I enjoy stories where animal rights radicalism conflicts with radical environmentalism. We appear to have such a case here. Apparently fuel prices are making it increasingly hard for farmers to make a profit (undoubtedly true), so they have resorted to using oxen to plow the fields. From the story:
When farmers Danielle and Matt Boerson realised they could no longer afford to run their tractors, they took the bull by the horns – and ditched them for oxen. Soaring petrol prices had become so high that the couple, who run an 80-acre farm near Madison, Wisconsin, were forced to get rid of their two tractors, hay baler, plough and rotavator. So they took a course at the agricultural institute in traditional farming techniques. ‘It gave me the confidence that, yes, I could do this’, Danielle told the Times. ‘It just required a lot of concentration and a firm voice.’ Their instructor was former peace core volunteer Dick Roosenberg, 64, who learned the trade while working for the UN in West Africa. He took the skills he had honed back to Michigan and set up Tillers International.
And therein lies a huge problem: Using domesticated animals instrumentally is slavery to the animal rights believer! But if we don’t have sky high fuel prices to reduce consumption, the earth will burn! Rights of animals vs. rights of the planet. It’s enough to make an anti human exceptionalist’s head explode. I know. We’ll make evil oil company executives drag the plows.