When Animal Lovers Eat Their Own (Ep. 292)

A quick word about last week’s episode of Dirty Jobs, and this week’s podcast. Both feature a woman named Stacey Shumacher.

Like everyone she employs at TCAP, (Texas Coalition for Animal Protection), Stacey wants to do something about the 6.3 million animals currently in shelters around the country, and the million or so unwanted strays that are euthanized every year. That number is way too high. Scandalously high, in my view, and I wanted to highlight her efforts to make things better. It’s also why she’s my guest on the first podcast of 2023.

Full disclosure, I didn’t want to talk to Stacey simply because she loves animals, or because she and her team have spayed and neutered over 670,000 cats – an excellent mission which I completely support. I wanted to talk to her because unlike a lot of self-proclaimed animal lovers, Stacey Schumacher also owns and operates a ranch, with her husband, Scott. And as a rancher, Stacey is keenly interested in helping people understand where their food comes from, and what it takes to get the steak on the table. This makes Stacey a person I think you should know.

There’s a widely held belief – especially among members of animal rights organizations – that farmers and ranchers can’t be animal lovers. I know I’m generalizing here, and I apologize to anyone in any of those organizations who believe otherwise. I mean no offense. But from what I’ve seen, farmers and ranchers are routinely targeted by animal rights groups. Certainly, there are instances where I think the targeting is justified, and we discuss that in this episode. But most of the farmers and ranchers I’ve met over the years care deeply about the animal kingdom – including the animals they raise for food. Very few, however, also run an organization like TCAP. For that reason, I wanted to have a more in-depth conversation with Stacey, and I’m glad I did. If you share my love of dogs and cats, along with my addiction to chewing and swallowing things, you’re gonna love this episode.