A Cow’s Tale – Bon Appetit

Claire Saffitz Introduced Me to My Favorite New Clogs

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Photo by Paul Raeside


I like to keep close tabs on the state of sconces. Are we using enough of them? Could there be more? (Trick question: There could always be more.) Take your lunch break to swoon over photos of an English farmhouse with approximately 47 sconces. I also love design that has undertones of divorce, debt, and celibacy. And please relax! The black granite countertop is going—soon.

Read more: How Restaurateur Keith McNally Built Texture Into His 1919 Cotswolds Home

Overheard at BA

Rapo, trying to convince two staffers wearing jumpsuits to take a photo together for Instagram: “We’re gonna post a picture that says, ‘looking for a third.’”

Hilary Cadigan: “I don’t think that phrase means what you think it means.”

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BOOM. Oh god. I peeked into the oven window and saw a sweet potato had exploded. Sweet yellow carnage was everywhere and the potato was split open down the middle. I’d poked holes in it with a fork, I swear! The temp was 350! So why did it explode? I’d like to blame my new oven, which has been trouble since the day it was installed. I even had to have it replaced because the first one made actual explosions when ignited. TERRIFYING. But if you know why my sweet p spontaneously burst at the seams, please fill me in.

Unnecessary food meme of the week

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Unnecessary food feud of the week

A 5-lb bag of BULLS-EYES showed up at the office, spurring a buzz of excitement among those of us who are RIGHTFULLY huge fans of Cow Tales. (Bulls-Eyes caramel creams—around since 1918!—are a chopped-off version of Cow Tales, a soft outer layer of caramel with a white creamy-powdery center.) “As far as old lady living room dish candy goes, I’ll take a Werther’s Original over a Cow Tale any day,” dismissed Aliza Abarbanel, earning nods of agreement from Amanda Shapiro and Rachel Karten. They are “DELICIOUS,” declared Hilary Cadigan, “the ideal blend of chewy and frosting-y, semi-sweet and very sweet.” “Will someone explain to me why they are called ‘cow tales’?” asked MacKenzie Fegan, derailing the conversation into a flurry of confusion. “Never heard of them,” was the refrain from the deprived editors in the Test Kitchen. “If there are so many seedless oranges, why eat seeded oranges?” asked Adam Rapoport (he’s two weeks late to that feud.) “Cow Tales are $0.25 at the counter at Wawa!” announced Emily Schultz, qualifying her as a contestant on The Price Is Right. “They. Are. Disgusting,” said Meryl Rothstein, refusing to stand down. It’s too bad she’s so wrong.

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The value of cow-free milk | Columnists – San Mateo Daily Journal

Student News

Move over, dairy. Plant-based milk is here and here to stay. In the past few years, cow’s milk has not been the only option crowding grocery stores in the dairy aisle. Coffee shops now offer a number of dairy alternatives buyers can add to their cup of joe. BART ads highlight new plant-based options to riders heading to work. “Milk” used to just mean milk coming from the mammary glands of an animal (typically a cow, goat or sheep). But now, milk is made of almonds, coconuts, even quinoa. Sales in the milk industry have plummeted severely; according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the average person consumed 247 pounds of milk in 1975, compared to 146 pounds in 2018. 

During World War II, dairy farmers had boosted production of milk to send supplies to soldiers fighting overseas. When the war ended, farmers had a lot of milk produced but a lack of interested consumers. Thus, the government stepped in, creating programs from the USDA that stated the benefits of dairy to the general public. Through a combination of gross advertising and the power of huge dairy corporations, the milk industry, with ties to the USDA, was able to brainwash the world into the importance of drinking milk. 

However, in the 21st century, the birth of health and environment conscious movements have driven more and more consumers to buy “morally correct” or ethical goods. With more transparency in the realities of the dairy industry, the trend has shifted toward spending money on alternatives. 

