MCMINNVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - High gas prices have driven a Warren County farmer and his sons to hitch a tractor rake to a pair of mules to gather hay from their fields. T.R. Raymond bought Dolly and Molly at the Dixon mule sale last year. Son Danny Raymond trained them and also modified the tractor rake so the mules could pull it.
T.R. Raymond says the mules are slower than a petroleum-powered tractor, but there are benefits.
"This fuel's so high, you can't afford it," he said. "We can feed these mules cheaper than we can buy fuel. That's the truth."
And Danny Raymond says he just likes using the mules around the farm....
Jhawk44 wrote: Think of the public health nightmare 300million+ horses pooping everywhere would cause...
You said it. It is because of the marching bands walking through all of that *, that they started putting horses at the end of parades. Also, Think of trying emission reduction in that situation. I mean, where and how would hook up the catalytic converter?
I would have to learn to ride a horse before I could even use the option. Imagine all the custom horses we would see on the roads too. A realistic option might be to open up the passenger trains around the nation and bring back the street cars and trollies. In theory cars would be used less as we could drive to the station from home and then further in to the major cities by train, much like the bigger cities with subways do today. Carriages could easily be used within the cities themselves, and I've got another idea: Rickshaws!
Historically, equine transport had its hazards too: careless pedestrians got trampled, & riders died from horses rearing & other accidents (that's why dude ranches advise guests to wear helmets). Plus there's the manure problem, & since cattle are often blamed by greenhouse fanatics for excessive methane, horses are equally censurable here. And there are a lot more people now than in the pre-auto era.
This guy really has something here. As someone very familiar with the Lancaster County Pa. Amish and Old Order Mennonites, I am always fascinated watching these farmers plough with Belgian draft horses and mules. The animals seem happy, the farmer seems more relaxed and they tell me that pulling a stuck object out of snow and mud is a lot better done with a couple of massive, strong equines than it is with rolling wheels powered by an engine. As a fan of Victorian England portrayals on TV and in movies, I think that I might like to see horse cabs and carriages back on the streets. There would be a lot less automobile trafic deaths, less teenage pregnancy (at least in winter), less need for chemical lawn fertilizer (the real manure would be readily available) and the "clippity clop" would have an aesthetic appeal to romantic types such as myself. We would all slow down and live longer, women would wear long dresses again to preserve modesty getting in and out of carriages and perhaps gentlemen would return to assist ladies in and out of the same. We could even return to a "shotgun rider" to maintain law and order to the passengers and cargo. Pollution would go down there would be new jobs for immigrants (picking up after the horses and mules). I say "go for it" !