There are many different views on how cattle should be cared for and treated. There is just one view that I personally don’t agree with. That view is that cattle should be with nature. They shouldn’t be ‘fenced in’ and they should be able to run free. Here is why I really don’t believe this is such a great idea and that cattle farmers are doing the best thing possible for these animals.
1.) Cattle need to be fed daily. They require certain minerals and proteins to stay healthy. These are things that they can’t find easily or have enough to sustain their needs. Farmers provide them adequate minerals and salts to keep their bodies healthy.
2.) Cattle require alfalfa (grass) year round. This is a great source of protein and fiber for their bodies. It also provides the cattle with energy. Where do you think these cattle are going to get this grass in the winter time? No matter where they would travel, they would never be able to find enough grass to keep them healthy and alive–if they even got to a grassy area in time before they famished. Cattle farmers work ALL summer long producing enough hay bales and silage to keep their cattle healthy, happy, and quite plump in the winter time.
3.) You know how you can hit deer with your car? Imagine hitting a cow. The damage to you and your car would be tremendous. Cattle aren’t as fast to react as deer. They would just stand there like a brick wall. Being fenced in an area that is plenty big for all the farmer’s cattle isn’t such a bad idea.
4.) Breeding. This is a topic that upset me tremendously. I read on an animal right’s page that cattle are being ‘raped and forced to give birth to calves continuously for the sake of the farmer to make money’. Once again, think about this if cattle were able to run free. The bulls would still breed the cows time after time. It’s how nature works. A cow’s cycle works just like a humans. Every three weeks she comes into ‘heat’ (when she is ready to breed) and the bull can sense that and will breed her. Cattle farmers actually keep the bulls and cows separated for a period of time to allow the cows some ‘breathing’ time. The cows can peacefully raise their calve and the bulls can be lazy and eat hay.
5.) Cows eat what we eat. This probably wouldn’t be a great thing since we already can’t feed all the people in the world. Cattle farmers raise the food that their cattle need. They grow corn, alfalfa, and oats to sustain their cattle’s appetites. Being a cow isn’t such a bad thing.
6.) Cows don’t know when to stop eating. Farmers control how much they eat. This isn’t a bad thing. Did you know that cattle can eat too much, bloat, and die all in about a days time? Thank you cattle farmers for preventing this from happening every day.
7.) Survival of the fittest. Cattle can’t run fast. They don’t sharp teeth. They don’t have anything to protect them from predators. Cattle wouldn’t do well in the wild. Farmers work hard to keep baby calves safe from predators. They also keep their cattle in safe places. They check on their cattle constantly to make sure that everyone is safe and sound.
These are just a few of the things that I don’t think people realize. I, honestly, think that my cattle have a pretty terrific life. I would love to not have to work for my food, given as much as I could possibly eat, get shots and loving when I’m sick, and having babies every year wouldn’t tear my heart out. I happen to love babies a whole lot. So the next time you’re wondering if cattle should run free, think about this.