Yvonne Hollenbeck: Hats off to the cowmen
It’s a long way to the Orient, or from here to Calgary,
and many miles to places like the Mediterranean Sea.
But perhaps the greatest distance that one can calculate
is the space between a newborn calf to the steak that’s on your plate.
There’s a lot of cash invested long before that calf is born
in cows and bulls and pastureland; in vaccine, hay and corn.
Not every calf survives its birth; not every cow will live
no matter how much tender care the cattleman will give.
Several months of constant care and miles in saddle leather;
the rancher never takes a break no matter what the weather.
And no one’s ever guaranteed their pastures will withstand
drought and other troubles dealt from Mother Nature’s hand.
In the meantime he spends thousands on supplies to put up hay
and hope he has enough on hand to feed each winter day.
Most everything he needs to buy continues to get higher,
like diesel fuel, mineral, tires, posts and wire.
Then calves are weaned and some will die from going through the stress.
How many will survive through this is anybody’s guess.
Then after all the trials that a rancher must go through,
here comes folks from PETA claiming Beef’s not good for you.
But we know Beef is healthy and those folks are all dead wrong,
and the cowmen will continue what they’ve been doing all along.
‘Though most have mangled fingers from a squeeze chute accident
or a couple that are missing, and a back that’s weak and bent.
So, hat’s off to all the cowmen and the things that they go through
providing safe and tasty beef for folks like me and you;
and remember all the miles, and the many steps it takes
to travel from a newborn calf to the steak that’s on your plate.
© Yvonne Hollenbeck
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