circumstances? Some would argue not only should it be my concern, but I should be a vegetarian as well. Ain't gonna happen, yet Karma's a bitch.

Now, if this had been a wild animal, like an antelope, I would have acted differently... I wouldn't have been messing with someone else's property. On the other hand, if it was a wild animal, I could say, "look, stuff dies all the time in the wild, it may not be pretty, but it's normal. It can play both ways.

Rather than finding a sick animal, if I was directly responsible for a wild animal's injured condition... say I collided with it, or even the situation with the pronghorn antelope getting stuck in the barbwire fence, then I would take responsibility for fixing the situation, even if it meant ending that animal's suffering, provided it didn't put me in harm's way.

But in this case; a sick, unconscious domesticated animal owned by a stranger in the middle of nowhere, Option A is out.

So how about option B?

Well, if I had collided with the cow, I'd definitely go back and man-up to my responsibility. Or if the animal was not a sick cow, but rather a sick dog, I'd go back and say "you've got a sick dog up ahead that needs some attention". But standing there looking at that cow, I had a flash of paranoia, and self-preservation instincts kicked in pretty hard.

Here's what went through my mind. Realizing that I don't know squat about ranching, I have no idea what the economic implications are for a rancher who has a sick cow. Obviously this cow shouldn't go to slaughter, but what happens to the rest of the heard? Quarantine? Lost income? Big expenses? Does this need to get reported to the FDA? Is someone keeping track of these animals... their pedigree, when they're born, when and how they die? How much accountability and/or corruption is there in that system if it exists at all? I had no clue.

Times are tough... if I had seen several people at the compound, a friendly wave returned, a group of workers, etc... I'd have gone back without hesitation. But I had a vision of parking the bike in the front yard, and knocking on doors, or honking the horn to get the attention of an individual who might (?) have a big financial interest in making the cow problem "go away", including us, without any witnesses. The two links are to relevant news items, FWIW.

This may be an irrational fear of the unknown, but out in the middle of nowhere, with no one knowing our whereabouts, it would be just too easy for us to disappear without a trace.

Getting involved might put us in harm's way. That was a low, but ultimately unquantifiable risk I was unwilling to take.

We rode on.

Regarding the public health concerns, and should we have notified someone at the next town, for instance... I wouldn't even know where to begin with that. I felt that the cow would eventually be discovered by someone driving up that road. The road was essentially the driveway to the ranch compound, so I didn't think they needed help discovering it... that discovery would happen eventually, and probably soon. There were fresh tire tracks in the dirt after all, and it was easily visible from the road.

I've since tried to educate myself, but all I have to go by are google links to blogs, mostly supporting veganism, and a few NYTimes articles recently published about the Westland/Halmark Meat, Chino, CA, Humane Society video and subsequent recall.
March 8 '08 article.
May 21 '08 article.
June 11 '08 article.

Does anyone with real life ranching / cattle experience have any insights into how the system is supposed to work for "downer" cattle situations like this?
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Old 06-15-2008, 11:49 AM   #222
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Wild horses

Moving again, we came upon a group of wild horses



who ran alongside us long enough for me to get the camera out and snap a couple frames...





They were simply beautiful to watch run. What a treat.
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Old 06-15-2008, 11:52 AM   #223
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The riding difficulty bumped up another small notch, which it seems to do pretty consistently the further along the TAT you go:



But look! A photo of me riding! Someone's getting comfortable riding and shooting photos!

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Old 06-15-2008, 11:57 AM   #224
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It always seemed to be raining somewhere.



We were making good time, passing through open range, and fields set off with barbed wire:



A structural ruin of some sort. Maybe ancient Roman? Why this building was here I have no idea.

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DR. Rock screwed with this post 06-15-2008 at 12:38 PM
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Old 06-15-2008, 12:37 PM   #225
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Cattle guards

A little ways on, we entered a section with barbed wire on both sides of the road. Little did we realize at the time the ambush / trap we were waltzing into...



You could say, what's the big deal... a cow get's past a cattle guard. This is my take on it:

As if to express their displeasure with how I handled the downer cow, the angry Gods sent down this Minotaur, obviously placed within the barbed wire labryinth, (intentionally, I'm sure) smack in our path.



This was no ordinary cow... this was a Sacred Bull of mythologic proportions. Maybe Angus...? the thing was huge, and mean, and mad... snorting and lunging, then it would back up a few feet, but it had nowhere to go except for the road... it was fenced out.

"The classic Grecian Minotaur appeared in Picasso’s art between 1933-1937. Picasso uses the myth of the Minotaur to illustrate the loss of raw and natural balance in the world around him."

So I thought to myself... "What would Picasso do?"





Well, that's not particularly helpful.



One thought was for us to both charge at the same time... figuring the beast couldn't take us both out at once, consequently at least one would get through.

Instead, I started to notice that it would spin and turn to face whichever bike rev'ed it's engine. So my plan was while it was facing the left of the road, I would gun it and race around its back side, causing it to spin around to the right, and then LDF would take off on the left side. Or maybe she went first, and I went second. We both remember it differently, now.

We're both still here, so whatever we did, it worked.
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