Thursday, March 06, 2014

When the media gets involved

I tried to embed the video in this article, but it didn't work for some reason.  Click HERE to read a story about a calf that was freezing.  The farmers took her in the house to save her, something I've done myself a time or two with winter-born calves.  These folks live just a few miles away from us; we know them, they're great folks.  I can't help wondering if they wish they had never been on the news.  If it were me, I would be regretting the whole episode.  

The initial news bit was a nice, human-interest story, nothing wrong with it.  Then the calf stopped eating.  The news people called to see how she was doing.  The calf was taken to a vet for some intensive care.  By the way, these folks have registered Shorthorn cattle, so I imagine the calf is worth spending extra money on.   

But let's say the time comes to cut their losses. What if they decided Ruby is going to die anyway, so they choose to put her out of her misery. How do you explain that to big-city reporters in a way that won't make you come out looking like a murderer?  Everybody in Kansas City now has a personal interest in the calf.

How often are the reporters going to check in on this little critter, anyhow?  If the calf was out in the zero weather for any length of time, wet as babies are when they are first born, her ears and tail were frozen and will eventually drop off.  How horrified will those reporters be when they come to take pictures of Ruby and find she has no ears or tail?  Will they expect the farmer to take her to a plastic surgeon? 

cow who lost her ears due to frostbite
 I risk enough people's displeasure just having a blog.  After Penny, my youngest heifer, had one ear damaged by dehorning paste we used on her, I didn't mention it here, and when I took pictures of her, I usually made sure that ear wasn't showing.  True confessions here.  I just didn't want to be accused of animal cruelty.  Country people don't think that way, they know the facts of life.  But some city folks expect cattle and hogs to be treated like they treat their dogs and cats.  Folks, that isn't even possible.  

So you won't be seeing me on the news any time soon... at least, I hope not!  


Celeste Sanders said...


sim warford said...

Country folk sometimes put even dogs and cats out of their misery in ways the Big City Media would decry. I don't really think the KC reporters will be doing any follow-ups, though. Think how fast all the media forgot Haiti.

Donna said...

You have a point, Sim, although sometimes they remember the most trivial things and just gloss over the big stuff. Yeah, I'm sure Ruby will soon be forgotten.

Dan said...

I agree with Sim - the news people were looking for a feel-good story and they got it. They aren't going to add ambiguity to what was, for them, a successful story.

That said, I notice that the advertisement under the post put there by Blogger is for "Bloodless castrators."

Paula said...

Oh boy! Don't get me started on this subject. John has a cow that he thinks part of it's tail froze when it was a calf.


I understand exactly what you are saying. The media gets a hold of something and things become a circus.

small farm girl said...

Don't even get me started!!!! I have a friend who is a member of PETA. We have "discussions" all the time about animals. They just don't get what it's like in the "real world".