The Mad Cowboy

by Jeanne

"…I really feel strongly that if were are going to deal with the problems that we have, whether they are health, environment, or the animal issues,we have to do it in this generation.  I believe that we are up against the wall, and that means we can’t take a pass, that we can’t say it’s up to somebody else, that somebody is in charge, that the government has somebody that is looking after the problem.

My message to people is that it’s up to you, right now, to get involved. And if you don’t, there may not be a future for our children and grandchildren… that all of those animals that we are killing, those animals are killing us.  This is about the absolute survival of the human species. That’s my message, and I will spread it as long as I have breath in my body."

                              — Howard Lyman, "Mad Cowboy:The Documentary

Lyman_uniter_adThe environmental story of Howard Lyman, a fourth generation cattle rancher turned policy activist, begins when he began investigated the use of chemicals in agriculture after developing a spinal tumor that nearly paralyzed him. Following the surgery he sold his farm, in 1983, and became a vegetarian, and a professional lobbyist for the Montana Farmers Union and the National Farmers Union, promoting the passage of the National Organic Standards Act. He is now dedicated to raising awareness through the propaganda of the beef and dairy industries all with the objective of educating the public that an animal-based diet as the primary cause of cancer, heart disease, and obesity in this country. 

His notoriety grew in 1996, was invited to appear on Oprah as part of a panel discussing Mad Cow disease, food production, and the rendering process. The discussion covered potential health risks from e-colii and mad cow disease.  Mr. Lyman revealed what many of us didn’t know such as that cows are being fed to cows.  We know the story from here.  Oprah was disgusted and vowed not to eat hamburger.  Next thing you know beef futures spiraled downward and the cattle industry was outraged and in turn decided that suing her and Mr. Lyman was the right action to take up.

The Mad Cowboy has written extensively in his subject expertise, essays, a book and also publishes a semi-monthly newsletter.  This week he launched a DVD documentary.  He’s direct and forthright.  His well-sourced and attributed content speaks for itself but he’s a one-man mission and he speaks clearly and loudly.

Image credit:  Winnipeg Vegetarian Association