On Sunday, September 18, 2023 some person or persons cut through the wire cages of a mink farm in Pennsylvania and released six to eight thousand minks that were bred for their fur. It is assumed animal rights activists freed the mink and released them upon the surrounding human populace who are being cautioned to not approach any escaped mink they may encounter as the animals are definitely not cuddly and they have no edible value.
This event has exacerbated the ongoing debate between friends of the animal world, who probably cannot afford mink coats, and entrepreneurs and rich people. One objection from the Free Mink Now crowd is the mink are slaughtered just for their pelts; their flesh does not appear on the dinner plates of people sporting the fur. Unlike cattle that provide food and whose hides are put to innumerable uses or hogs that provide bacon and whose hides provide footballs, mink are raised solely to be skinned. Perhaps if mink farmers could switch to some animal whose value did not lie in its outer covering alone, the environmentalists might not be so militant.
Such a prospect came to mind when I discovered multiple armadillo holes in Peg’s flower beds. What if instead of running over them on our roads or seeing them lying on their backs with their four paws sticking up in the air surrounding an empty beer can, we started ranching armadillos for sale? There would be many advantages over raising cattle or hogs. First of all, they are everywhere and they are free. They appear wherever insects and grubs appear and they feed and water themselves. It is true that the fences would need to be extended down about five feet and barbed wire will not hold them. But with a few solid pine slats they could be penned in. After all, they are as nearsighted as Mr. Magoo and only move about five miles per hour. They should be easy to recapture even if they escape.
And in some countries people hunt armadillos for food. One of my friends from Mexico got upset with me when I told him I had shot an armadillo that was digging up one of Peg’s flower beds. My friend told me his family like the meat and that those old wives tales about leprosy were greatly exaggerated. His stance reminded me of my dear departed father who grew up so poor his family ate practically anything, squirrels, opossums, raccoons you name it. If it moved, they ate it. If it didn’t, they used it for fertilizer.
So, I suggest we start a new agricultural industry based on armadillo scales. Forget mink. We could even call upon fancy French clothes designers to dress those stick-like models on the red carpet with armadillo “fur”. It could be the new rayon or plastic type covering. They could sell it as “Putting on one’s armor of righteousness” or whatever the patrons of Hobby Lobby are comfortable with.