Nature photography, political rants, and Martyman laughs from the ten-time award-winning author of "Cool Creatures, Hot Planet," "Endangered Edens," and the "Time Is Irreverent" series.

If dogs were cows

Marty’s photo of the day #2254: Ever since I was a kid, on my grandfather’s farm, I’ve loved cows. That being said, the reckless practice of raising cows on public lands needs to go away. For just $1.87 per cow a month, “ranchers” can let their cows roam and get fat on lands you and I own. Range cows are environmentally destructive, and are one of the main reasons people can’t drink directly out of remote streams anymore.

As for this cow: Last weekend, Deb and I were sitting on the porch of our Forest Service rental cabin, when a herd of forty range cows moved in, like locusts. I leaned over from the edge of our porch to take this photo. While one half of me enjoyed the cows (hey, it’s not their fault), the other half of me seethed at the damage these cows created on both public and private lands.

Imagine if you lived in the country and had dogs that would go over to your neighbor’s and steal chickens and cats and spread garbage everywhere. Then, when your neighbors complained, you could just say, “They’re allowed to do that. They’re ‘range dogs.’”

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