Alternative milks are usually composed of some kind of seed, nut or grain and a lot of water. To imitate the thick creaminess of milk, they add emulsifiers such as rapeseed oil or xanthan gum. Even so, alternative milks are overall much healthier for the planet and the body than traditional cow’s milk. According to an Oxford study, dairy uses around nine times more land than non-dairy options and produces three times more greenhouse gasses (not to mention the methane gas cows emit). The dairy industry has been numerously attacked for its irreversible, detrimental effects on the environment, animals and our bodies. 

Almond milk is currently the most sold plant-based milk in the United States. In the past five years, almond milk sales have skyrocketed by 250%. 

However, the popular vegan alternative comes with a couple of environmental setbacks. It takes more than a gallon of water to produce a single almond and 130 pints (16.25 gallons) to produce one glass of almond milk. Eighty percent of almonds grow in California’s dry Central Valley region, an area prone to many droughts. Not only are almonds extensive water soakers, the popular nut is also decimating millions of pollinating bees due to the immense amount of pesticides used. 

One plant-based “milk” has had all of the craze recently — oat milk. Sales in oat milk have skyrocketed from $4.4 million in 2017 to $29 million in 2019, according to Bloomberg Business, and is projected to continue growing. 

As currently most of the oats produced goes to animal feeds, oat milk is one of the most sustainable milk options for the environment. In my opinion, it is also the creamiest and tastiest, resembling most to a glass of cow’s milk. 

The only downside is that many oats are mass-produced and sprayed with Roundup (even some that claim to be organic), a pesticide containing glyphosate, a possible carcinogen. Glyphosate is used for weed control and was deemed harmless to humans when invented in 1970s, as it only inhibited the enzyme used in protein synthesis for plant growth, but has recently been shown to increase cancer risk by 41%. 

Critics of alternative milks say that the Vitamin D, calcium, phosphorous, potassium and protein found in cow’s milk is crucial to a healthy, balanced diet. Though cow’s milk is high in calcium, it actually is harder for our bodies to absorb than calcium that is found in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli or kale. 

Before purchasing alternative milks, make sure to examine labels to ensure that the beverages don’t contain excess additives or sugar. With everything, it’s perhaps best to go for moderation even with alternative milks for the healthiest diet. The safest milk might just be Mother Nature’s — water.

Erika Pilpre is a junior at Aragon High School in San Mateo. Student News appears in the weekend edition. You can email Student News at news@smdailyjournal.com.

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Can You Have a Miniature Cow as a Pet in Minnesota? – krforadio.com

Growing up, I have always wanted cows and horses as pets, but playing three competitive sports at the same time, made it hard to make that happen. With trends going the way they are, having cows as pets is now a common thing. Breeders have been working for years to breed miniature cows. Now that the genetics are figured out, you can have a miniature cow as a pet if you have the proper housing for them. I have fallowed many breeders on Instagram and Facebook. In the last week or so the buzz across the country has grown quite a bit!  So… can you have a miniature cow as a pet in Minnesota? The answer is yes and no!

Miniature cows may act like big dogs, but they are still cows. According to Rural Living Today, each miniature cow you own needs a half-acre of pasture land to graze on. They are very social creatures. This is one of the many reasons that I love them. So if you have one, they need some sort of companion. This can be another cow, a dog, a cat or any other animal. A lot of folks don’t realize how smart cows are. You can train them to do a lot of things if you are willing to put in the time.

The site says there are around 26 different breeds of miniature cows. Each breed brings something unique to the table. Don’t worry about size because they range from less than 32 inches to 48 inches depending on the breed. If you have a hobby farm and are looking to get milk, a miniature Holstein would be perfect for you. I know it can be hard to wrap your mind around the idea, but if you are raising your cow for beef there are a few good breeds for that. Most miniatures could provide a small family with a lot of beef. You might consider getting a Lowline Angus or a Miniature Texas Longhorn (they usually have tender meat) if you’re raising them for beef. If you’re just looking to get an adorable cow, some breeds to consider… Miniature Panda Cows (black and white faces), Miniature Herefords and one of my personal favorites Miniature Scottish Highlands (the fluffy brown cows). These are just a few of the breeds that are available. You can check out more here.

