Throwback Thursday – Would the Real Cows Please Stand Up?

So I knew when I started dating the Mister that he was interested in livestock animals – particularly cattle – and that he wanted to be a veterinarian. What I didn’t take into consideration, however, was the fact that this interest would lead to a life-long repeating conversation about the legitimacy of various types of cattle and how well they fit the definition of a “cow.” We’ve had this discussion countless times, and now several of his vet school friends have gotten in on it as well. I once published a blog article detailing my feelings on the topic (which, oddly enough, has been the most Google-searched and most popular article ever published on this blog), and for the benefit of certain vet school friends, I will resurrect it now.

(NOTE: I do, in fact, understand the difference between male and female cattle and between different types of breeds; I just continue the discussion to purposefully annoy my husband, because that’s what loving wives do. So for those vet students who tend to act like I couldn’t possibly understand anything about animals because I’m not taking your classes, I’m not stupid, I’m just a humor writer.)

Would the REAL Cows Please Stand Up? – originally published March 11, 2013

As a young child, I, like most other kindergarten-aged children, learned about farm animals. I learned that cows are white and black spotted. I learned that boy cows have horns and girl cows do not. I learned that boy cows get eaten while girl cows live to have baby cows. I also learned, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that cows say, “moo!”

These are cows.

What we've learned as "real cows" are actually Holstein cows.

See? Cows.

But one shocking thing I have learned as part of my marriage is that everything I learned about cows is WRONG!

IT’S ALL LIES I TELL YOU! LIES!!

First of all, according to the Mister, I’m not supposed to call them “boy cows” and “girl cows.” I’m supposed to call them bulls (males who can make babies), steers (males who cannot make babies), heifers (females who have never had babies) and cows (females who have had babies). The term “baby cows” still seems to be ok, but I’m going to ignore all that for the time being and just address the more major issues at hand.

 

Falsehood number one: Cows are black and white spotted.

The picture above is not a cow. Or at least, it’s not a “normal,” common cow – in our area at least. That is a picture of a Holstein, a type of dairy cattle that is actually not seen very much anymore. (It’s also the Chick-Fil-A cow, which drives the Mister nuts because they are not meat cattle and therefore shouldn’t be concerned about whether or not people “eat mor chikin.”) What IS a “normal” cow? Stay tuned. I’ll get to that in a minute.

 

Falsehood number two: Boy cows have horns and girl cows do not.

Both male and female cows can have horns. That depends on breed, not gender. Oh, and girl cows don’t always give milk either.

 

Falsehood number three: Boy cows get eaten while girl cows live to have more baby cows.

Dairy cattle are dairy cattle (like the Chik-Fil-A cows), regardless of gender. We rarely eat them at all – even the boys. When it comes to meat cattle, we eat everything. No cow is safe. (Except maybe those that throw off enough rodeo riders. But those would be bulls anyway, not cows, so the statement stands.)

 

And, finally and most traumatically,

Falsehood number four: Cows say, “moo!”

Cows, as I am constantly being corrected, do not say, “moo.” The Mister insists that in all his time in the cattle pens at work he has never heard a cow say, “moo.” They in fact say something more along the lines of “blugh.” (Did you ever hear about Old McDonald’s cow that had a “blugh blugh” here and a “blugh blugh” there? No. I didn’t think so.)

 

So what IS a “normal” cow? Well, it turns out there are lots of kinds of cows, and practically none of them look like the “real” cows pictured above. Here are a few I have learned to identify since I got married. (And go argue with the Mister about whether or not these are real cows. I dare you. It doesn’t end well.)

 

Angus cattle

Angus – all black; make good steaks

 

Black baldy cattle

Black Baldies – like angus, but with cute white faces

 

Belted galloway cattle

Belted Galloways – or, as we like to call them here in the Martin area: Oreo Cows

 

Hereford cattle

Herefords – red with white faces; very sweet

 

Brahman cattle

Brahman – cows with camel humps, essentially

 

Long Horn cattle

Long-horns – duh

 

Confused enough yet? Yeah. That makes a lot of us.

