April 23, 2020

PT 2: Farmer becomes a cowboy

As tends to happen in life, things turn out differently than planned. Rather than becoming a trapper, Jaap becomes a farmer. Just like his father, his grandfather, and no less than six Korteweg generations before him. Driving his tractor, however, he sometimes still pretends to be that heroic pioneer from the prairies. He’ll aim his finger at a muskrat and whisper ‘Pang’, but his killing days are over. Just like ‘Old Shatterhand’, Jaap often contemplates right and wrong, good and bad.

Then one day, there is an outbreak of swine fever. Watching those endless images of dead pigs on TV, Jaap decides this animal misery must end. Animals that are free: GOOD; animals chained or killed by humans: BAD. The time to fish or cut bait is now, so Jaap and brother Niko, whom he meets by chance, come up with a ruse. Animals are slaughtered simply because people don’t want to live without meat. But what if they were to build a machine that makes that same meat, skipping the whole misery part? And that’s how The Vegetarian Butcher was born.

The farmer has become a cowboy. A rebel with a cause, kicking up a row, waking snakes – turning the status quo upside down. A new type of cattleman. One who doesn’t have a horse, but an electric car with a 449 horsepower rating that can drive like the devil. This cowboy avant la lettre refuses to catch animals, instead, he builds machines so he can release them from their chains. And afterwards, he’ll lead the cattle back to the prairie where they can roam freely.

Thanks to his first machine, killing animals for meat becomes unnecessary. So far, so good. But this vegetarian cowboy has become aware of other sufferings: cows stowed away for their milk, calves separated from their mothers, chickens caged for their eggs. Ho now! That first machine alone won’t do; these two defenders of what’s right start looking for reinforcements.

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