I have learned a lot with our hobby farm. I learn the most from discussions I have with farmers – I mean guys who do it for a living every day. I ask a lot of questions because things that they do so naturally I have to think about and read up on.
Ann Althouse linked this piece by Meredith Small, who is a professor of anthropology at Cornell University. In the piece is this bit:
That cultural expectation is now creeping earlier and earlier as 3-year-olds go to preschool and 4–year-olds start kindergarten. Everyone sits quietly at their desks, thinking and thinking, just when they’d rather be out tending cows or weeding the garden.
The article is the usual garbage, trying to talk everyone into the insane idea that Western culture is crappy, blah blah blah. Other cultures that are backward and not mechanized do amounts of labor that I simply cannot fathom like we did a hundred years ago in the US.
We got our usual thousand bales of hay in last week and I am still scratching my head as to how people raised livestock without the internal combustion engine. Horses and wagons brought hand cut hay in from the fields. I worked my a** off just stacking the hay that was brought in by a tractor on carts and that was backbreaking labor. But I digress a bit.
This part is what really caught my eye:
…just when they’d rather be out tending cows…
Well, I now have cows. I don’t know what is “tending”. Is she talking about throwing hay at them when it is zero degrees outside and making sure the water hasn’t frozen? Is she talking about feeding them if it is feedlot cattle? What on earth is “tending cows”? Milking them?
Of course if I actually sat down and asked Meredith Small what she was talking about I am pretty sure that she would have absolutely no idea what “tending cows” is. From that one line I can safely assume that she probably has no clue as to how the dairy or beef industry works.