April 2008
On the Edge of Common Sense


by Baxter Black, DVM
I must confess I like oil and I like factory farming
And I think factory health care is absolutely charming
And factory education lets us school the huddled masses
While Conoco and offshore rigs produce our natural gasses.

Factory transportation is a middle seat in coach
It’s soccer moms in minivans, the thrifty man’s approach.
If there ain’t no fancy Lear jet parked outside your bungalow
It still means you can pack your lunch and stand in line and go!

I love the pharmaceutical who’ve given us new life
From cancer cures to botox shots, reduced our stress and strife
And doubled up our life span, though you hear them cursed a lot
By the very ones whose world they’ve changed, I guess they just forgot?

Forgot all the coal they hate gave birth to industry
That heats our homes and gives us cars and opportunity
And jobs, and time to stop and rest, take respite from the toil.
We built a country, good and great, with blood and sweat and oil.

There’s some who sneer and denigrate what we call factory farming
Though we can feed the multitudes, they find it most alarming
“They’re using everything,” they say, “to make it more efficient
And cheaper for the common folks. Do they think they’re omniscient?

Folks, there’s nothing wrong with gardens or organic, we all know
The problem is most can’t afford food that costs so much to grow.

If the world was a perfect place, the ‘complaining’ crowd’s ideal
We’d have no impact on the earth, bananas with no peel,
Forests without clear cut tracts, factories without smoke,
No endless freeways, windmill farms, no global warming jokes.

But none of us, ‘specially farmers like the crowding and pollution
But with the help of oil and gas, there came a revolution
Where people could find work to live, and improve their situation
And farmers who could feed themselves, were asked to feed the nation.

And we who till and mine and build your malls and schools unending
Leave footprints with each concrete pour that take millennia in mending
The search to give us all good lives, and all…not just a few,
Should also strive to make our tracks lass harmful when we do.

So here we sit on God’s green earth, each one a worker bee
Contributing our own small part to have prosperity
And I for one am thankful what oil and factory farming gave
For if we’d stopped each time they whined, we’d still live in a cave!

Baxter Black is a former large animal veterinarian who can be followed nationwide through this column, National Public Radio, public appearances, television and also through his books, cds, videos and website, www.baxterblack.com.