73 Percent Of U.S. Livestock Show Signs Of Clinical Depression

In This Section

Vol 40 Issue 29

Some Sense Knocked Into Girlfriend's Son

ENOCHVILLE, NC—Stu Ayden knocked some sense into the thick skull of 9-year-old Jesse Wilkerson Monday night. "Since Jesse's real father is not around, it is sometimes necessary for another man, in this case Ayden, to step in as a male parent surrogate," said Dr. Frank Gillette, a child psychologist. "Jesse spilled half a glass of Hi-C fruit punch on the carpet of Ayden's mobile home, so as Jesse's mother's boyfriend, it was his responsibility to answer the behavior with a thorough ass-beating." When questioned by reporters, Ayden said he is glad to serve as Jesse's caretaker so long as his mama keeps payin' the rent.

Garroting Survivors Call For Wire Ban

WASHINGTON, DC—The nation's garroting survivors demonstrated outside the Capitol Monday, raising a hoarse but plaintive cry for a nationwide ban on potentially lethal wire. "Every year, dozens of people are severely injured or even killed by garroting," croaked Gerald Michaels, who still bears a necklace of scars from a 1997 telephone-cord-assisted mugging that nearly claimed his life. "This legacy of shame will continue until we eliminate the lethal wires that run through our homes, above our streets, and through our very way of life." Michaels recently accepted a $2 million grant from a coalition of sponsors that included Bluetooth and Cingular Wireless.

Area Man Bored With All The Porn He Owns

BREAUX BRIDGE, LA—Gil Peterson has grown tired of his current collection of sexually explicit videotapes, DVDs, and magazines, the 44-year-old delivery-truck driver said Monday. "I tried to rewatch Butt Fuck Sluts Go Nuts again, but it was so boring," Peterson said. "I mean, how many times can you watch the same set of twins double-team the black guy on the back of a motorcycle?" Peterson said he will have one more look at the tape, but can't promise he'll achieve orgasm.

Work Friends Calling Bill 'William'

BENBROOK, TX—Close friends and neighbors attending the backyard barbecue of Bill Hunkins were surprised to hear the host's coworkers call him "William," attendees reported Monday. "All these people kept saying, 'Mmm, this is delicious, William' and 'Hand me a beer, William,'" Hunkin's friend Bryan Koppe said. "It was so bizarre. Why weren't they calling him by his name? Were they trying to give him shit or something?" Koppe added that Hunkins once spent a semester answering to the nickname "El Pudd."

White House Declares War On DSL Provider

WASHINGTON, DC—The Bush Administration is awaiting congressional approval for an official act of war against high-speed DSL service provider Qwest, White House officials confirmed Tuesday. "After two weeks of trying to peaceably resolve our differences with Qwest, we have decided that this poor customer service will not stand," Bush said in a televised address. "I waited in the Oval Office all day for the technician to show up, and then, when I called them to find out where he was, I was transferred to another phone rep and got disconnected. We will begin bombarding them with tersely worded e-mails as early as next week." This marks the third time Bush has declared war this month, following conflicts with DIRECTV and the Potomac Electric Power Company.

Chimps In Danger Of Extinction

Researchers recently said that the chimpanzee, hunted for meat and threatened by deforestation, could be extinct in 50 years. What do you think?
End Of Section
  • More News
TV Listings
Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Race Relations


73 Percent Of U.S. Livestock Show Signs Of Clinical Depression

WASHINGTON, DC—According to a joint study conducted by the FDA and the Department of Agriculture, nearly three out of four members of the U.S. livestock population show signs of clinical depression, with the vast majority of cases going untreated, government officials said Monday.

Edgar, WI resident 521, one of the nation's many depression sufferers.

"The FDA is charged with the task of preventing potentially disastrous outbreaks of disease within the U.S. livestock population," said Henry Wolcott, Assistant Undersecretary of Agriculture, Psychiatric Division. "I'm afraid that, in this case, our intervention came too late. Our study shows that 73 percent of U.S. cattle, goats, sheep, and swine suffer from serious psychiatric problems."

Signs of clinical depression discovered by the researchers include severe listlessness, lack of motivation, and a flattening of emotional affect marked by glazed eyes and slow movements.

"Everyone is concerned about mad cow disease or the bird flu," Wolcott said. "What the average person fails to appreciate, however, is that mental disorders can be just as debilitating as physical ones. If you look into these animals' eyes, you can see the blank gaze of hopelessness and despair."

"It's tragic," Walcott added. "It's no kind of life, not for man or beast."

Walcott said that millions of animals across the nation while away the hours unproductively, not moving until forced to do so by an outside factor, such as a farmhand or a milking machine.

"Most of the cows we examined barely had the energy to drag themselves from the barn out to the field," Walcott said. "Once in the field, they tended to spend most of their time quietly brooding and chewing cud, showing little to no willingness to communicate with their herd-member peers. Their depression was so debilitating that they needed to be coaxed out of inactivity through the use of hollering, physical force, and, in extreme cases, trained dogs."

The study also noted the average U.S. cow's tendency to emit low, mournful moans.

Walcott said that the majority of sheep studied rarely moved during the day, opting instead to stand in one place, often avoiding sunlight and acting only when the food supply in the immediate area was depleted.

"Like many undiagnosed depression sufferers, it seems that a lot of U.S. livestock escape the emotional emptiness of their lives by overeating," Walcott said. "Most appear to care nothing about their personal appearance. And, as any ranch-hand who has ever shoveled manure can tell you, they make only limited effort to keep their physical surroundings in order."

Dr. Theodore Nelson, author of The Slow Slaughter: Growing Up Livestock In An Uncaring World, has made combating bovine ennui his personal mission.

"Sadly, much of our nation's livestock feel they have no future," Nelson said. "They see life as short, brutal, and bereft of purpose. They may appear to be functioning normally—eating feed, producing milk, and generating high volumes of fertilizer—but inside, many are just waiting to die."

In his book, Nelson calls for a federal program to provide Selective Livestock Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors to animals in need.

"The signs that these animals are depressed were right in front of us, but too many of us in the food sciences were blinded by narrow-minded agricultural orthodoxy to see them," Nelson said. "But we can't think this problem will be solved through medication alone. Cattle have to learn to believe in themselves. They've got to see themselves as more than walking hunks of meat or they'll never get better."

The government's report also contained preliminary data suggesting a rate as high as 95 percent for severe anxiety disorder among U.S. poultry.

Next Story

Onion Video

Watch More