There's been a shortage of "food" animal veterinarians... It's a problem that the livestock industries have been trying to combat for years. This growing trend has spurred individual states to dedicate funds meant to encourage more interest in the field of "food"-animal science. And even at the national level, Congress recently passed legislation that will provide $1.5 billion in competitive grants for increasing veterinary school infrastructure.
A young man asked me what I thought about his decision to become a veterinarian - and if I thought "food" animal "science" was a worthy field.
Well, you can imagine how pleased I was to help guide his decisions. I had to ask him "why would anyone wish to be a "livestock" vet" anyway? One has to travel to remote places, handle potentially dangerous large animals under questionable conditions... They must risk exposure to an array of deadly zoonotic pathogens, viruses and diseases. Manure lagoons and rotting carcasses would be encountered daily.
Livestock vets must frequently enter enclosed buildings saturated with urine/feces/vomit smells... They must witness and inspect caged creatures with little room to even move around. All for the sake of keeping an animal, an animal "unit", a herd, barn, or warehouse full of beings "healthy" enough to make it to be slaughtered in the end. It sounds very disgusting and depressing to me... I told him being a vet for animal agriculture sounded like a nasty job and it pays little in comparison. Much better to be an independent domestic, small animal "pet" vet. You could open your own practice. You get to wear nice clothes, work in comfortable surroundings in close proximity to all the conveniences. It's more sanitary and physically safer. It's much more pleasant to work with other happy people in a luxurious, climate controlled building. Your patients are truly loved and cared for. Your patients aren't "production commodities" destined for the slaughterhouse in the near future. You are actually saving lives to live. Not saving lives to just to kill. Really, being a "livestock" vet sounds like slumming it to me... I think he was grateful for this information and for the Vegan literature he also received. Ain't life grand?http://www.cattlenetwork.com/Content.asp?ContentID=271542