Adonis Diaries

Trip to Kab Elias (Lebanon): Or how to raise cows for milk?

Posted on: May 18, 2010

Trip to Kab Elias: Raising cows for milk? : May 18, 2010

Note: I opened a special category on my blog “Travel/Excursion” to collect all my trips stories.

My nephew Cedric and I started the trip to the Bekaa Valley around 7:45 am and we returned by 8:30 pm.  We took the mountainous road of Dhour el Chouweir-Tarshish- Zahlet.  Cedric was to call Lorice as we reached Chtoura to lead us to the farm land.

Destination was to Kab Elias, sort of about 7 miles south of Zahle.  I noted that the main entrance to the famous “vignard” (winery) KSARA was located on the highway.

The farm was actually a cow raising industry for milking cows; about 60 heads producing 1,000 liters of milk per day for 305 days a year.

A cow is not  productive for two months after it gives birth.  A cow gives birth about four times in its lifespan before its milk production is evaluated in the declining trend of less than 25 litres per day.

Increased illness frequency add to decision of making use of its meat.

A cow is milked twice a day using mechanical equipment,  once early morning and again around 4 pm. A milk and cheese factory picks up the milk production everyday in refrigerated trucks.

Beside injecting cows with medicines for infection of the mammals, the vagina, pulmonary diseases and four other ailments, cows are not much trouble.

Now, if you integrate the business vertically by establishing wholesale cow feed and an animal pharmacy then you can secure substantial profit.

Profit can be generated in many other venues:

First, by importing pedigree cows from Holland and selling them in Syria at a large profit margin.  Pedigree sheets come with names of the great grand father and mother cows. Heck, we the citizens in Lebanon do not enjoy the honor of such detailed pedigrees as German or Dutch cows.

Apparently, Lebanon and Syria forbid commerce in cows and this slight trouble is bypassed by intentional loose long borders with secondary roads (to illegal ports of exit) that circumvent stupid un-economical regulations.

Original Syrian and Lebanese cows are Not productive for the milking industry.

A second venue for increasing profit is by renting the space for horses: horse eat the same food and get along with cows.

I failed to ask if raising pigs with cows is a good idea: pigs are excellent in ramaging leftovers.  I guess collecting manure could be a good source for profit.

I got into thinking:  How about installing in-ground water jets directed toward the mammals as cows are eating before each milking?  Cows will be pleased, the milking would be facilitated with probable long-term increase in milk production, and the consumers will be satisfied with such promotional ads.

The main disadvantage is the stench.

I read that cow industries are major sources of CO2 production that are ruining our environment.  I also read that the Australian government is seriously thinking of destroying the one million wild camels because they generate an enormous amount of CO2.

There are not much you can do in a cow farm.

Time drags on and you feel like napping most of the day.

The weather is dry and your eyes are dry and reading becomes a difficult alternative to killing time.  In my case, it turned out to be a busy day: more than 40 people came by for one reason or another and had the luxury of listening and communicating with more people than I meet in months.  For example:

A group of American students dropped by at noon; they intended to taste wine at Kefraya, and then head on to visit Baalbek.  They were from Vermont, Boston, Jersey, Silver Spring (Maryland) and studying at the university of Alexandria in Egypt.  They are enrolled in Semitic courses (mainly Arabic and Hebrew).  I failed to investigate further whether they know that Aramaic is the root language for Arabic, Hebrew, and Syriac (still spoken by many minorities in Syria, Iraq, and Turkey).

I chatted with students at the Lebanese university in Fanar: they were not happy with the crowded climate of 300 students filling amphitheater. I learned also that private foyers or dormitories are also crowded: 11 girls in a single apartment with 4 bathrooms.

A relative of the family came by and talked politics; especially on municipal election in Kab Elias.  Kab Elias is the vastest town in the Bekaa Valley and has 55 thousand inhabitant with only 10,000 registered to vote and only 5,000 who voted.  He lost the election but considered himself a winner compared to the $two million spent by the contending list of candidates.

I learned about the Bete dog organization that receives donations from foreign organizations to caring for the 300 dogs in shelter.  Anyone interested in owning a dog from the association has to undergo strict interviews and expect to be inspected twice a year for the dog comfort environment.  There are many cases of violence on pets; for example, many cats lost an eye by youth targeting an eye for pleasure.

I got into talking with George; he is finishing his dissertation in Toulouse (France). George developed a software for handicapped individuals who can barely move a single finger.  A trackball is to be used and the QWERTY keyboard is displayed on the screen.

The handicapped person will point to a couple of characters and then a list of option names will be displayed to choose from.  George validated speed and accuracy of the software by experimenting with three subjects.  I blurted out that three candidates is not enough.  During the day, George was eating potatoes chips from a bowl and then, when he was satisfied he passed the bowl around and skipped me.

Cedric had the hardest task of the day: He sat for 8 hours interviewing volunteered candidates for the experiment in a hot tent and sitting on a thin cushion.  He barely had two short breaks to have a quick-lunch and then a cup of orange juice.  He ended up with a terrible back pain.

This interview was part of Joanna’s dissertation in London and she could Not do it from far away. Actually, Cedric and I ventured to Tripoli for another round of interviews a few weeks later.

I would suggest that the jury be reminded that the main controlling variable in the experiment was ultimate discomfort that subjects were subjected to in order to extracting valuable confessions.

Going on tangent on the two advantages of interesting stories:

First, novels that occasionally go tangent add spices and meat to the skeleton of mostly deja-vu stories; and

Second, going tangent is the trademark or main criteria of fun-loving cultures.

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adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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