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Willie helps free Bessie


Willie Nelson, who turns 75 this month, is not just a country star, but a rock star in the realm of green causes. He’s already championed biodiesel on many occasions and has his own line of fuel called BioWillie. In fact, a Texas truck stop selling his biofuel and ethanol is set to open this summer. 

Willie was just voted the number two greenest musician by Billboard Magazine in their (all together now) green issue. (Number one was Jack Johnson, and rounding out the top ten were usual suspects KT Tunstall, Radiohead, and Dave Matthews Band, as well as lesser mentioned acts like Serj Tankian and Missy Higgins.)  And now he’s sticking up for mistreated dairy cattle: On March 28, Willie sent a letter to Land O Lakes President Chris Policinski, to urge him to stop the abuse of baby cows used to make Land O Lakes dairy products.

Willie’s letter accompanies a petition from the Animal Legal Defense Fund entitled “Free Baby Mendes,” after the Mendes Calf Ranch which some of Land O Lakes’ suppliers use.

“As a cowboy, I must stand up for cows,” writes my main man Willie.

Here’s more from the letter:

It’s a tragedy to see the small-town farmer, who cared deeply for his backyard animals, is rapidly being edged out by huge facilities that look more like factories than farms--and treat animals no better than machines.

That’s why I’ve joined more than 20,000 other concerned Americans in signing the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s petition urging you to please take action to stop the abuse of thousands of baby cows linked to Land O’ Lakes dairy products.

Some of your suppliers use California’s Mendes Calf Ranch to house the calves of their milking cows. These babies are taken from their mothers soon after birth and shipped away to live by themselves for extended periods in cramped, filthy crates--often without enough room to turn around or lie down naturally.

See the rest of Willie’s plea, and add your name to the list of more than 24,000 who have already signed the petition