When you see a cow, just any cow, have you ever stopped and thought what type of cow that might be?
If you haven't, you should!
There are basically two main types of modern cattle that exist in the world:
There are times when I regret finding innocent-looking pictures with misinformation attached to them. One of those times was when I found several pictures pinned to Pinterest boards of vegan animal extremists making everyone believe that nose flaps are yet another evil of the dairy industry.
There are a surprisingly large number of facts on cows and cattle that many people don't realize. I've compiled over 80 facts here that you may or may not have known previously. These are not all the facts of cows and cattle; there are many more that could be, and may be, added in the future.
So, what is a "slaughter truck"? The answer may (or may not, depending where you come from) surprise you.
Back a few years ago the Internet blew up around a Facebook post from Vegan.com around a photo of toy truck just like that pictured here. The accompanying message simply said, "Seriously, Walmart?" The response by its followers was, unsurprisingly, that of complete outrage. One took this to Twitter, posting, "This is unimaginably disgusting. Walmart selling a toy slaughter truck. #vegan."
I first heard of the documentary "Cowspiracy" by someone touting it on a discussion page as the "real truth" about the cattle industry. Though this was some time ago and well before I was able to see the film, out of skepticism from hearing such proclamations, I began to immerse myself in what this documentary was all about and why it was supposed to be one of the "best" films on animal agriculture out there.
A really interesting audio clip on a ranch research station utilizing the old Spanish Criollo cattle as a means to fight drought in an arid climate such as that in New Mexico came to my attention a few years ago. The Jornada Ranch introduced these cattle in efforts to improve rangeland and create an environment that would ideally resemble that of what the Spanish would've seen when they came over the Atlantic over 500 years ago. The advantage of using these cattle is that they are hardier and smaller than the "conventional" cattle raised in America being mostly Angus and Hereford commercial bred and cross-bred with mix of other breeds. They're also the foundation stock for the development of the well-known American breeds Texas Longhorn, Corriente, Florida Cracker and others.
The reasons I was attracted to the page with the audio clip though, was more than just that.
The following is a collection pictures I took when I was working with a rangeland research team out of the University of Alberta. They are certainly not in chronological order, but that shouldn't matter because I want to show you just how beautiful land can be when proper grazing management practices are used with cattle as the primary tool, which is something that I strongly promote and may cover more in later blog posts.
Could you really be able to graze livestock, and not eat them? Or rather, could livestock be used to graze pastures and rangeland, and never be sent to slaughter? If so, how would that work?
I hate to sound like I'm complaining right off the start (gee, what a great way to start off a blog post), but dammit this is one blog post that I've been struggling with in trying to figure out how to put digital pen to paper about thoughts and perspectives and notions and all that psychological brain-shrinking stuff.
And if this turns into a terribly boring blog post that will lose you at the first paragraph, I'm so sorry. Knowing myself and my own mind (at least I'd like to know what goes on between my ears, though some days I question it a bit, but I digress), my favourite things that I love to talk about are much more on the experience-based, observational-based topics:
“For every complex problem, there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” -- H. L. Mencken
I would like to introduce the compounding and complex environmental issues that are in a word, plaguing the earth. They are wide and varied, from deforestation and afforestation, encroaching deserts, oceanic dead zones, eutrophication of bodies of waters, increasingly more silt in rivers from runoff, increasing carbon emissions to the atmosphere, more flooding, more drought, increasingly devastating storms, and on and on.
They are a worrisome force that are part of the struggle for us humans, as a species, to survive and to get through.
Range Nerd, Forage & Grazing Fanatic and a Bovine Enthusiast. A love for farming, and for the soil.
Busting myths and misinformation, delivering the truths on some facts that the Average Joe or Jane may be concerned about, and other issues are dug up here. In this blog, you get to read my thoughts and get a whole pile of details on information on things you probably didn't know about, and should be well aware of.
Keep it civil, but don't be a jerk. Personal attacks and harassment will not be tolerated.
There's going to be a lot of heated discussions and that’s totally fine. These discussions often are about topics that we all personally care a lot about and will passionately defend. But in order for discussions to thrive here, we need to remember to criticize ideas, not people.
So, remember to avoid: