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Cattle Mutilations are Mostly Explained by Natural Biological Phenomenon

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Debate details
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Category
Science
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Three days
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One week
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Contender
Description
THBT: Cattle Mutilations are Mostly Explained by Natural Biological Phenomenon
This debate was prompted an AP Story last week regarding the July discovery of 5 bull corpses in Eastern Oregon.
https://www.apnews.com/3db8829a222e45b08ed93834f792e9c5
DEFINITIONS:
CATTLE MUTILATION is "the killing and mutilation of cattle under unusual, usually bloodless and anomalous circumstances. Worldwide, sheep, horses, goats, pigs, rabbits, cats, dogs, bison, deer and elk have been reported mutilated with similar bloodless excisions; often an ear, eyeball, jaw flesh, tongue, lymph nodes, genitals and rectum are removed."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cattle_mutilation
MOSTLY [adverb] is "mainly or chiefly; for the most part; usually, generally, on the whole."
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/mostly
EXPLAINED [verb] is the simple past tense of
EXPLAIN [verb] is "To make plain, manifest, or intelligible; to clear of obscurity; to illustrate the meaning of"
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/explain#English
NATURAL [adjective] is "existing in or caused by nature; not made or caused by humankind."
https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/natural
BIOLOGICAL [adjective] is of or relating to
BIOLOGY [noun] is "the living organisms of a particular region" (In this case, ordinary plant and animal activities as distinct from human or alien activity)
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/biology
PHENOMENON [noun] is a "thing or being, event or process, perceptible through senses; or a fact or occurrence thereof"
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/phenomenon
BURDEN of PROOF
Burden of Proof is shared. However, any extraordinary claims (aliens, cultists, cryptids, etc.) should be supported by evidence of extraordinary quality and quantity.
PRO will show that cattle mutilations are mostly just misinterpretations of ordinary biological processes.
CON will show that cattle mutilations are mostly perpetrated by some human or alien activity.
PRO is requesting sincere and friendly engagement on this subject.
No trolls or kritiks, please.
- RULES --
1. Forfeit=auto loss
2. Sources may be merely linked in debate as long as citations are listed in comments
3. No new args in R3
4. For all relevant terms, individuals should use commonplace understandings that fit within the rational context of this resolution and debate
Round 1
Published:
Thx, XenonSG for accepting this debate

THBT: Cattle Mutilations are Mostly Explained by Natural Biological Phenomenon

I. The Cattle

  • Every so often the media picks up on reports of unusual cattle deaths, last week's AP story is fairly typical:
"There was no indication it had been shot, attacked by predators or eaten poisonous plants.  The animal’s sex organs and tongue had been removed. All the blood was gone.  In the next few days, four more Hereford bulls were found within 1.5 miles (2.5 kilometers) in the same condition.  There were no tracks around the carcasses."
"Their innards gone. Tongues sliced out. Udders carefully removed. Facial skin sliced and gone. Eyes cored away. Not a single track surrounding the carcasses, which were found in pastures locked behind two gates and a mile from any road. Not a drop of blood on the ground or even on the remaining skin."
"The wounds,” Glenda whispered. “They look, well — surgical.”

Chuck didn’t respond. But as he peered closer, he could see that she was right. On both animals, the eyes had been carefully removed. Other wounds on what was left of the carcasses were precise, small, and yes, seemingly surgical — where internal organs had been excised. And the tongues had both been taken — cleanly, via perfectly straight incisions, far back in the throat.

And that wasn’t even the worst part “There isn’t any blood,” Glenda said, her voice trembling."
  • The similarities are strikingly suggestive:
    • clean, even "surgically" neat wounds
    • drained of blood, little or no blood in proximity
    • missing tongues
    • missing genitals and/or anus
    • missing one eye or ear
    • missing organs
    • no footprints or tire tracks in vicinity
  • The FBI estimates more than 10,000 reports of similar cattle deaths since 1968.
II.  The Culprits

