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Don't Brand Ranching Families as Obsolete

June 13, 2002

"Ranchers Feeling the Heat" (June 8), about animal-rights activists and restaurant and grocery chains urging ranchers in the U.S. to stop the practice of branding their cattle because it is cruel to the cows, misses the obvious. These are beef cattle; their ultimate destination is dinner plates across America. Are restaurants and grocery stores going to eventually stop selling beef altogether?

Are the milking machines next? Will it be "humiliating" to the cows if we milk them? If you follow the logic of animal-rights activists, is their next step to eliminate beef and dairy products altogether? Of course, they do not provide solutions to the economics of their assertions. It is more important that, as a country, we work to preserve and protect the industries and practices that built this country into the great nation it is today.

Many of these ranch families have been working the land of this country longer than a lot of us have been here. This is a part of our culture. The stories about how branding day is a day to celebrate accomplishments, bring neighbors of all ages together, enjoy the outdoors and bring the family together underscore the importance of preserving something that has been done for generations.

Marice H. White

Costa Mesa

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I am having a problem with the fact that these ranchers associate good fun with wrestling a newborn calf to the ground and burning its skin with the branding iron. Not abuse? Try doing that with someone's dog or child, and see where you end up--probably in jail.

Laura Frisk

Encinitas

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