‘Cows carry flesh, but they carry personality too’: the hard lessons of farming

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They may be crucial products in a vast industry – but abandoning our relationship with the cattle we keep would mean throwing away something valuable. By John Connell

I’ve got my arms in her passage and I’m trying to find the new calf’s feet. As a farmer’s son, I’ve birthed calves aplenty, but always as the helper, holding a cow’s tail up or pulling the calf out at the last moment. My father has been in charge of the calving for 25 years, and when he wasn’t, my brother took over. But now it’s me.

I’m home again in rural Ireland, back after being an emigrant, and, in exchange for a roof over my head, it’s been agreed that I will help out on the farm. There’s a lot tied up in this birth for me – much more than the cow knows.

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This post was syndicated from Health | The Guardian. Click here to read the full text on the original website.

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