  • Perhaps because of the corpses' strange appearance, these incidences are often attributed to sensational causes.
    • Aliens
    • Cults (often Satanic)
    • Cryptids (Chupacabra, famously)
    • The Military (US and otherwise)
    • Other Deep State Operatives (CIA, Black Helicopters, etc)
  • Sometimes, ordinary human intervention is suggested.
    • Some dead cows attributed attributed to cattle mutilation have been shown to be human caused but in these cases the corpses are typically fresher and the cause of death more apparent.
      • For example, the San Luis Valley Range War provoked a lot of cattle mutilation talk, but the cattle examined were shot or had their throats slit.
III. The Cops

  • Cows are generally worth thousands of dollars each and when cattle die under suspicious circumstances, the police are typically called in to investigate.
  • Thousands of dead cows suggest at least hundreds of investigations by a wide range of law enforcement agencies but if any human has found guilty for  the death of a cow in the circumstances generally described as a mutilation, this debater finds no indication.
  • State investigations have been carried out by at least three states:
    • Colorado
    • New Mexico
    • Minnesota
  •  In 1979, The FBI conducted an investigation under FBI agent Kenneth Rommel whose 300 page finding concluded:
"that mutilations were predominantly the result of natural predation, but that some contained anomalies that could not be accounted for by conventional wisdom. The FBI was unable to identify any individuals responsible for the mutilations."
IV.  The Cause

  • PRO contends that all when faced with multiple possible explanations for a phenomena the simplest hypothesis is also the most likely to be true. Wikipedia explains the principle of Ockham's razor as the hypothesis "that requires the smallest number of assumptions is usually correct. Another way of saying it is that the more assumptions you have to make, the more unlikely an explanation."
  • PRO contends that consistent with the majority of scientific and law enforcement findings, the condition of dead cattle characterized as mutilated is well explained by a variety of natural causes and processes.

    • clean, even "surgically" neat wounds
      • Incisions are caused by predators or most scavengers.  Fox teeth can duplicate the effect of pinking sheers.  Small birds and insects tend to clean the ragged edges of wounds and leave surprising neat wounds.
      • After these, dehydration and bloat stretch the incision until the wound take on a clean, "lasered" appearance.  (Indeed, PRO has personally noted a high correlation between reports of mutilation and very hot weather.  The five bulls in Oregon died during a string of 90+ degree days in late July)
    • drained of blood, little or no blood in proximity
      • The blood of dead mammals coagulates rapidly as it cools and in the absence of the heart's pump quickly drains to the lowest point.  Even 20 minutes after death a new incision won't produce much blood and cattle mutilations have been dead for two or more days pretty consistently.
    • missing tongues
    • missing genitals and/or anus
    • missing one eye or ear
      • Are all pretty easily explained by scavengers.  We forget that the skin of a cow is extremely tough- so tough that we make jackets and couches and armor out of the stuff.  Small animals in particular have little chance of simply gnawing in through the hide.  Therefore, scavengers naturally seek the soft stuff- tongues, ears, eyes, genitals, anuses.  Almost always, when reports indicate only one ear or one eye is missing, it is the upside organ that is gone because the groundside organ was protected by the animals body.
      • Maggots and flies can make short work of soft tissue and leave surprisingly clean wounds.
    • missing organs
      • Likewise, internal organs are soft and delicious.  Certain animals demonstrate s preference for particularly tasty organs like the liver.
    • no footprints or tire tracks in vicinity
      • This detail generally confirms the absence of large predators including humans.  But cows die in the fields for many reasons beyond predators.
    • The USDA reports that in 2015 of the total inventory of 112 million cattle in the US, 3.9  (or 3.4%) were lost. Only 2% of adults and 11% of calves were lost to predators (chiefly coyotes).  About 3.5 million died of natural causes and we should assume that the diagnosis of most of those problems would be fairly apparent to experienced ranchers and investigators.  However, some causes of deaths are not so apparent- poisoning by noxious weeds and feeds accounted for nearly 32,000 deaths and 14.1% (more than 500,000 cattle) deaths were for undetermined non-predator causes. 
      • That is a whole bunch of rotting corpses. 
    • PRO contends that sometimes, when ranchers don't anticipate a cow's death it may take a few days to discover that the animal has died and in that time, particularly when the weather is hot and dry, the natural work of small scavengers and weather can cause cattle corpses to take on an unfamiliar appearance that alarms the rancher and provokes extraordinary speculation regarding cause of death.
      • Add to this some consideration for the tremendous loss of value associated with unexpected cattle death.
        • In many cases of unexpected loss due to negligence such as noxious plants the loss is probably not mitigated by insurance.
        • A mysterious loss, however, that might be Satanists or might be Black Ops- insurance will likely pay.
        • Therefore, we should note that there is some financial incentive for ranchers (and by extension, local law enforcement,  news reporters, etc) to prefer an unexplained, unsolved mysterious death over an explanation that might excludes compensation.
V.  CONCLUSION: PRO finds the mundane reality of ordinary scavenging and decomposition a very simple and well supported explanation for the phenomenon we call cattle mutilation.  PRO expects that given the incentives built into the present insurance system, such claims and newspaper stories will persist in the future and will likewise consistently remain unsolved and unexplained by law enforcement.

