It’s time to write your congressmen- your senators. We have holidays celebrating all manner of ridiculousness- why not celebrate something truly mooving? Forget Valentines Day, let’s hear it for Bovine Appreciation Day!
I can see your looks of concern through the screen, but stay with me for a sec.
How many times a day do you pull milk or cheese from the refrigerator? What about burgers and steak and brisket? Nobody craves chicken! Well, maybe fried chicken- but I know none of you shell out the big bucks at steak houses for grilled chicken breast!
And what do cows get in return for their great contribution to society?
Do they complain?
No! They endure droughts, freezing temperatures, severe storms, flies, extreme heat, and the delivery of 200 pound babies in the wilderness.
Which brings me to my new appreciation.
On Monday evening, I made my daily walk down to the gate to perform “baby watch”. We all had begun to believe that Clara has miscarried at some point since three weeks had elapsed since her sister calved. Plans were being made. After all, cattle ranching is a business. No calves = No free room and board.
So I didn’t really expect to find anything as I approached the green gate, but something to my left caught my eye. All of the cows were standing together and something black fell on the ground. My brain couldn’t connect the dots. I scanned the group and saw Daisy, our 3-week-old calf standing nearby. As I looked back to Clara I finally noticed the aftermath of birth covering her backside.
The black thing in the grass?
A calf.
She just dropped the thing on the ground while I was standing there.
My confusion turned to excitement and I started screaming at the kids through the open windows of the house. Everyone ran down.
And I mean everyone.
All 5 of us, the 2 dogs, then the neighbors and their two dogs.
There was no quiet moment of bonding. Clara began the arduous task of cleaning the entire calf with her tongue. After all, there are things in these woods that delight in small packages covered in blood-dead or alive.
Over the next 30 minutes, she cleaned the calf and nudged the little ball to its feet. She shooed away four dogs and one rambunctious calf all while trying to help her newborn find its legs and take its first feeding.
While six kids and three adults stared at her.     
As I watched her, it was not lost on me that humans would never put up with conditions that cows gladly endure for blades of grass and the occasional lick of a salt block.

Clara’s baby
2012 herd

Jenny and Daisy