Cliven Bundy’s Cows Are Starving To Death Because He’s A Greedy Jackass

Because he was such a greedy prick that decided that profiting was more important than smart conservation and management of resources, Cliven Bundy’s herd of cows is rumored to be facing starvation:

 “Since the early 1990s, cattle have been left to fend for themselves in the desert after Cliven Bundy, a private rancher, lost his privilege to graze on federal public lands that belong to all Americans. This once-small herd of around 150 animals has grown to hundreds or more over the course of 20+ years and now badly exceeds the ability of the land to feed and nourish them. They range over an immense area about half the size of the state of Rhode Island. While the area is large, it only receives about 4 inches of precipitation a year and vegetation is very sparse.”

Once upon a time, the west was wild and cattle ranchers let their cows do whatever the hell they wanted. And what cows want to do is eat. And eat. And keep eating until there’s nothing left. This is called “overgrazing,” and it’s really REALLY bad for both the land and the cows. If you eat all the grass, it stops growing and the dirt blows away (Think “Dust Bowl”). And then it takes a very long time (if ever) for the grass to come back which means the cows go hungry.

The ranchers, being all rugged and individualistic, originally thought that they could keep a handle on it. After all, the ranchers knew that overgrazing was bad so they would have an incentive to conserve the commons.

But then the ranchers learned that even though people as a group were smart enough to conserve, there was always individual assholes that would take advantage of the situation. They would let their herd graze an area to death’s door and then move on to do it somewhere else, getting rich off of hogging the resources that was supposed to be shared by everyone.

Enter the Bureau of Land Management. These awful evil big government types exist to keep the aforementioned assholes in check. What bastards!

Of course, this infuriates people like Bundy who only see dollar signs and to hell with everyone else:

Rob Mrowka, a senior scientist with the center, said by phone that Bundy had given up his grazing rights in 1993 and simply let his cows loose to reproduce, leading to the situation where hundreds are starving now.

….

Normally areas of the range are rotated for grazing, with periods of rest to let it grow back, but Mrowka said the cattle “are there 24/7, 365 days.

This is why Bundy was forever letting his cows go onto public land to eat OUR grass for free. Why worry about keeping your own land in good condition when you can make money by stealing the resources (grass is a staple food source for cows, making it a resource) from the public?

In the process, Bundy is destroying the habitat of the endangered desert tortoise, but so what? He was making a hefty amount of money and that’s all that mattered to him.

This sense of entitlement and narcissism is why he’s rotting in jail and will probably be there for the rest of his life. So sad.

Meanwhile, now we have to deal with his starving cows before they actually start to die. Letting them suffer is unconscionable. We just have to hope that no one starts shooting at the federal agents that go to round them up before it’s too late.


Featured image of a random starving cow via Getty