IT'S THE PITTS -- LEAST LOVABLE LIVESTOCK

by: Lee Pitts

Let me state right up front that I'm quite positive this column will be offensive to the folks who raise llamas, yaks, cats or ostriches, but please remember this is just one person's opinion and I was wrong one time and could be again. Please keep that in mind as I present Lovable Lee's Least Loved Livestock.

First we must define what falls under the umbrella when we speak of livestock. One of the definitions of livestock are those living things that can be raised profitably, which automatically eliminates chickens, camels, goldfish, cats and most of the time, cattle. I've never liked chickens as they are nothing more than tasteless walking soybeans. Camels aren't a big hit with me because I rode one once and found the ride far inferior to horseback riding. I can't imagine roping calves off a camel or turning back a wild cow on the loose. I have also heard that cattle will stampede at the sight of a camel, which is reason enough not to own one. I can't envision a goldfish enterprise being profitable because I once raised them in stock water tanks but the cows and horses kept swallowing up all the profit. As for cats, I'd have to say they come the closest to being an animal that I really don't care for.

We can eliminate many species from competition simply because I've never had any experience raising them, such as water buffalo, yaks, reindeer, Guinea pigs, deer and donkeys. One of the biggest regrets I have in life is that I've never raised donkeys, race horses or asses because I know we'd really get along. I too can be obstinate, hard to get along with, and I'm not very pretty either. I feel the same way about goats. Although I've never raised one I've always been impressed by goats and I think they have a great future cleaning up the messes left behind by the Inferior Department.

I've raised several species of poultry and the birds I liked the best were ducks. Ducklings are like lambs and are cuter than a covey of California cowgirls. I also find ducks decidedly delectable. Not so turkeys. They are dumber than a congress of politicians. I've been afraid of geese ever since one chased me around when I was a toddler. Ostriches were a real hot livestock species there for about 30 minutes but ostrich breeders went from selling them for $35,000 for a breeding pair to turning them loose on the highway hoping to collect on the insurance. The reason I don't love ostriches is because they'll peck at shiny objects. One time at a sale I was standing in the alley talking to someone when behind my back an ostrich reached over the fence and tried to take a big bite out of the top of my head, being the biggest shiny object around. Later on one did the same thing to the diamond ring on the auctioneer's finger while he was selling and it spooked him so bad he let go with a string of expletives that ruined his one-sale-career as an ostrich auctioneer.

Llamas were even hotter than ostriches before they cooled off but I've never been a big llama fan. That's because I tried to shear a couple when I was in high school and they darn near killed me. Then there was the time at a llama auction when a llama spit at me. I ducked so that most of it hit the lady behind me but enough got on me that I had to pay the cleaning fee for the tuxedo I'd rented for the sale. I also think of llamas as imports to this country and I tend to like my livestock made in America.

I hate to admit this but I really enjoyed raising hogs and if you don't like pork chops, ham and pork sausage you are missing a taste bud or two. But wild hogs are another matter. If pigs are the comedians of the barnyard then wild hogs are the big bullies. More than any other species, I think, domestication has sure improved hogs.

Of course, cattle and horses are the most lovable on my list but there is one kind of cattle I don't care for: dairy bulls. Talk about dangerous! But then I suppose I'd be in a bad mood too all the time if I never got to enjoy the pleasure of real sex and instead was “collected” by an A.I. technician. No wonder they hate people!

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