Happy Cows

Today is officially the first day of Summer for all of you who subcribe to my personal calendar.  If your air conditioner does not work, it might be good time to take a trip to Anarctica.

On second thought, it’s winter there.  Scratch that idea.

Anyhow.  Do you ever have one of those conversations where you stop and wonder, how did we even start talking about this??  It happens to me often.

Case in point.  Yesterday me and one of my friends, J, are catching up on our weekends and we start talking about the NBA Finals.  I tell him that Tyson Chandler (center for the Dallas Mavericks) will score at least 25 points in Game 1, and will be the MVP for the series. 

He refutes my prediction. 

So I promise that when both of those things happen, I will eat a bag of Tyson chicken nuggets in honor of Mr. Chandler.  J says he will “bet me a barbeque (BBQ)” that neither of those things happen.  (This is a serious challenge.  Few things are more emasculating than having to watch another man eat a BBQ dinner you paid for.)

I tell him I am tempted to take him up on the BBQ bet rather than eat the nuggets, because I don’t like the way Tyson treats its chickens.  This is true.  I don’t like how chickens are mistreated.  They are stuffed into coups by the hundreds and made to live in their own feces.  I watched a documentary on it once, and it appalled me.  : (   I feel bad when I eat them.  I wish they weren’t so delicious.

On the other hand, I have no problem eating cows.  Cows lead happy lives.  They roam the fields, and lay in the shade.  Between eating grass, drinking water, and making baby cows, cows have a pretty good gig.  Then comes the day when they go to Cow Heaven, known to humans as “Wendy’s.”

J disputes the idea that cows have it good.  He says they are made to eat corn until they can hardly stand, and then slaughtered at about 12 months old.  (He watched a documentary too.)  I ask him why I see so many cows when I go driving.  He claims they are the minority.  I call BS.

The next thing I know, we are researching the proportion of corn-fed vs. grass-fed beef production in the United States on our phones.  There are a lot of “statistics” that say most cows are corn-fed.  But, it is indisputable that most cattle-producers (i.e., individual farmers) raise grazing cows.  It’s indisputable because I see them grazing with my own eyes.  The farmers probably produce the statistics to drive up the value of their beef, so they can claim their grass-fed cows are better, and more scarce, than the “average” corn-fed cow.  (You always have to look for the incentives behind the information.)

The debate got heated.  Corn-fed versus grass-fed.  Happy cows versus sad.  Finally, another one of our friends (whose family raised cattle) solves the mystery: most cows graze in fields for several years, but then are taken to feed lots where they are fed lots of corn and slaughtered.  That explained everything.  It explained why I see so many cows in the fields, and why the “statistics” say that most cows are corn fed.

Great.  Problem solved.

Now, how did we get on this subject again?


P.S. – Tyson Chandler scored 9 points last night.  Good thing we got sidetracked.

3 thoughts on “Happy Cows

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