Author: Tom Blanton

Raising Beef Cattle

Spencer Case, writing in Quillette on November 7th, 2018, expressed concern for the “tens of billions of land animals” killed every year “in so-called ‘factory farms,’ having lived lives of unrelieved mental and physical anguish, because humans enjoy eating their flesh.” When I read that, I was dumbfounded. It was so contrary to my experience raising beef cattle. The picture that accompanied his essay showing the faces of cattle staring through bars from a dark place sent me digging through my files for images from my time running a cattle ranch. I pulled up the above picture of our Charolais heifers being turned out into a pasture of smooth brome. As I looked at it, Case’s description of “unrelieved mental and physical anguish” played over in my head. It’s hard to imagine a more inaccurate description of the peace and contentment so apparent in this pastoral scene. I don’t know where Case came up with the tens of billions figure, but if he included the cattle killed every year in the US and Canada for …