“The blow to the joy of producing”: the sad story of a producer from Chaco after animals were slaughtered
“The blow to the joy of producing”. That was the title that María Fogar de Gullar chose for a letter that he published on social networks, after six animals were butchered on Saturday morning in the field that his family owns in Machagai, Chaco.
The letter begins with a description of how was the arrival of their immigrant relatives, when they decided to come from Italy to Argentina. “In 1875, a ship departed from Genoa that in its hold carried immigrants from the city of Goritzia, located in northern Italy, close to what is now Slovenia. They landed directly in Avellaneda, province of Santa Fe, which was the limit of the territory occupied by the blue and white flag”, begins his story.
“With the mancera plow and a quartet of donkeys, they worked these virgin lands, working more than 12 hours a day. The grandfather, who was then just a child, drove a yoke of oxen, cinching the cachapé of the local muleteer; Y With this he obtained ten cents a day, which was enough to buy a daily kilo of flour. They were heats equal to those of now, without light, without roads and offered only to divine protection. But when it got dark, the family gathered and happily enjoyed the day, in which each one had watered with sweat and fertilized the hope for the future of Argentina that had already taken over the Italian hearts “he continues.
The woman then describes when her relatives sets out for the neighboring province of Chaco. “In 1914 they emigrated to the Chaco, where the hopes of a promising future behind the cotton bud were reborn. Who speaks to you, your sisters and brothers bent their waist collecting that white gold, in the fierce summers of Quito. Now the circumstances led us to become ranchers and again the joy of producing, of seeing the cow give birth and raise her calf. To attend with the bottle, day by day, to the little calf that was orphaned by its mother. From the annual branding and gelding rodeo. The barbecue shared with the Creole and native laborers, with the neighbors who come together to help and toast with early gin”, he relates.
His writing gets hard, he begins to describe how the routine of the ranchers in the area changed due to the crimes of cattle rustling. “Suddenly, the most important tasks stopped being those of treating the calves, vaccinating the cows, deworming them, giving vitamins to the weakest. Now the most important task is the night tour with searchlights. It is not sleeping and being attentive to the criminals who circulate through the fields cutting fences, shooting at rodeos. Lassoing calves and dragging them. Or slaughtering them in the fields and appropriating the meat, which they then reduce with the complicit butchers”, regrets.
“My husband and my son became night watchmen. Me waiting for them to come back, with that fear that nothing will happen to them and they won’t do anything crazy, it’s not life anymore. All the neighbors, when called, go out at any time to defend the little that each one has and it costs so much to maintain. It was Saturday and I think God didn’t want them to meet, because perhaps today we would be crying something much uglier. Everyone in the area suffered robberies and each time they increase; there is no Justice, they rob them while their owners are at home, with total impunity. On Sunday my son returned with the sinister photos of six calves with their throats cut, butchered in the field, Add.
Finally, Fogar points out that “It is not only the blow of lost calves, but the blow to hope and the joy of producing”. “To that joy that my grandparents and my parents always maintained. Long faces and serious faces, heads looking at the floor. Startled dreams. Excuse my complaints and let me express my pains and fears. It is the anguish of a wife and mother of livestock producers. We just want to produce with joy”, finish your letter.