Here’s the tricky part… cows are considered agriculture animals. Many cities have laws, rules, and ordinances that state you can’t raise agricultural animals in the city limits. That makes having a miniature cow as a pet hard. Other things to consider… It is also important that you can provide proper feeding and watering equipment. You don’t necessarily need a barn, but you do need a shelter for when our bad Minnesota weather does strike.

If I had enough land to have one I totally would! These are truly amazing animals!!

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State Police Investigating Cows Shot, Killed In Somerset Co. – CBS Pittsburgh

JENNER TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) – State police are trying to find whoever shot and killed two cows and one unborn cow in Somerset County.

According to CBS affiliate WTAJ, two cow were shot with a rifle in Jenner Township.

One cow was found dead near Mastillo Road, says WTAJ, and troopers say the pregnant cow walked up to the farmer and cried in pain before falling dead.

The shootings happened sometime between last Friday at 6 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. Saturday.

The cows, both Hereford cows, were valued at a total of $3,800, says WTAJ.

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Last call for Cow Power votes! – Beef Magazine

It’s been a fun run the last couple of weeks as we have celebrated the Cow Power that runs our ranches.

Even more fun is getting to know you and your operations a little bit better through photographs. Browsing the images that readers sent in, it’s interesting to see the different environments, breeds and stories behind each cattle operation.

It’s a great reminder that in the cattle business, there is no one-size-fits-all approach, and I’m happy for that!

As we wrap up the Cow Power photo contest, sponsored by Neogen, I wanted to remind you all that voting ends at noon Feb. 13!

Check out the complete gallery by clicking here.

You can still vote every day until the contest officially closes, and from there, we’ll tally up the top four photographs and award the individuals who received the most votes with $50 gift cards from Neogen.

Plus, two lucky voters will be randomly selected to win copies of my ranch-themed children’s books, “Can-Do Cowkids” and “Levi’s Lost Calf.” Head on over to vote to make sure your name is in the hat for the drawing!


Thanks again to the photographers, voters and all participants who helped make this photo contest a huge success!

Oh, and we are already receiving messages asking about when the next contest will be! I’m excited to share that we have two contests scheduled for March and April, so watch for updates and keep snapping photos when you’re out doing chores!

Here’s a hint about the next contest theme: As you snap photos, try to capture some of the people who work so hard on your ranch.

Good luck to the 15 finalists, and check BEEF Daily Monday, Feb. 17 when we announce the winners!

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.

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‘We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and steal her baby.’ Joaquin Phoenix’s Oscar speech will be welcomed by America’s growing army of vegans – MarketWatch

Dairy milk got a bad reception at Sunday’s Academy Awards.

Joaquin Phoenix took aim at dairy farming in his Oscars speech for Best Actor in a Leading Role for “Joker.” “We go into the natural world and we plunder it for its resources. We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable,” he said. “Then we take her milk that’s intended for her calf and we put it in our coffee and our cereal.”

“We fear the idea of personal change, because we think we need to sacrifice something, to give something up,” Phoenix added. “But human beings at our best are so creative and inventive, and we can create, develop and implement systems of change that are beneficial to all sentient beings and the environment.”

The Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), a dairy marketing cooperative, said net sales had declined by $1.1 billion in 2018, from $14.7 billion in 2017 to $13.6 billion in 2018. Dairy industry executives say the milk beverage category remains competitive, while the dairy market as a whole has seen growth. The cooperative did not immediately reply to a request for comment on Phoenix’s speech.

‘We fear the idea of personal change, because we think we need to sacrifice something, to give something up.’

—Joaquin Phoenix

Independent data supports those figures. Dairy milk sales fell to approximately $12 billion last year from $15 billion in 2015, while alternative sources of milk have risen over the same period, according to the market researcher Nielsen. Almond milk sales have increased by nearly 6% to $1.35 billion over the same period, while oat milk soared 662% to nearly $60 million in 2019, Nielsen added.

