On Calves and Life

CattleA Letter to the Editor of the Abilene Reflector-Chronicle by Bill Jeffcoat:

I simply must report this, and I highly recommend a similar experience for a town person.  Why?  Here I am, born and raised in a farming place, not really knowing much about it; over 60 years old and it just did not interest me.

So, what is it I am talking about?  With the kindness of my friends, Dr. Laws and his assistant, I wanted to watch the birth of a calf.  When I went, I didn’t know we would run into a C-Section.  Dr. Laws asked, “Do you think you can stand it?”  I said I would try. Mercy, what a thing to behold; the patience of the humans and the mother, the sewing up, the gallons of disinfectant, getting the baby to start breathing, just the whole thing.

It was to me, simply amazing and the reason I am writing this is, for me, it brought to mind the whole balance of nature, that balance between animal and man, each helping the other through a time of difficulty, to keep the cycle of life going. As I dried the baby off with a sheet, I wondered to myself, will I ever be able to eat beef again?  Well, I can, and oddly enough, the helping crew of humans wanted to name the calf after me!  A final thought, this world of ours is very intertwined with the help of all of us; let us all just keep on doing what we can to help.  -Bill Jeffcoat


  1. This a great true story. Although Bill Jeffcoat’s experience was written about many years ago, the current discussion on television and in the Kansas City Star about meat, especially beef, continues to capture our interest. Those who live in cities and even rural communities continue to lack knowledge and understanding about how animals are raised, fed and processed.

    I did know the Jeffcoats during my youth on a farm near Abilene. They were an interesting family and have left an enduring legacy.

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