However, I, for one, will still teach my young children that cows say “moo;” regardless of how many times the Mister cringes.

Did I Mention Counter Space?

My best friend (“Goose”) and her husband bought their first house this past weekend, and I don’t think I could possibly be happier for them! It’s an adorable starter home, and I cannot even begin to describe how jealous I am that she’s going to have kitchen counter space. And a washing machine. And a giant closet… the list could go on and on.

The new Gunter house. :-)

The new Gunter house. 🙂

But while the Mister and I were flipping through the pictures on Goose’s facebook profile, and he zoomed through the most important images, I realized a very major and important difference between he and I.

“Hey! Go back!”

“Back to what?”

“The kitchen! You didn’t even let me look at the kitchen!”

“It’s just a kitchen.”

“Well that’s just the yard. I don’t care about the yard. I want to look at the kitchen!”

**Blank, confused stare from the Mister**

He didn’t even want to look at the kitchen!!! I was in shock. While I wanted to examine every detail of the countertops, backsplash design, appliances and room layout… he just wanted to flip through and look at the yard. The yard! Yes, a yard is nice and I’m happy they have one, but the kitchen is infinitely more important. To have the cabinets just right, enough counter space the right distance apart, all the proper utilities… how could you NOT be concerned about that???

I can see us now, looking at houses (or even just apartments) someday in the future:

Me: “Oh, honey! Look at the big windows in this kitchen! I love the counter space!”

Mister: “Ok.”

Realtor: “The kitchen appliances are all being included by the owners.”

Me: “Did you hear that, honey? The appliances are included!”

Mister: “Ok. What type of grass is in the yard? Is this area zoned for cows?”

Realtor: “Zoned for cows?”

Me: “Honey, did you see the size of this pantry?!”

Mister: “Yes. Cows. For the yard.”

You see how this is going? There’s going to be a house someday with the perfect kitchen, and we’re not going to buy it because it doesn’t have the right kind of grass or something.

Actually, no, that’s not going to happen. Because if I find the perfect kitchen – or really, at this point, if I find any decent counter space at all – I’m going to duct tape myself to it and refuse to move until it’s mine.

Even if the current homeowners have to cook around me.

(Did I mention Goose is going to have counter space????) 🙂

What did your first home look like? What features does your ideal home have?

**Oh, and a note for last week’s readers: The chicken coop pictured in the blog is not the same coop we found at Tractor Supply Company. The TSC website would not let me steal that picture, so I Googled “fancy chicken coop” and found the one I used. For all the women who have asked my mother-in-law where they can buy that chicken coop (you do realize I was referring to it as a crazy contraption, right?), the one we saw was the same style pictured here: http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/store/ware-manufacturing-premium-chick-n-barn–nest-box-kit

Why yes, I am having an out-of-body experience. Thank you.

This past weekend was a whirlwind of places I was never really meant to be.

Specifically, tractor supply stores.

I live in a town where a store called “Rural King” really is king. I’ve been there once in five years (before Saturday), and that was to meet my husband’s grandparents and lead them to our house. I really just don’t know how to feel about a store that sells live chickens, tractors, tennis shoes and popcorn all in the same section.

But Saturday was all about the Mister – finding work clothes, coveralls, boots, scrubs and other vet school supplies to pack in preparation for our move. And where else do you find farm boy work clothes than at a farm boy store? It was an eye-opening experience.

ASIDE: Did you know you can buy chicken coops that look like real houses????

This thing has more rooms than our apartment!

This thing has more rooms than our apartment!

Anyway, you could definitely tell I was out of my element. Even my CAR was out of place between all the crew cab trucks in the parking lot. The looks on the store clerks’ faces when I went over to ask about coveralls (the Mister was in the dressing room) were priceless, though. It’s as if they couldn’t figure out how a girl like me even knew what coveralls ARE, much less was actually in the store looking for them. (In fact, I asked myself that same question at several points during the shopping experience.)

