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Andi Elliott: Questions

January 18th, 2011 by Halli

By Andi Elliott

It’s been almost ten years now since we moved to Idaho and I’ve learned why we have ditches that are dry most of the year and that the river running through the valley is not just a tributary. Even with 60 horses to feed growing up, I’d never seen “ton bales”. And to watch “spud harvest” is simply an incredible experience.

Still, I have some unanswered questions. I see horses seeking cover from subzero winds behind sagebrush that barely comes up to their forearms. When the wind shifts, they too shift…tail to the wind and noses drooping towards the snow. There are bales of straw stacked by the pasture yet the horses are without any windbreak. Why?

And why would you put a horse in a pen the size of a stall and leave it standing in its manure for years and with no shelter from the bitter wind and cold or blazing sun? And why do I see dairy calves confined to small pens knee deep in feces when there is a dry area available? Does this make them more valuable?

And then there are folks who chain a female dog and, as my cousin says, “allow every male dog that wanders by to rape her” and then, not provide proper food and shelter for her and the puppies. Why?

As I watch some of my neighbors work continuously to care for their animals I wonder why the “uncaring” lack a sense of shame… especially knowing neighbors are watching.

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