Don't get me wrong, I like bison near as much as the next person does. They're admirable creatures, symbolic of the Old West, and rulers of the North American grasslands. They're such large yet graceful and fast, and yes, wild animals. But unfortunately they get a bit too romanticized and held, in my personal opinion, at too high a standard so much that some misinformation gets delved out there that is, shall we say, questionable.
A while ago I had a bit of a run-in with one individual who was adamant that bison were the next best thing, so good in fact that nothing could compare, even cattle. I have to say that bison aren't perfect, as incredible and different as they are from cattle in terms of behaviour and what they eat, and there are areas in today's world were cattle actually do a better job than bison can.
Is it true that all bulls have horns, and cows never do?
Or is this a myth that has been perpetuated by those who have mistakenly assumed this is the case by what they've only been able to see in the media?
Are cows really that scary? Or is it just up to our own personal perceptions?
For myself at least, I can understand how cows (and cattle) seem rather terrifying to most people--even if I'm one who's been around cows for as long as I can remember. They're big, tall, and "completely" unpredictable.
With heads the size of a human torso, a shoulder-height of 5 to 6 feet (some taller), and hooves bigger than a man's fist, and the kind of behaviour that is anything but that similar to a dog or cat, it's not surprising that folks can get afflicted with something I tend to call "bovinophobia."
Let me ask you this: If I were to type in a Google search of the words "urban myths about cows," out of sheer curiosity what do you think would be the most common thing that would come up?
The dairy industry in particular is infamous for removing calves from their mothers soon after birth. Beef cow-calf operations do something similar, except that calves are much older.
So why is it done?
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 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.
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.
Range Nerd, Forage & Grazing Fanatic and a Bovine Enthusiast. A love for farming, and for the soil.
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: