Just call this Irish farmer "Big Mac"

Posted by wolfhound at 6/20/2009 9:43 PM EDT

In every field of human endeavor, there are those for whom "good" is just not good enough.

Like the drug companies that work around the clock to quickly change their best-selling headache pill into one that doesn't cause an immediate eyeball explosion, so even the humble farrmer can rise above the rest of the crowd. And when he does, it is only right that his efforts are recognized.

And so it is with both Irish pride and gratitude that Wolfie salutes an old cattle rancher from (pardon me if my spelling is slightly innacurate) County Awfully, whose little patch of heaven has just been named a "flagship farm" by McDonald's. (Maybe it'll be renamed "Old McDonald's Farm! Ha, ha! But I digress...)

You've got to do a lot more than keep the stalls clean of, er, cow stuff, to qualify for this Nobel-like prize. Amateurs need not apply!

McDonald's points out that some of its honorees have installed water beds and foot baths for their cows, and planted trees to improve the view from the slaughterhouse. Our winner from Awfully -- whose name Wolfie is withholding pending notification of kin -- has even studied the sleeping habits of his herd, noting in a scientific study soon to be published in the prestigious academic journal "Meat," that different bedding is needed in winter. No "mad cows" here!

Of course, like "death and taxes" (Note: Cows do NOT pay taxes, even in Ireland.) these four-legged hamburgers can't spend their entire lives lounging around the spa and sipping Margaritas. There's work to be done, and thanks to his ingenuity and love of animals, this farmer's cows are in tip-top shape for their next (and last) assignment.

Old McDonald, or whatever his name is, does it just as you'd expect -- by the book:

* Animals are herded into holding pens.
* Animals are rendered insensible (unconscious) by stunning (method varies).
* Animals are hung by hind legs on processing line.
* A main artery is cut, the animal's blood drains out and it dies.
* Animal's hide/skin ripped off.
* Carcass is cut apart and the body parts separated.
* Meat cuts are quickly chilled to prevent the growth of deadly microorganisms and to reduce meat deterioration while the meat awaits distribution.
* The remaining carcass may be further processed to extract any residual traces of meat, usually termed "mechanically recovered meat," which may be used for human or animal consumption.

Next stop: Your tummy! Maybe even with a supersized order of those pre-salted fries or a tasty "milk" shake that's so thick you'll need a pair of pliers to drink it! Mmmm-mmmm!

And that's really the moment that Old McDonald, or whoever, has been waiting for: The happy look that comes across a hungry tot's face when he bites into the fried flesh of a freshly slaughtered cow who, only a week or so before, had been living the good life in Awfully!

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