PRO looks forward to CON's R1 argument.

Forfeited
Round 2
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Added:
--> @oromagi
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
#26
Added:
--> @oromagi
That is a great premise
#25
Added:
--> @Wylted
Bamboo is actually incredible stuff- a fast growing grass that is useful as food and as woody material for tools, construction, etc. I've thought about an apocalyptic fiction called "The Boo" where scientists genetically modify bamboo to grow super fast for cheap material and the stuff starts growing everywhere, strangling trees and farms and gardens, starving animals, sucking water and nutrients out of the soil so fast that world populations collapse. Then, when huge tracts of land are covered in tall bamboo, the stuff dries out and burns at an unstoppable rate and then restarts.
Instigator
#24
Added:
I had a house where bamboo was growing in my yard at some point, and people kept stealing the bamboo when I wasn't home. The previous owner grew it not me, but I am still confused by the thing
#23
Added:
--> @oromagi
It looks like a dollar store version of a tree to me
#22
Added:
--> @Wylted
bamboo is grass
Instigator
#21
Added:
--> @oromagi
I thought they eat bamboo or some shit. The grass eating does make me doubtful they exist now
#20
Added:
--> @Wylted
a giant raccoon that only eats 30lbs of grass per day? Panda's are clearly mythological
Instigator
#19
Added:
--> @zedvictor4
People also mocked the cryptozoologists who said Panda bears exist. Keep thinking science has nothing new to discover like an idiot
#18
Added:
--> @oromagi
Yep. As ever.
Chupa Cabre, Yeti, Loch Ness Monster et al.
But unsurprisingly no one as actually (verifiably) seen one.
And some people still like to think that the Earth is flat. Probably the same people who like to think that the Chupa Cabre exist.
How better to promote the idea, than to go out and kill a few unsuspecting ruminants.
#17
Added:
The most interesting thi g I have found that seems real, is giants. It seems even skeletal remains have been dug up but museums who own the remains are reluctant to put them on display or allow researchers access, indicating some sort of legit conspiracy
#16
Added:
I think aliens would most likely be interdimensional beings, we probably have some even in our galaxy, but they are not as advanced as us or are disinterested in us. The ancient alien conspiracies are very interesting though. Spent a ton of time digging into Zechariah Sitchen's stuff and him personally,as well as other things which all seem to use him as a jumping off point for their research.
#15
Added:
--> @oromagi
Yeah, definitely would be curious about what you dug up in a more general way, conspiracies interest me, but not crypto zoology or cow mutilations. I even like alien conspiracies, but I put mutilations on the same level as crop circles. Boring. Black helicopters is something I have not dug into, but it could be fun
#14
Added:
--> @Wylted
I have researched a little and written some on the history and mythology of the "black helicopters." I don't think they'll come up in this short debate but I'd be happy to pontificate on their origin and relationship to mutilations in some other venue.
Instigator
#13
Added:
--> @oromagi
Explain the black helicopters around these things if the government isn't sicking Chupa Cabre's on the cows.
#12
No votes yet