There once was a successful farmer who provided the entire community eggs and pork. His business was thriving so he decided to build himself a nice shop where he could park all of his farm vehicles. It was something he always wanted to do and finally he had the money. His new shop was a beautiful building and very modern. He was very pleased with himself.
However, one day economic calamity struck the community and many people were not able to buy his goods and services. His revenues quickly dropped. Almost overnight the farmer did not have enough money to feed all of his animals to run his farm, including his guard dogs. The guard dogs were essential to making sure the coyotes and wolves did not eat his chickens and pigs. It took a minimum of 10 to do the job right. Without 10 dogs, his farm would be at great risk.
The community was angry because they knew the farmer had spent much of his savings on a shop for his farm vehicles. If the farmer had built a smaller shop or fixed the old shop instead the farm wouldn't be in this financial bind. There was nothing the farmer could do about that now though, and even if the town replaced the farmer, the new farmer would have the same immediate problem: how to feed all of the farm animals in order to provide the eggs and pork the community needed.
The farmer thought and thought. Then, he came up with an idea. He had a three cows on his farm that were nice to look at, but they didn't provide any of the goods or services he was required to provide to the community. What if he were to sell one of the cows or maybe two? It would temporarily increase his revenue, but more importantly lower his ongoing expenses so he could feed all the chickens, pigs and guard dogs. When his business returned to normal he could buy back the cows or even get a horse. While he didn't like the idea of selling the cows, it was the wise thing to do in order to meet his obligations.
However, someone from the Bovine Lovers of America (BLOA) — a very well organized and vocal minority in the community — caught wind of the farmer's plan and rallied 20 villagers to publicly protest the selling of the cows. "Cows are wonderful animals and the children love them, " they cried. "Sell some of your chickens or pigs, but leave the cows alone!" BLOA members wrote guest editorials in the paper and made a big stink about how the cows should be left alone for the children's' sake. "Without the cows how will our children learn where milk comes from?!?" The farmer was told he must figure out another way to feed the animals.
The farmer thought some more, but in the end gave in to the BLOA group. He couldn't sell any of the chickens or pigs because he needed them to produce the eggs and pork for the community. All that was left were the dogs. Therefore he reduced the guard dogs by half from 10 to five. This gave him the money he needed to feed the animals, but put at the same time put the animals at risk. After six months his chicken and pigs were reduced by half. Three months later the farm failed and so did the community because there was no food to go around.
The morale of the story is, "Sacred cows saved is often a community lost."