Amish Into Deer "Farming"
Say God Tells
By Don Jordan
Amish Sell Horses To Meat Buyers
Are the Amish the main force behind the pressure to get Indiana to declare wildlife as livestock?* No, but the money they make from selling deer as if they were livestock is bad for everybody, except the Amish and the canned hunting "game preserves" where a rich guy from, say, Chicago, can blast the deer of his choice for $10,000 or more.
Are the Amish as a group a threat to wildlife, specifically to our wild deer through their habit of "deer farming?" Maybe, but there are plenty of "English" who are in their pushing for legalized canned hunting and the sale of "shooter bucks" to these fake hunting operations too.
It turns out that 50 percent or more of the "farmers" who raise deer to be sold to canned hunting operations in Indiana are in fact Amish. Anyone who attended one of the canned hunting study commission meetings would note that a large percentage of every audience was Amish men.
"They are very intimidating, all sitting out there in their big black hats," one observer told me.
Amish deer farmers have been pushing to have deer declared as "livestock" under Indiana law. This would transfer regulation of deer farms and canning hunting businesses from the Indiana Dept. Of Natural Resources to the Indiana State Board of Animal Health. In case you haven't followed the naming and renaming of various state departments, the ISBOAH is the direct descent of the old Indiana State Board of Health. That former agency was all but in the pocket of Indiana agricultural interests, and there is no reason to believe the new name has changed the leopard's spots.
NPR recently aired a talk segment about puppy mills in Pennsylvania, many operated by Amish and Mennonites. These people kept dogs and puppies in wire rabbit hutches, stacked on top of each other so that urine and feces fell through the top to the dog below. That is just one of the digusting facts reported.
Locally, we have all welcomed Amish settlers to southern Indiana, and the rate of settlement has increased. I notice it in Greene County where Amish have moved into farms as they have come on the market. We like seeing their buggies and horses and admire their work ethic.
But, the number one result of increased Amish settlement is the loss of woodlots. Yep, in their industrious and self reliant lifestyle, trees are lumber, and the woods are the first thing to go, at least in some places where I formerly hunted and fished. Many a good mushroom woods is now pasture.
For the most part, we see Amish as honorable and peace-loving neighbors, but we need to understand how people of this religion/lifestyle view wildlife before writing them a free pass on any environmental or wildlife issue.
One comment submitted to the DNR from an northern Indiana Amish deer farmer made it clear: "God put these animals on Earth for me to do what I want with them."
Clearly the non-Amish Hoosiers involved in these disgusting businesses have a similar belief. It all boils down to having no respect for nature and the natural world.
One thing for sure is that I will never look upon the Amish with the same respect I formerly harbored for their ways and way of life. The rest of us shouldn't either. When it comes to taking orders from God, anybody can make that claim, and Indiana's wildlife doesn't belong to the Amish or any another religious or political group. They keep trying though, and that's why we have to keep watching all these deer "farmers" and canned hunting operations.
p.s. I just received this from a source in northern Indiana, concerning Amish sale of horses for slaughter:
The Amish horse auctions do not allow cameras ... they are particularly brutal in handling methods.
At the Shipshewana, Ind. Horse Auction on March 23, 2008 Good Fridayour rescue wanted to buy a team of Belgian draft horses. They went to auction beautifully groomed and obviously had been well loved and cared for. They were protecting each other from other terrified horses squeezed into the direct-to-slaughter pen. It was obvious that the meat buyer wanted them for their muscle and weight. We wanted them to become part of our 100% totally volunteer rescue. They would have had permanent homes with us and been loved and cared for, not resold. We could not beat the price of the meat buyer.
Nancy Brent, Broken Road Rescue, Bath, Mich.