Later Saturday afternoon, while at H&R Block getting our taxes finished, the guy filling out our forms got to the question, “Is the tax payer or the spouse deceased?” and actually confirmed, “And neither of you are deceased, correct?”

I wanted so badly to say, “Well yes, actually, I am,” but he didn’t look like one to take the joke too well, so I kept it to myself. Poor guy.

After much discussion, the Mister declared that we are no longer to talk about either of us being deceased. We are, however, allowed to discuss the possibility of being “decreased.”

(Start video at 7:00 if it doesn’t jump there on its own.)

And, in other Nut House News, hooray for post #50!!!! Come on now everyone, do the happy dance with me! 😀

happy dance

Do you have a story about being out of your element? Do you even have an element? Enlighten us. 🙂

Would the REAL Cows Please Stand Up?

As a young child, I, like most other kindergarten-aged children, learned about farm animals. I learned that cows are white and black spotted. I learned that boy cows have horns and girl cows do not. I learned that boy cows get eaten while girl cows live to have baby cows. I also learned, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that cows say, “moo!”

These are cows.

What we've learned as "real cows" are actually Holstein cows.

See? Cows.

But one shocking thing I have learned as part of my marriage is that everything I learned about cows is WRONG!

IT’S ALL LIES I TELL YOU! LIES!!

First of all, according to the Mister, I’m not supposed to call them “boy cows” and “girl cows.” I’m supposed to call them bulls (males who can make babies), steers (males who cannot make babies), heifers (females who have never had babies) and cows (females who have had babies). The term “baby cows” still seems to be ok, but I’m going to ignore all that for the time being and just address the more major issues at hand.

 

Falsehood number one: Cows are black and white spotted.

The picture above is not a cow. Or at least, it’s not a “normal,” common cow – in our area at least. That is a picture of a Holstein, a type of dairy cattle that is actually not seen very much anymore. (It’s also the Chick-Fil-A cow, which drives the Mister nuts because they are not meat cattle and therefore shouldn’t be concerned about whether or not people “eat mor chikin.”) What IS a “normal” cow? Stay tuned. I’ll get to that in a minute.

 

Falsehood number two: Boy cows have horns and girl cows do not.

Both male and female cows can have horns. That depends on breed, not gender. Oh, and girl cows don’t always give milk either.

 

Falsehood number three: Boy cows get eaten while girl cows live to have more baby cows.

Dairy cattle are dairy cattle (like the Chik-Fil-A cows), regardless of gender. We rarely eat them at all – even the boys. When it comes to meat cattle, we eat everything. No cow is safe. (Except maybe those that throw off enough rodeo riders. But those would be bulls anyway, not cows, so the statement stands.)

 

And, finally and most traumatically,

Falsehood number four: Cows say, “moo!”

Cows, as I am constantly being corrected, do not say, “moo.” The Mister insists that in all his time in the cattle pens at work he has never heard a cow say, “moo.” They in fact say something more along the lines of “blugh.” (Did you ever hear about Old McDonald’s cow that had a “blugh blugh” here and a “blugh blugh” there? No. I didn’t think so.)

 

So what IS a “normal” cow? Well, it turns out there are lots of kinds of cows, and practically none of them look like the “real” cows pictured above. Here are a few I have learned to identify since I got married. (And go argue with the Mister about whether or not these are real cows. I dare you. It doesn’t end well.)

 

Angus cattle

Angus – all black; make good steaks

 

Black baldy cattle

Black Baldies – like angus, but with cute white faces

 

Belted galloway cattle

Belted Galloways – or, as we like to call them here in the Martin area: Oreo Cows

 

Hereford cattle

Herefords – red with white faces; very sweet

 

Brahman cattle

Brahman – cows with camel humps, essentially

 

Long Horn cattle

Long-horns – duh

 

Confused enough yet? Yeah. That makes a lot of us.

However, I, for one, will still teach my young children that cows say “moo;” regardless of how many times the Mister cringes.