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Home / Opinion / Letters to the Editor / Bundy and his fellow ranchers are living on government welfare

Bundy and his fellow ranchers are living on government welfare

It’s perversely ironic for rancher Cliven Bundy to excoriate poor people for collecting government subsidies, while ripping off the federal government of a million dollars in grazing fees. But, even if he were to pay up, Bundy and his fellow ranchers, would still be living on government welfare.

Livestock grazing is subsidized by federal agencies on 270 million acres of public land in 11 Western states to the tune of nearly $300 million annually. Monthly grazing fees per cow and calf on private rangeland average $11.90, but corresponding fees on federal lands are set at a paltry $1.35.

Even so, grazing subsidies are dwarfed by other government subsidies and the medical, environmental, and other external costs imposed on society by animal agriculture. These extra costs have been estimated at $414 billion annually, or $3,600 per household.

Each of us can make our $3,600 annual contribution to the common good by replacing animal products in our diet with the rich variety of grain, nut, and soy-based meat and dairy alternatives in our neighborhood supermarket.

— Armando Reed lives in Phoenix

One comment

  1. Government welfare supported by the GOP?

    Now that the media along with the Fox Hannity crew and Arizona legislators have left Bundy-ville and left the story, the residents of the town are faced with out of state roaming armed vigilante militia living along their highways, setting up check-points and scaring the local residents, which is also harming business.

    What if these were roaming brown or black vigilantes with guns?

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