Monday, October 24, 2011

Cow Myths

My particular job in the C.A.L.F. operation is in the IT department.  I keep watch over what The Farmer does on his computer.  I also spend a considerable amount of time looking for anyone on the internet talking about any of our agents and about things related to cows and dairy.  I find it is unfortunate that so many myths about us are out there so I decided to dispel a few of them.


1. Brown cows make chocolate milk.
Not true.  Seriously, you can feed a cow all the chocolate she can eat and her milk is still going to come out white.  You can add the tasty flavoring of your choice to your own tall glass of milk.  I actually prefer strawberry!

2. Only bulls have horns.
The truth is that bulls and heifers (males and females) can be born with horns. The Farmer will remove the horns when calves are young to prevent them from endangering others.  He would probably prefer that all of his cattle were polled, that is that they are born without horns.  Now, an agent like me would never use her horns to knock another cow out of the way so I could get more feed or stick The Farmer is his rear-end if he was bothering me.  

3. Cattle are God's favorite animals.
This one is true.  Have you never heard of the sacred cow or holy cow?

4. Cows change their colors like leaves in the fall.
Not true at all.  We stay the way we were born, although some of us, myself included, always wanted red hair.

5. Milk is full of antibiotics.
This is totally false.  Any milk that leaves the farm cannot have antibiotics in it.  All milk is tested for antibiotics before the processor even accepts it from the farm.

6. Dolphins are smarter than cows.
That's just propaganda put out by the pro-dolphin lobby groups.

7. Milk is full of hormones.
Concerned about hormones in milk? You should probably worry more about the teenagers at the local high school dance than the jug of milk in the refrigerator. The truth is, believe it or not, there are naturally occurring hormones in a lot of foods.  For example there are 11 nanograms of estrogen in a 32 oz glass of milk compared to a whopping 454 in raw peas!  Where are the pea police at?

8. Farmers are cruel and inhumane to cows.
I can tell you this: sick and hurt cows don't make milk. That's a fact.  Why would any dairyman strike the proverbial hand that feeds him?  I have observed The Farmer doing his best to keep us healthy and content so we can make milk freely.

You can find more myths dispelled at SUDIA , at the Dairy Council of California, and at the NHGSDP.

Agent 463, reporting from the Udder Side.