Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Travels and Trials of Old 18 - Her Story

"The truth is incontrovertible; malice may attack it, ignorance my deride it, but in the end, there it is." Winston Churchill

". . .When close to being outwitted and exposed, the bully feigns victimhood and turns the focus on themselves. . . Female serial bullies are especially partial to making themselves the center of attention by claiming to be the injured party whilst portraying their target as the villain of the piece. . ." Tim Field, Bully on Sight

Although you hear many people using the term 'stupid cow' or some such, from my observations they are far from stupid. Each member of my herd has particular character traits and behavior that are uniquely their own. Cow family groups are often found grazing together -- the Grandmother, Daughters, and Granddaughters. Most often many traits of the sire and dam in terms of personality and behavior are passed on to their calves. Most cattle breeders are familiar with the term "heritability", and certain behavioral as well as physical traits are quite heritable in cattle. If a cow or bull is inclined to be more curious and precocious, the probability is great that their calves will have some degree of this same trait. If a cow is a pushy sort of girl, then look for that to express itself in her offspring, and so on with the whole gamut of possibilities. Old 18 was, and is now again, a gentle and quiet old girl, easily contented.

While we generally see these desirable behavioral traits of cows passed on to their calves, every now and then the odd one hits the ground -- the odd calf born to very good-natured parents that is inexplicably disconnected from kinship with it's family group, and typically much more aggressive about protecting its personal 'flight zone' space.

My observations of people over the years, and particularly the past several years, is that the odd calf in a herd of cattle that is a Genetic misfit with the parents and other siblings, can be found as well in human families. The destructive types of human misfits explored in this essay are the self-absorbed humans who perceive themselves as more important than anyone else and more deserving than anyone else -- the narcissists -- they close their eyes to the needs of others, and place individuals in their family unit who might be useful to them at a careful and calculated distance -- a human 'flight zone' that is based on how much or how little the individual complies with the misfit human's needs. (See Mayo Clinic, Narcissistic Personality Disorder )

You can rarely see it in their eyes unless you are their target -- they just don't have a lot to give of themselves and they like it that way -- and, yes, I'm referring to the few odd cows and calves I've encountered and the human misfits, who are quite often Sociopathic Serial Bullies, which is one of the most damaging degrees of sickness for the narcissistic human misfit. The odd bovine misfits won't be found licking the face of their sisters or their mother, hanging out under a tree with their family group, helping with the care-taking of one another just doesn't happen -- unless of course there is personal gain, but a cow doesn't generally hang with another for personal gain. While they most definitely aren't stupid, they wouldn't conceive of the using or abusing of another's emotions as the path to filling their belly with the best the rancher has to offer -- but without a doubt a human misfit will.

This summer Old 18, a very aged cow, returned to my herd -- I've referred to her as 'Old 18' in an earlier essay, and she is pictured above in November of 2004. I placed Old 18 a couple of years ago with a nice family nearby who could keep her in smaller pastures that wouldn't be so hard on her bad hip. However, this respite from life in a big herd was short-lived, and she was traded into a commercial herd where she was just one of a group of many -- her physical limitations no doubt of little consequence to the new owner. She was brought back to me because she is too aged to be of value to the typical rancher, and I did not want her taken to an auction barn where she would undoubtedly suffer from ill behavior on the part of humans -- and she did not deserve that treatment after all her years of service to us humans. Initially, I was irritated at the cavalier treatment of Old 18 by the fellow that dropped her off in the cattle pens. But upon second thought, at least he had the courage and the care to try to do what was now best for her now that her usefulness to him was over. He could have put her in a pasture corner and simply ignored her until she died a so-called natural death.

Old 18 was mal-nourished , her joints popping loudly through the air with every measured step, and perhaps worst of all, her personality had changed -- she was shy of me, of everyone. You couldn't walk near where she was resting, typically alone in the beginning, without her struggling to her feet and shuffling away. She was a tired and frightened old girl, and I'll never know what human treatment she received to make her so. I thought I was doing the right thing, letting her live in a less strenuous environment; believed that she would be cared for as the special grande' dame British White cow she is, until the day she died -- I was wrong. Perhaps, if she could, she would have articulated these questions during her sojourn away from home:  (Source: Physical and Emotional Response to Abuse
***"Question: I feel so ill and desperate I sometimes have suicidal thoughts?
Answer: These feelings, which include reactive depression, are a normal reaction to an abnormal situation. You are not mentally ill, but mentally injured and fatigued. The cause is external which means someone is responsible and liable for your condition.

Question: Why am I a victim?

Answer: You're not a victim, you're a target. The bully has deliberately and intentionally targeted you. It is the bully's pattern of behaviour with constant nitpicking criticisms, false allegations and so on which reveals intent."