Market research group Sentient Media crunched more than two dozen studies involving 80,000 Americans and concluded that there are approximately 6.5 million self-identifying vegans in the U.S., and that does not include those who want a lighter meat- and dairy-free diet. That likely why Nielsen data commissioned by the Plant Based Food Association estimates that plant-based food sales surpassed $3.3 billion in 2018, more than doubling from the previous year.

“People change their diets for a lot of reasons: to bring an end to animal farming, to fight for a livable climate, to promote health and personal growth, to be kind,” according to the Sentient Media report. “There is no right answer here. The way we choose to eat will likely change a number of times over the course of our lives, and that’s okay. Ethical eating works like a spectrum, one that is trending towards compassion.”

Sales of plant-based varieties have grown 6% over the past year, now making up 13% of the entire milk category, according to separate data released last year from the Good Food Institute and Plant Based Foods Association. Sales of cow’s milk, meanwhile, have declined 3%. In fact, 11% of consumers say they’re trying to consume less dairy, according to the NPD Group.

Why artificially inseminate heifers? This University of Kentucky paper aims to answer that question: “It’s quite simple: to increase the number of genetically superior heifers available for herd replacement and sale,” it said. “However, the bottom line is heifer AI puts the dairy farmer in a position where he or she has plenty of genetically superior heifers available for replacement and sale.”

“It makes the process safer for consumers and controls the spread of disease,” the paper from the university’s College of Agriculture added. “Certainly, there are many other valid reasons for using heifer artificial insemination: higher conception rate, increased semen value, calving ease, controlling transfer of reproductive diseases, safety, controlled breeding, better records, and accurate due dates.”

Farmers aim for higher conception rates, increased semen value and controlling transfer of reproductive diseases.

Phoenix and other critics of dairy farming argue that it treats the animals like they’re machines.

“Dairy farmers should not be satisfied with average sires, and should be encouraged to breed heifers to above average sires,” the University of Kentucky paper added. “With a little selection, dairy farmers should expect daughters of AI sires to out milk their non-AI counterparts by much more than 1,200 pounds per lactation.”

Still, many people feel so strongly about alternative milk varieties — whether for reasons relating to health, the environment or animal rights — that they’re willing to pay big money for non-dairy varieties, particularly oat milk. When the Swedish oat milk brand Oatly sold out of its Barista Edition Oatmilk variety in December, one Amazon

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 seller posted a 12-pack of the milk cartons for $226 (a 32-ounce carton retails for $4.99).

The plant-based market’s best-selling alternatives — almond milk and soy milk — cost almost double at $4.29 a half-gallon (64-ounces), respectively, compared to $2.17 for regular dairy milk, according to a price check by FreshDirect, the online grocery delivery service that delivers in the New York metropolitan area, and areas in Connecticut, Jersey, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. Oat milk is almost 2.5 times the cost of dairy milk ($5.29 a half-gallon).

Last year, the dairy company Dean Foods Co. voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, saying it was working toward an “orderly” sale of the company. “Consumers want to reduce, not eliminate, the amount of animal proteins we consume,” Darren Seifer, a food consumption business analyst at NPD Group, told MarketWatch at the time. “They’re pro-protein, they just don’t want to have more meat or more milk to achieve these goals.”

People are certainly becoming more interested in meat and dairy alternatives. Beyond Meat

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the plant-based meat company, is up 85% since its initial public offering in May 2019, after soaring nearly 238% in the months after its IPO. More large food companies want a slice out of the vegetarian and vegan market: Meat producer Tyson Foods Inc.

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  also entered the alternative protein market last year, unveiling new products under the Raised & Rooted brand.

Phoenix, meanwhile, called on people during his speech Sunday night to find alternative sources to dairy farming. “We fear the idea of personal change, because we think we need to sacrifice something; to give something up,” he said. “But human beings at our best are so creative and inventive, and we can create, develop and implement systems of change that are beneficial to all sentient beings and the environment.”

