Was yokel rodeo day in Tyalgum yesterday, L&A&kids came along and between following the monkey boy all over the showground, found enough chances to catch up with people i haven't seen in ages, have a few drinks and catch a few moments of carnage in the arena.
Now i would never condone blood sports with animals and many people classify this sort of entertainment/sport as wrong, but most of them have no concept of what the 'normal' life for cattle is on a farm.
Stolen from their mum and bits cut off before a few weeks old, growing up being chased by vehicles and dogs, whipped and locked in yards or cages on trucks, bits pierced and tagged, branded with hot iron, dunked in chemical cocktails.
Sex and, or breeding then decides the future. For most of the bulls, who are now mostly steers, it usually will involve being overfed in a shed until its off to the killing floor ('Don't let the name throw you Jimmy...it's not really a floor, it's more of a steel grating that allows material to sluice through so it can be collected and exported.').
Dairy cows have their offspring stolen within days and their milk drained twice daily for nine months, breeding over the centuries making them produce so much milk for so much of the year, some of them having to drag udders the size of inflated garbage bags, along the ground on the way to the shed. Beef cows miss don't have to worry about the milking and get to keep their calves for a few months, unless their owner is in the veal market.
A select few bulls get to be kept for breeding and have the pick of the cows for a few years, then they are forced to retire, their muscle bulk having too much sinew for most of the market, ending their days in a can of chum or a roll of devon. And if they are a bull of the best breeding stock, they can be unlucky enough to end up in a semen farm, being jerked off by men in lab coats several times a day so they're genes can be spread around the world. The best bred cows only ever being impregnated by a farmer gloved up to his armpit and some steel probing device.
A much smaller group of bulls get to let out a bit of revenge on these humans that have enslaved their species. They get trucked around the country and suffer many of the indignities all cattle face. But then on show day they get the chance to throw a man through a fence, stomp and headbut a few more, maybe even hear a bone snap. The crowd cheering them on, most wanting to see the bull throw the rider before the hooter sounds and the cowboy gets his chance to escape.
Yesterday was pretty good form what i saw and heard, a rider wedged in the fence railings, some broken ribs from serious gorging on the ground with the horns (lucky bastard was wearing a kevlar vest) and many more. Mostly i'm there each year because its the big annual community event and while yes there are a lot of cowboy hicks there, there's also stacks of more like minded immigrants, cheering on the bulls and making the most of it.
- Music:tv sounds