TSA Relaxes Carrion Rules

Unknownby Karen Topakian

In a surprising rule change, the Transportation Services Administration (TSA) will now allows its passengers to carry on carrion. The rule change resulted from a heated battle with hunters who never trusted their dressed mammals with baggage handlers.

“When I come back from a 7 day hunting trip in remote Alaska, I want to make sure my moose arrives in one piece,” said Ralph “Hawk-Eye” Lupkowski. “Last fall, only the legs and organs arrived on the baggage carousel. I’m still waiting for my antlers.”

Before September 11, 2001, airplane passengers were allowed to carry on as many rotting animal carcasses as would fit in the overhead compartment.

National hunting rights organizations, Ducks, Trout and Whitetails Unlimited, filed the lawsuit, when TSA first required all carrion to be placed in checked baggage.

“You let the vegetarians bring on excessively large rutabagas which could be used as weapons but hunters can’t bring on decomposing flesh?” asked Robin Raven, the attorney representing The Ruffed Grouse Society and the National Wild Turkey Federation in amicus briefs.

TSA spokesperson Wyatt Berp admitted that the hunters wore them down, “To be honest, we were tired of people with bigger guns yelling at us. We tried to explain the difference between a small personal item and a bag of bones, but they just couldn’t see the difference.”

All carrion must be packed in 1-quart zip lock bags and treated like all other carry on items.

“Since airlines don’t offer free meals, now we can chew on an animal cadaver on the cross country trip,” said Dick Snout, President of G.N.A.W. (Guys Noshing on Animals and Wildlife).

The National Association of Flight Attendants and PETA opposed the ruling.


Norwegian Bovines Side with Beauvoir

by Karen Topakian

Last week, the online writing site Red Room asked its members and authors to submit a blog. Addressing whether we agreed with Simone de Beauvoir when she wrote: “I wish that every human life might be pure, transparent freedom,” or with her lifelong partner Jean Paul-Sartre’s assessment that we’re “condemned to be free”?

I wrestled with the topic for a few moments.

Immediately, coming up with bad song lyrics about freedom. As in the Tom Petty song Refugee. “Everybody’s had to fight to be free.” Or Kris Kristofferson’s famous line sung by Janis Joplin, “Freedom’s just another word for nothin left to lose.”

Then my mind wandered to the Monty Python sketch where two British housewives Mrs. Premise and Mrs. Conclusion sit in a laundromat arguing about Jean Paul Sartre’s master work. They paddle to Paris on a block of wood in search of Sartre and find Simone at home sweeping up a messy apartment. Complaining about the profusion of propaganda pamphlets, which a goat chews on noisily.

None of this seemed worthy of the Red Room’s request.

I forgot about the contest until I saw this week’s headline in e! Science News, “Cows. More freedom may mean less milk.”

Cows, those blocky bovines that spend 20 hours out of the day chewing, behave differently when free of the shackles of tie-stall barns. So says a Norwegian study reported in Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica.

As of 2004, the government of Norway forbid the building of new tie-stall barns. A study of their performance and health shows that in small herds (fewer than 27 cows), they produced less milk but in herds of 45 cows or more, free stall cows produced more milk.

“In free-stalls fertility was better, calving interval shorter, and the incidence rate of teat injuries, ketosis, indigestions, anoestrus and cystic ovaries was lower than in tie-stalls. All of these factors were more favorable in estimated 50-cow herds as compared to 20-cow herds. In the larger herd category, bulk milk somatic cell counts were higher, and the incidence rate of mastitis (all cases) and all diseases was lower,” says Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica.

Imagine. When you untie these herds their lives improve. Their sexual activity increases, they are sick less often and they produce more milk.

The Red Room should have asked these Norwegian cows to write the blog. I know they would agree with their fellow female Simone.