Where Will All the Cowboys and Cowgirls Go?

I wonder if ranching and the cowboys that work on them will become extinct. A distant memory of amazing adventures, wide open spaces and the love of animals both domesticated and wild. Will the smaller ranches who are taken care of by men and women who truly love their cattle, and are stewards of the land be replaced by big business? Factory farms that are only interested in the $$ and do not appreciate the amazingness of a steer, and be in gratitude.

I am a cattle rancher. I love my cows and their purpose in my life and that they provide so many benefits. I am hearing so much about vegetarianism and don’t eat meat lately, and of course it triggers me. I believe that some part of me is a little guilty that I eat beef. Then again I am a strong healthy woman, and I have tried vegetarianism for a couple of days, that was all I could handle. My body loves beef. I am a psychic and I eat beef.

The difference though is that the beef I eat is from my ranch, and a steer from my favorite cows. I know that steer has been loved well, and the flavour of the meat is so delicious. No comparison to what you buy in the grocery store. The beef I eat has no growth hormones, no chemicals of any kind. I do a ritual of gratitude when it is time for my steer to become my food. Oh, I am also intuitive, so I can communicate with my animals. I thank them for being a food source and send them lots of love. It is probable similar to the rituals of the Native Americans who used to roam our lands, and hunt the buffalo. Yeah, that is not happening anymore, see my concern.

As ranchers we are stewards of the land. We provide spaces for Elk, Moose and Deer to graze. There is nothing more majestic than to see an Elk move across the pasture as if it is a ship that travels on the prairies. So graceful! Moose on the other hand, not so much! It is really hard not to giggle at a moose stumbling across the pasture, they look so awkward, yet so beautiful in the ugly-awkward-hope they don’t trip on their own feet way. The deer too are so beautiful to watch as they gracefully bound over the fence. The moose going through the fence means there is repairing to do. What happens when there is no more open spaces for these animals to live freely? What will the wolves, coyotes, and cougars eat? Those are here too.

It does come down to $$ doesn’t it. Factory farms can produce more product in a smaller space therefore make more money. Cattle prices for the ranchers has not changed all that much in the last 40 years. What we receive for our cattle sales is not a lot. We are not doing it to make huge amounts of money, we are doing it for the lifestyle it provides and being in service to help feed the world. Land prices have gone up, machinery prices have gone up, hay prices have gone up etc…. Yet the price per pound we receive for our cattle sales has not gone up. Not really fair is it. Yet the price you pay at the grocery store certainly has gone up. A lot!!

There is a trend right now to buy organic beef, beef that has not had any hormones or antibiotics. Fantastic!! Yet, it is not that accessible to everyone. We raise organic beef, and we do sell from the ranch if someone is interested and I am pondering marketing that idea more. You can come and have a tour of where your beef comes from and then pick up the cut and wrapped product from the butcher we use.
There is also all the other uses that a beef animal has upon slaughter. 99% of the animal is used. Not just for your leather coats and shoes, lots of other uses as well.

If everyone becomes vegetarians, does that mean that leather will no longer be available also? In my opinion raising the animals for their hide is wasting, although I am totally biased.

I love being a cattle rancher. Tried being a cereal crop farmer, did not care for it. The chemicals needed to raise crops is crazy. All to make more $$$. You cannot blame the farmer, they are trying to survive the only way they know how.

The cattle ranching at our place is organic. The cows eat green grass when it is available, and when it is not they still get grass. It is hayed and baled, then rolled out for them buffet style. I do have happy cows, which makes for tasty beef. Raised with love.

I do wish cattle prices were higher for the producer, but my husband has an oilfield job so we can make the mortgage payments. And support us and the cows, horses, bulls, Llama, highland steer, dog, and cats and all the wildlife; in the lifestyle we love.

When you are biting into that juicy steak, or delicious hamburger or wearing your super fabulous leather shoes, thank the rancher who has worked long hours with little pay but a lot of love to provide that for you.

I hope that you have a different perspective on ranchers, and can join me in the wish for us to not become extinct. A huge part of our history is still evident in the cattle ranches today, it will be very sad if all of that is gone.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Yael Brisker

    Dear Shannon

    I don’t even know what to say…your post struck a chord for me. You know, I was born in Israel, but raised in the States for seven important years of my childhood…home on the Range is a song that still does it for me, makes me think of the beautiful expansiveness of the wilderness in North America (we have so little of that here, so tiny). I wish for you that you will be able to maintain your loves and lifestyle…it is so precious! Thank you for this. Love from a pretty urban girl(with a little rural background in her…)

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