Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Cow show connections Part 1: What is it? And why do people do it?

There are two kinds of cows - dairy and beef. One kind is capable of producing gallons of milk every day, and the other produces pounds of hamburger, steak and so forth. Both kinds are "shown" in competitions such as this, but these are beef cattle. Which leads to another necessary clarification: "cow" is the word used to specify a female who has had a baby, but it is also used as a general term for all the animals. Technically, the animals the kids showed at this event were all steers (neutered male beef animals), and heifers (females who have not had a baby yet).
Showing beef cattle involves a copious amount of hard physical labor (to be described in more detail in future posts), usually in extreme cold or heat, sweating your brains out or freezing your extremities off. After observing a fair amount of this surrounding this particular cow show, my husband (who is basically a city boy and relatively new to this) inquired, "Why do people torture themselves doing this?"
After some thought, my response was, "For the same reason people climb Mount Everest (or train for marathons, or etc., etc., etc.)." Someone could write a whole dissertation for a doctorate in psychology on this topic. I could give it a good start, but at this moment have more pressing things to do, like pack up my entire house. Maybe someday. You're all waiting with baited breath, I know.
(BTW, Little G is the second from the left in the picture above. More pictures to come of this blessed event in the future.)

1 comment:

  1. I think it's funny that you said "one produces milk and the other produces beef" which made me picture ways that a steer could give us beef without dying in the process. I wish it could be true for the steer's sake, but all options were kind of gross.