This weekend I took my dad with me (Happy Father's Day!) back to 5 Bar Beef. I had visited a little bit ago and talked about it here. The rancher, Frank Fitzpatrick, called me up saying he was corralling some bulls for harvest because with this drought we have going on here in California, his livestock are left with very little to eat so he needs to scale back a few to save the rest.
Frank's herd of over 800 head are all bulls which means they have not been castrated as steers have. He says they don't need to be because they are able to freely move around on over 800 acres, and so they don't get agitated or aggressive like those that are confined in commercial ranching and therefore need to be manipulated in this way. He effortlessly maneuvered a good 50 of them with firm gentleness on his horse.
"I'm the alpha here so they do what I want them to," he explained. He corralled them twice just to show me how there is no cruelty in his method at all, no nipping dogs or pokers or punching, no contact whatsoever, just an inherent skill and understanding of how to manage them.
Once these bulls saw me here, sitting amongst them for an hour, they became relaxed around my proximity to them, much like the pigs were here. Again, these livestock have not had any stress in their lives so they were very calm and let me get close enough to them that I didn't want to leave.
|Photos: Tara Maxey|
As I've said before, we should all eat less meat so that we as a country can raise livestock humanely and in the most natural way with the least amount of pollution like Frank does. However, if we as a very busy catering company are to accommodate beef eaters, this is the kind of rancher we want to support. We highly encourage you to as well, for your health, for our environment and because we are only as kind and decent as we treat those who can't defend themselves against us. We can all make a difference with our purchasing power.