I grew up outside of Grandview, Washington. My home was about 11 miles north of Mabton, now the source of the first suspected case of mad cow disease in the U.S. So I’ve been listening to the various NPR stories about the situation fairly intently. This is, after all, the biggest news to hit the Lower Yakima Valley since the Virgin Mary was spotted on the back of a street sign in Sunnyside.

After hearing and reading a number of reports, I noticed that there were several inconsistencies in the facts, at least as far as I understood them. The inconsistencies weren’t being addressed. It was reported that the infected cow was a “downer” (classy term, by the way), so it was sidetracked at the slaughter house. But it was a dairy cow, and would therefore not have been used for meat. Then at one point, part of the slaughtering process was described; the cow’s brain and spinal cord were removed and disposed of before the rest of the cow was processed. One glance at the Yakima Herald-Republic resolved everything: “[Washington State Deputy Director of Agriculture] Brookreson said ‘downer’ cows can legally be sold for human consumption and that Holsteins, primarily a dairy cow, are typically made into hamburger.”

Got it. Cows is cows.

Categorized as Before


  1. Hmm. I think you missed the national acclaim for the lighted farm implement parade a few years ago. One of the cable networks covered it again this year, too.

    In the meantime, local TV reporters spent yesterday wandering around Mabton looking for someone who knew something. Nobody did. Most of their interviews were conducted in the tavern.

  2. Interesting! We are watching the local news and they now identify the dairy. Then I read the Yakima Herald artilce which you linked and it quotes the owner of a certain dairy who yesterday said “I’ve talked to everyone and no one knows anything.”

    Name was the same.

  3. Here we get the “hyped up media version” of everything going on…but we miss out on all the “interviews”! Our papers say that they won’t release the name of the dairy, wondering if it is anyone I know…interest has already died off here… I imagine it is big news in Washington state. It is a good day to be a vegetarian!! Hope you had a Merry Christmas Jeff!

  4. Yeah, I think eating food thats been sitting in manure for several months is way greater than eating cows of which one in a billion has mad cow disease. At least cows just occasionally step in it than sit in it all day long.

    It’s uhh still alright to be a carnivore. My cat is too.

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