Calving season means sleepless nights and cute baby calves,
Blowing snow during night time checks
Bottle-calves and cleaning pens
milking wild heifers and carrying heavy calves
Tired backs and worried mama cows
calling the vet and disinfecting your hands
stocking up on milk replacer and latex gloves
“Honey can you help pull this calf?”
and going out to check before you go to bed
but through it all,
despite the weariness,
you look up and see this:
You raise healthy calves.
You are a beef supplier.
You fight the elements.
Sometimes you win, and sometimes you lose.
But you keep fighting – because you are a fighter.
A provider for thousands.
A caretaker of livestock and grasslands.
And even when the bureaucrats and government and vegans protest, slander and demean you – you keep doing what you have done for years.
What your family has done for generations.
You quietly keep on tending livestock and wearing your body out, so that your family (and thousands of others) will have food to eat.
And when you get weary of it all – when your body cracks under the strain of those night checks and calf-pullings in below-zero weather, well, you just stop for a moment and look at the faces of healthy babies, and remember why you are doing it all.
Because tomorrow you will get up and do it all again.