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Joaquin Phoenix Rails Against Cancel Culture, Cow Insemination in Wild Oscar Acceptance Speech for 'Joker' – The Daily Beast

For weeks, Joaquin Phoenix has been a favorite to take home Best Actor at the 2020 Oscars—and sure enough, he collected the statuette at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday night. But leading up to Phoenix’s big victory—his first win in the category—many rightfully wondered what Phoenix might say. At the Golden Globes in January, after all, Phoenix created a viral moment when he called out his fellow actors for taking private jets—and that was just one of many impassioned moments on his Oscar campaign trail. Sure enough, the Joker actor delivered the speech of a lifetime on Sunday night—a meandering address that managed to touch on human selfishness, artificial bovine insemination, and the actor’s late brother, River Phoenix.

“I think the greatest gift that [acting] has given me and many of us in this room is the opportunity to use our voice for the voiceless,” Phoenix said as he collected his trophy. “I’ve been thinking a lot about some of these distressing issues that we are facing collectively, and I think sometimes we feel or are made to feel that we champion different causes. But for me I see commonality.”

“I think whether we’re talking about gender and equality, or racism, or queer rights, or indigenous rights, or animal rights, we’re talking about the fight against injustice,” Phoenix continued, “We’re talking about the fight against the belief that one people, one race, one gender, one species has the right to dominate, control, use, and exploit another with impunity.”

Phoenix added that he believes we’ve become “more disconnected from the natural world,” and that humanity has become egocentric about our place in the universe. Then things got a little strange: “We go into the natural world and plunder it of its resources,” Phoenix said. “We feel entitled to artificially inseminate a cow and then steal her baby, even though her cries of anguish are unmistakable.”

Still, Phoenix said, humanity can be “so inventive and creative and genius, and I think when we use love and compassion as our guiding principles we can develop and implement systems of change that are beneficial to all sentient beings, and to the environment.”

“Now, I’ve been a scoundrel in my life,” Phoenix added. “I’ve been selfish, I’ve been cruel at times, hard to work with, and ungrateful, but so many of you have given me a second chance—and I think that’s when we’re at our best. When we support each other not when we cancel each other out over past mistakes, but when we guide each other to grow, for redemption. That is the best of humanity.”

And before he left the stage, Phoenix closed things out by quoting a lyric his late brother, River Phoenix, once wrote: “Run to the rescue with love, and peace will follow.”

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'You're Scared To Go Out Without A Gun': Another Mutilated Cow In Central Oregon Rattles Ranchers – OPB News

NOTE: This story includes images and descriptions of dead cows and their mutilation that readers may find disturbing.

Rancher Stephen Roth is rattled by the recent slaying of one of his cows near Hampton, Oregon.

“You’re scared to go out without a gun,” he said. “You have to weigh the danger of packing a gun versus having it around your young kids.”

Roth has five little children, so he’s reluctant to carry guns in his vehicle or on horseback. 

The cow’s killing happened in September 2019, but records have just recently been released on the case from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, and it still feels fresh to Roth.

Out There

Between the private ground and public lands, Roth’s family manages about 87,000 acres of sage, juniper and sand. They run more than 1,000 head of cattle and grow irrigated alfalfa on their land.

Roth’s ranch hand found the slain cow in the late afternoon of Sept. 18. She was missing her udder, genitals, tongue, blood and heart.

“My cowboy was out checking water,” Roth said. “He’d been out the day before. She was within a couple hundred yards of the water trough.” 

The cow was mutilated in a remote stretch of U.S. Bureau of Land Management land in northern Lake County.

Roth says it takes about an hour to drive there on a rough road with a high pickup or 4-wheel drive vehicle.

According to Clancy Roth, Stephen’s wife, there are only five ranches for about 60 miles – between their place and Bend, Oregon.

Kaden Wiberg is a ranchhand at the Roth family ranch in central Oregon. He was one of the first people to spot a dead and mutilated cow in September 2019.

