I'm confused. I thought cows were supposed to be some sort of colloquial term encapsulating all bovines, but then I get this meme telling me to, "go vegan," after reading about how beef steers get raped and children murdered to produce milk for me... are these some special kind of transgender, hermaphrodite bovines, or is the person who created such a meme really that clueless about basic bovine anatomy and cattle production?
Me thinks it's definitely the latter. Yes, yes, I'm sure of it...
See, knowing basic bovine anatomy really isn't that hard. Even someone who knows absolutely nothing about cattle can learn it. All they have to do is visit this post that I wrote called, "How do tell the difference between..."
It really doesn't take all that much brain power and observational capacity to notice that one steer standing sideways to the camera with that little prepuce hanging down. The blue feed bunk in the background really helps bring it out. I'm pretty darned sure I don't see no udders on any of those dudes either.
And the rest of the herd can't be any different; though it's a lot harder to pick out the heifers with the steers, I sure don't see no Dairy Cows in with that bunch; those boys are all Angus, Angus-cross, with some Simmental, Murray Grey, and maybe a Red Angus thrown in the mix. Nothing screams, "IT'S A DAIRY COW!!" to me, unfortunately.
Here's some more pictures of some steers for comparison, in case anyone is still a bit confused.
Now that I've cleared that up (hopefully), let's talk about the wordy content of this meme.
How Can You "Rape" a Steer??
I'm sure that's a question that we'd all love to never find an answer to. Bestiality really is illegal in most countries, and it is technically animal abuse and animal cruelty, and just abhorrently disgusting and wrong, sooo...
Basically there's no real way someone can so-call "rape" a steer, let alone any bovine, even a cow (I'm referring to a mature female bovine here, not the colloquial term) that's raised for milk production. Unless someone was playing a prank on someone who has preg-checking a bunch of heifers and thought he'd throw in a steer (or a bull) to see whether they come up open or pregnant, there's no real reason to go down the butthole of a steer, unless it's a vet who has to fix some weird case of anal prolapse or something.
But okay, I digress. I actually do totally get where this whole silly "raping cows" thing comes from, and that's a post I've been wanting to write up for quite some time to go into a bit more detail than I will here. Basically it's a dramatic guilt-inducing, shock-value word vegans love to use to scare people into avoiding drinking milk altogether. It's a convenient word to use in the English language especially when veganism deliberately elevates the cow to the grossly humanized pedestal. Unfortunately, such a word doesn't apply to animals like cows. It's actually a really stupid move to use such a term when talking about breeding cows, particularly in reference to artificial insemination or rectal pregnancy checking.
Rape applies to humans, not other animals. It's a form of sexual harassment and abuse that is far more about power and control than about carnal desires itself. It's a serious, very traumatic thing to go through, and to allow vegans to apply this term to cows is reprehensible and trivializes a heinously criminal issue that ought not to be trivialized. Let's leave it at that.
The thing that irks me is how these "animal rights" do-gooders seem to think that artificially inseminating a cow or rectal pregnancy checking is somehow a sexualized, show-of-dominion thing that humans do to assert themselves over the lowly, stupid bovine race. That's not the case at all.
AI'ing cows is just a technological means to impregnate a cow with a bull's semen. Consider it, too, as a techno-fix to the bull-safety issue. Bulls aren't all that stress-free or enjoyable to work with, especially when they have a job to do that involves their services. It's also a technology fix to have cows produce offspring from bulls that are so expensive and/or so far away that it's far cheaper to purchase straws full of that bull's sperm to breed the cows with, than to spend thousands of dollars to bring that special stud over to the farm just to breed a few top cows.
AI has never intended to be a show of dominion over Bovine Kind, and I don't think that's ever been the case when artificial insemination was first done. Quite frankly, I doubt the cows even give a shit whether it is a show of dominion over them or not; they likely don't even know what that means. They just know it's an uncomfortable procedure that is done in a matter of a couple minutes, depending on the skillset of the AI technician.
As far as AI being some kind of sexual practice, that's just plainly absurd and wrong-headed. Nothing about AI nor rectal preg-checking is sexual in any way. I have some sneaking suspicions as to where vegans got that idea from, but that's for another post another time that will be more R-rated than PG.
