05/05/2008 05:35 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Oil at $120, Gas Tripping $4 -- Time for Plow Horses and Buggies, Even Toed Ungulates?

Crazy? Well yes, but perhaps you better check out that fox before you jump to conclusions. Just this weekend the Financial Times reported that camel demand on the Asian Sub-Continent is soaring ("Camel Demand Soars as Oil Price Makes Tractors Too Costly to Run," 05.04.08). Or as the Financial Times succinctly put it, "as the cost of gas guzzling tractors soars, even toed ungulates are making a comeback".

If camels, why not plow horses and horse and buggies for that matter. Economic benefits, environmental benefits? I'm sure there are some old farm hands paying through the nose for their John Deere tractors and their $5.00 gallon diesel who would be happy to put numbers to paper and work it out for us.

As for the camels, they cost around $980 a head according to the FT with a life expectancy of 60-80 years. Not bad when compared to initial layout for a John Deere tractor (sorry all you folks at John Deere, this is not meant to be a qualitative comparison but more of a rhetorical exercise), and even if there are some pretty old tractors around, few and far between in the 60/80 year old range.

How this all plays out regarding plow horses and work horses? I don't know off-hand, but given the corner we are, in someone should be thinking about it. Yet one thing sadly comes to mind, that according to our norms of conduct, stallions treat mares better than women are treated in some of the areas where our oil comes from.