Kaden Wiberg is a ranchhand at the Roth family ranch in central Oregon. He was one of the first people to spot a dead and mutilated cow in September 2019.

Courtesy of Kaden Wiberg

“There’s nothing out there, but us,” Clancy Roth said. “It’s creepy to think some weirdo is out there.”

Later that day, ranch owner Stephen Roth came out to inspect the animal. He tried to get help. He called the Harney County Sheriff’s Office because he knew it was handling the recent cases of five bulls that were slain on Silvies Valley Ranch. 

As we’ve previously reported, five young bulls were slain last year on an expansive working and guest ranch that’s roughly the size of Chicago. The animals were killed on remote U.S. Forest Service allotments. Their tongues, genitals and blood were removed. Ranchers say scavengers like birds and coyotes didn’t touch the dead animals. The ranch’s owner offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to a conviction, but so far there are no suspects. 

Back in Lake County, Roth’s cow was out of the Harney Sheriff’s Office jurisdiction. He called the Lake and nearby Deschutes counties. He called the Oregon State Patrol, which also wouldn’t respond. 

Roth wanted forensic testing of the animal to see if it had been poisoned or darted. There were no bullet holes in the hide.

“The Harney County people said that I could hire the vet to come out,” Roth said, “but I really didn’t want to be out there in the dark with the vet and no guns.”  

The next day, Lake County deputy Tom Roark came to inspect the animal, but it was too late to take a blood sample.

The deputy’s report says: “ … I began an investigation involving the mutilation of a cow, Steven Roth being the animal owner. The mutilation included the heart, tongue, udder, vagina and butt being cut from the cow. There is no suspect information.”

The Tracker

Looking for more clues as to who, or what, killed his cow, Stephen Roth invited over his long-time friend Gary Bishop, who had served in the U.S. Air Force in a tactical reconnaissance unit. They went out to where the cow was killed, with the sheriff’s deputy.

“It’s a hobby of mine to track stuff for hunting,” Bishop said.

He recounts that the scene was incredibly strange.

“It’s obvious an animal didn’t do it,” he said. “I think [whoever is responsible] rely on the fact that we are so rural that they can’t get the animal to a vet for a forensic exam fast enough.”

Gary Bishop is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and now works as a consulting agronomist. Here he's in a blooming field of radish in Deschutes County, Ore.

Gary Bishop is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and now works as a consulting agronomist. Here he’s in a blooming field of radish in Deschutes County, Ore.

Courtesy of Gary Bishop

He described the killer as extremely efficient, and good at what they’re doing. 

“When an animal is killed hunting, usually you gut it right on site so you can move it,” Bishop said. “You can see that disturbance on the ground. The person that’s doing this is getting away with this but is very efficient at it. They’ve been doing it a long time or they are in a trade that they know how to skin an animal.” 

The rancher and his friend found prints behind a juniper tree where someone may have kneeled down near the dead cow.

They also found some feathers scattered on the nearby brush that they thought might have been used as packing on a blow dart. They collected the feathers with the sheriff’s deputy for analysis.

“It looks like ostrich plume, white or grey colored feathers,” Bishop said. “They’re fluffy enough they’re not synthetic. They were scattered in a straight line from some trees to the animal, hung up in the sage and the grass.”

Roth sent a feather to the Harney County Sheriff’s Office for analysis, but officials later told them they were from a common bird of the area, and likely not packing for a dart.

Bishop said he thought someone would have had to have watched the cattle for a day or two to see how the animals were moving back and forth to the water. 

“If you were trying to do this, I would go out into that animal’s territory and track him for a couple of days,” he said. “Cows are a little more predictable.” 

But he’s livid about the whole incident. 

“Our livelihood out here in the desert is cattle,” Bishop said. “You get to know your critters, no matter how big your herd is. And that these people have such disregard for the animal and the value of it. It’s just a violating feeling.”

Creepy Details 

Some of the most disturbing parts of the cow’s killing are the details, says Stephen Roth.