One last important thing before I move on: It's very difficult to "rape" a cow when she's in heat. Cows go through an estrous cycle where the peak period of estrogen production causes them to go a little "crazy." It causes a change in behaviour where they're deliberately seeking out a bull to service them, or they're doing their bit to attract a bull's attention. This short period of time is called "estrus." And it's the best time to AI a cow (typically 12 hours after seeing signs of "standing heat"). Try to AI a cow anytime before or after this period ends up as a big waste of time and money because she won't get bred.
The sole purpose of AI is to get a cow pregnant, where she will give birth to a calf. A productive cow is a cow that can birth a live calf every year and give milk for that calf or, if she's a dairy cow, to become a part of the dairy supply chain. She's doing her job on the farm to help her stay on that farm, and to help keep the farmer that's in charge of her care to keep the farm running.
But oh woe the cow's children being stolen from them and murdered for our taste buds!! <rolls eyes>
Steers Don't Have "Children"...
Getting back to those steers, I'm still trying to figure out how the person who created this meme somehow thinks that these steers can somehow have the magical ability to produce, uh, "children." Seriously, something is very wrong with this picture.
There's several things why steers can't bear--what's that word again? Oh yeah, "children"--first one being age. Maybe you can't tell, but I can sure tell that those steers in that meme look to be no more than about a year old--yearlings, as I'd call them. It's virtually impossible for a bovine at a year old to have a calf. For one, they're usually much too immature, as their reproductive organs haven't fully developed yet; not until they reach over two years old. For another, IF these were heifers (which, obviously, they're not, but that's beside the point), they couldn't and wouldn't be bred to become pregnant until they're about a year and a half old. The meme is assuming that these animals already had their young'uns already... which couldn't be further from the truth.
Second issue is the very, very painfully obvious fact that the cattle in this meme are all males. Someone's in serious need of grade-school level biology class if they think that male mammals, including domesticated cattle, are capable of having a uterus and some ovaries. Maybe a revisit of sex education, the bovine version this time? Because in that class, you'd learn that all male mammals don't have milk-producing mammary glands nor a uterus with ovaries and a vagina, unless they're a special kind of genetic f*ck-up mutant in the form of a hermaphrodite which can have the sex organs of both male and female. No, a normal male mammal, like 99% of all normal male bovines, are born with a penis and a pair of testicles.
That leads me in a nice little segue to problem #3: What's the definition of a steer, class? That's right, it's a castrated male bovine! What that means is that soon after a bull calf is born, his testicles are removed by the farmer, so that he grows into a much calmer, quieter, not-so-testosterone-hyped teenage hormonal bull, which makes handling him so much better, especially when he's intended for the meat market in the first place. So, just how can a steer bear offspring when he's got no testicles nor any kind of female sex organs in place?
Well, he just plain ol' can't! So, those steers never had any, uh, "children" to be stolen from them in the first place.
Besides, Daddy Cow doesn't do the looking-after part of a Mommy Cow's children. (I'm sorry I'm being so condescending here but this meme is just so stupid I can't help it. Forgive me, I'm being facetious.) All he's responsible for is getting her pregnant. She does the rest.
But "Daddy Cow" is a bull. Not a steer. Bulls still have their testes, which are responsible for sperm production, the crucial half needed to produce a "baby cow" or more properly put, a calf. All he needs to do to get that calf-making "machine" going is to mount the cow, put is wanker in the cow's woo-hoo, ejaculate, and let his little swimmers do the rest of the work; swimming their way through the cervix and the uterus up into one of the cow's fallopian tubes where the ovum that was just released from the ovary is waiting. The lucky sperm that penetrates into the ovum contributes to the next steps to the creation of a live and adorable newborn calf ~9 to 9.5 months later.
Steers don't have the whole toolset to do the job that a bull does. They still have a penis, but it's those testicles, or lack-thereof, that dictate whether they can produce offspring or not. When those testes are removed, they're just "it" bovines that are getting fattened up for the meat market.
But again, this meme is actually directed at those badass Holstein dairy cows (and by "cows" I do mean female mature bovines, just so you're still with me in this) who do often have their, um, "children" taken away from them. The thing is though, there's some very good reasons for doing so, and such reasons are primarily for the safety of the calf. Fortunately I already wrote something up on this very topic, which you can read about in Why Taking Calves Away from Cows is Necessary.
And at least it's the Real Dairy COWS that have the job of producing milk. Because if it were down to forcing milk production from those steers... well I just don't want to go there.
Milky Steers and the Final Day
Again, with the bovine anatomy. Does anyone, anyone, see an udder on these guys? No?
