In response to recent articles from Rolling Stone and MFA, I confess sometimes we are mean to our cows. We have dirt tanks or cattle ponds that go dry in between rains. As they dry up, they get mucky and if the cows get out to far, they can get stuck. Stuck in cold, sticky mud up to their bellies usually means only their head is sticking out. So, around the neck a rope goes with the other end attached to a truck, utv, backhoe bucket, or saddle horn. No, one person alone cannot lift a 800 to 1000 pound animal out by themselves. Then as slowly as possible the cow is literally drug by the neck out of the mud and far enough away that when she gets up she won’t fall back in. She will be gasping and choking and skinned up, but alive instead of dying a slow gruesome death to thirst and hypothermia a few feet from water. If she’s been in there along time before we find her, she may get hoisted with the backhoe and cargo straps onto a trailer and taken to the house. Then we start cow physical therapy hoisting her up and down till she can stand and eat. Unfortunately, by this point, a cow that’s down too often stays down and dies. This year alone we lost 4 calves to the mud pit and one cow. We check our cattle a minimum of once a week and often every day. We fence the waters and close the gates if we know they’re getting mucky. Still, it happens and we do our best, but if you’re unfamiliar and were filming, our best efforts would appear cruel. Please, find out the facts.

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