The number on the cow’s yellow plastic ear tag was “1313.”

And she was found a few days after Friday the 13th. 

“To be able to cut through skin and hide without getting into the belly, takes a lot of skill and precision,” said Kaden Wiberg, one of Roth’s ranch hands who first came upon the killed cow. “It kind of creeped me out. I definitely think it was someone, a pretty sick person. It wasn’t an animal. No animal can cut skin around a belly like that.”

Wiberg says there were no distinguishable foot, truck or ATV prints or other clues nearby.

The cow was found near the water troughs, not in the middle of the range.

In this photo you can see the place where the heart was cut out and where the udder cut away from the belly of the young cow, number 1313

In this photo you can see the place where the heart was cut out and where the udder cut away from the belly of the young cow, number 1313

Courtesy of Kaden Wiberg

“I wonder if they wanted us to find it to spook us. I don’t know,” he said.   

Wiberg said there were a few thrash marks where the cow had moved around on the ground.

One other detail was strange.

Wiberg got really sick after he touched the dead cow.

“He was throwing up,” said Clancy Roth. “We don’t know if he got a flu bug, or ate something – but he went out there looked at that cow and touched her and then that night he wasn’t fine.”

Clancy Roth says that Wilberg was the only person from the ranch who got sick, and the only one who touched the cow.

Second Time

This is the second time this family has been hit by a cattle killer.

In the early 1990s, four cattle were killed on David Roth’s ranch. David, who is 76, is Stephen’s father. David’s ranch is in Lake County, on a U.S. Forest Service allotment about 30 miles east of La Pine.

“It was disgusting and disappointing,” the elder Roth remembered. 

The cattle were mostly black-baldies, and one was a Hereford. 

“Each [killing] was at a different time, over a span of about six weeks,” he said. “In that open country, you don’t see your cows every day.”

The cases were reported to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, which investigated, but no suspects were ever found.

Stephen and Clancy Roth have five small children, and the recent mutilation of a cow on their rangeland in central Oregon has them rattled.

Stephen and Clancy Roth have five small children, and the recent mutilation of a cow on their rangeland in central Oregon has them rattled.

Courtesy of Stephen and Clancy Roth

“Anytime someone messes with your cattle it makes you mad,” David Roth said. “We thought it was some sort of cult, not what normal people would do to property or animals.”

Roth says to his knowledge there wasn’t anyone with a vendetta against his family and other ranching neighbors had the same kind of cattle killings too. A lot of times he would find the animals several days after they’d been killed – and there were no signs of who or what did the crime.

“We’re just amazed that this is happening again,” David Roth said. “It’s something we just don’t understand.

No Peace

The animal is worth around $1,200 and wasn’t insured for this type of incident, so it’s a total loss, Stephen Roth said. 

But more than that, it’s frustrating to Roth’s family and employees. 

“It’s a lot more than money,” he said. “You raise [the cattle] from heifers. You take care of them and raise them up, see their calves born. You know them.”

However upsetting, these cases are intrinsically hard to solve. They’re remote. There are few or no witnesses. And they’re the responsibility of short-staffed counties or law enforcement jurisdictions.  

“Because we are so spread out, how many more are there that we don’t even find?” Clancy Roth said. “You have to be lucky to even trip across [dead and mutilated cattle].” 

She said her family and the ranch hands carry pistols now. 

“There’s not much we can change unless you just don’t run cows,” she said. 

But that’s frustrating to ranchers who have lost one of the big reasons they chose to live so remote: peace.

“If someone comes up to the house, we’re fairly prepared,” Stephen Roth said. “But when we’re out on the range you want to be friendly to people, not scared of them.”

He used to let his 12-year-old son ride to gather cattle with him. Sometimes the boy can disappear over a hill or down a draw, through trees and out of his sight. Stephen Roth said now he might have to keep a tighter rein on his range-savvy son.

“That [killing] makes you think a little more,” Roth said.

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