Okay, then how the hell do you get milk from them? It'd be a wonder if you can get any milk (or "milk" wink-wink-nudge-nudge [so snickers my inner 13-year-old-boy self]) from these nutless wonders. I'm sure getting "milk" from a bull would be a feel-good experience for him, but a whole lot more awkward when you find out you've been tugging at his scrotum this entire time...
Seriously, even if these boys--or bovine-persons, to be so sensitive to the politically correct version of gender-neutrality--are transgender or hermaphrodite (and I don't remember the last hermie heifer I ran across had a usable udder... just saying), I wouldn't dare drink milk from them, even if you paid me a billion bucks to do so... even if they're in Euros, seeing as how the exchange rate from Canadian to Euros is horrendous; and even if such "milk" is labelled "organic, free-range, grass-fed, all natural!" I'm sure the milk you'd get from pulling on the teats of an almond or a soybean would be better, and that's not saying much.
Okay, that's enough. My poor inner 13-year-old-boy self is on the floor just frickin' howling and having a bit of a belly ache and wiping away tears from laughing so damn hard.
Joking aside, there's no bloody way on God's green Earth that milk can be obtained from a steer. Yet I'm surprised a vegan who created this meme didn't think about that. Ah well, what did Albert Einstein say about human stupidity again? That it may be more infinite than the universe? Sounds about right...
Now about those real milk cows; sure they get a bit "tired out" from years of producing milk, but the reasons for culling dairy cows is a whole lot more varied than just age or failing production. Chronic mastitis and udder health issues that can't be fixed, infertility, lameness, bad attitude, and yes poor milk production are reasons for culling dairy cows out of the dairy herd.
Culling isn't a bad thing. It's actually good for the herd, it's good for the farmer, and those cows that do get culled get a quick, virtually painless end. Better than to be stuck in some sanctuary to live out their days in chronic pain and misery while the dumb humans in their care think they're doing something good by "saving" them...
Just like "rape" and "children" is a human-only construct, "murder" falls in the exact same category. There's no such thing as "murder" when it comes to killing animals for food. The use of the word murder is, just like with using "rape," a guilt-inducing, shock-value word to force people into an oppressive cult-like fear-based means of avoiding eating meat. It's a meaningless word in the form of animal slaughter. But vegans love to use it, which is fine; I won't stop them from making fools out of themselves if it means giving me more content to write and for you to laugh with me about.
There's no doubt what the end-purpose of these steers is: For meat. They will be killed so that you can enjoy that steak for dinner tonight, which I honestly hope you do. They undoubtedly will (maybe they already have) see the business end of a cap-bolt gun and receive the very sharp edge of a knife blade to their throats, where the life will drain out of them as their carcasses move on down the chain (after being gutted, dismembered, and skinned) to the cool room, and eventually to the butcher who will cut up their bodies into delicious and nutritious food for us to cook up and enjoy. There's no doubt about that. And, there's absolutely nothing wrong with it either. It's just a part of life.
You know what else? It's certainly humane when their life is ended as quickly and painlessly as possible. Yes, humane slaughter exists, and it's a lot more of a paradox than an oxymoron.
At least their bodies are not being put to waste; they're being honoured by nourishing our bodies, and contributing to a biologically-appropriate diet for us as an omnivorous hominid species. What more can I say?
I have written more on slaughtering animals for food. Check them out:
It Is My Observation and Conclusion That...
Wow did I ever have fun writing this up! Talk about a clusterf*ck and a gong-show! I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it this afternoon, and got a few rib-ticklers in while you were at it.
No doubt that meme was as asinine as it comes. I've seen some doozies but this one, at least at the start of the year 2020, took the cake.
It's my observation and conclusions that the person responsible for creating this meme, and the people who had the audacity to like it and believe it word-for-word, are in a serious need for some bovine education on bovine anatomy, bovine sex ed, and just general cattle production. This is a great example of why you should never trust people who are capable of creating such a dastardly hilarious meme to provide any useful information on cows and cattle, let alone have a say in how cows should be raised.
Seriously, in my other blog page on this site called Keeping & Raising Cows Blog, that post on how to tell the difference between the likes of bulls, cows, steers and heifers is very, very important! Even if you're not raising the dirty buggers! Just simply being able to tell males and female cattle apart would help a person so much, even in the making of memes as silly as this one.
Ah well, can't fix stupid. At least it gives me an excuse to have a bit of fun today.
Happy January, a belated Happy New Year, and have a wonderful day, wherever you are!
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.
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