For several months now I've again found myself in a long term babysit of Old 18. She was pretty much emaciated upon her return to the ranch, but now she has a decent amount of fat cover. While her time away from here greatly worsened her bad hip, her joints no longer pop and creak so loudly. I keep her always in a pasture near the house. At the end of every long day I seek her out and make sure she is okay, that she hasn't taken a turn for the worse, that she appears healthy and at enough of a level of ease to enjoy the remainder of her life. It doesn't take much time really to just check and say hi and make sure she's okay --

[. . . the narcissistic human has no time for such care-giving activity, unless it is perceived as a gainful approach to their selfish goals, such as known reward at ultimate death of the individual, be it parent or child, or the narcissist's projection of their self love in their offspring or parent. Self-love through offspring or parents in the narcissistic human is particularly insidious -- as it is only as constant as the offspring's or parent's constancy of agreement with the narcissist human.]

The days can be long for a rancher, it's not at all a glam pursuit. Most often the days are filled with the more gainful side of one's occupations that support the rearing of cattle -- and at the close of the day as dusk approaches you take that walk and check on those who may be in need of your attention. Sadly, human misfits have so little 'humanity' that they can't be bothered to even take this same little bit of time, this brief walk, with aged or injured human family members -- their own time, their own health, is all that matters.

The human misfit's self-importance is so great that they can't be bothered to check upon and observe the health of nearby family members that have in their view failed to supply or comply with their wishes -- a cow would never be so cold. Old 18 has another cow that has bonded with her and they are now often found together keeping one another company. If I had daughters here at the ranch from Old 18, I've no doubt they would be seen regularly at her side.

Sadly, when it's a human misfit, much harm can be done to the entire family unit when one exceedingly malicious person is born into that fold. When it's a cow that is a bad apple, eventually it's seen and accepted as such by us humans, and we let someone else see what they can do with the cow by way of the auction barn -- just maybe it would prefer different, or better, digs to call home.

With humans, we can't just dispose of the family member and let someone else try to work through their personal issues -- we can only hope the misfit human will win the lotto and just go away and stop causing such unnecessary pain and distress to the other members of the family unit -- or best of all, hope they'll surely come to their senses and be that loving and care-giving human that is a reflection of the family unit. This generally doesn't prove to happen. Instead, that human continues to cause extreme pain and distress to the vulnerable family members who can't fathom the root of their malice, and can't fathom the depth of their deceits.

But it is not theirs to fathom, it is an anomaly of nature -- much better they all would be not to try to fathom the depths of the odd misfit human, but to put them aside and go on, much like one assumes a cow family must surely do by simple animal instinct. But in the daily course of life that realization of one bad apple being a weird anomaly of nature is hard to accept by a human mother, father, or siblings -- painful to work with, and the attempt at acceptance of the misfit human puts other loved ones in harms away, drains away their spirit, and takes away their beautiful smile. . . perhaps forever.

With the misfit cow, we let it go elsewhere so it's behavior won't be a daily pain in the rear, won't perhaps influence the behavior of other cows and calves by example. With the misfit human who just doesn't go away, and most likely we don't want to go away, we remain so hopeful of a return of kindness and care to their character that we allow them to remain in our family unit.

Because of their mutual love of their mother, father, or siblings; the family unit remains in a state of hope that the human misfit will find again the clarity and gentleness of spirit of their youth, that can perhaps be likened to the young calf feeling the strength and the wonder of it's legs as it dashes across the pasture without an agenda at hand. Sounds sappy, and it is, and it's just what your human misfit wants you to do, believe . . .hope. . . there is an end to the emotional pain in sight, if you'll just provide what they seek this time -- manipulation is perhaps their greatest skill.

Old 18 seems to be handling the cold of winter fairly well. I was concerned about her being in perhaps a great deal of joint pain with the change of the season, but so far she seems to be at a constant level of ease. It's not unusual to find Old 18 resting with all the baby calves gathered around her, their dams designating the old girl as the babysitter for the day. Oftentimes, the youngsters make a mad dash to her and run around her, as though they're trying to encourage her to have some play time with them. As long as I see that she is content, she'll remain with me, and with this earth . . . I think she's well worth the extra time and care-taking.

NOTE: I imagine this blog will only bother those people who feel uncomfortable with themselves upon reading it.

The DSM-IV Diagnostic Criteria for Narcissistic Personality Disorder are:
A pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, lack of empathy, as indicated by at least five of:

1. a grandiose sense of self-importance
2. is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
3. believes that he or she is "special" and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
4. requires excessive admiration
5. has a sense of entitlement, i.e. unreasonable expectations of especially favourable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
6. is interpersonally exploitative, i.e. takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
7. lacks empathy and is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others, (Unless it can be publicly accomplished to further the narcissistic ideal self they strive to project.)
8. is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
9. shows arrogant, haughty behaviours or attitudes
Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder often cross a moral line into Sociopathic Serial Bully disorder.  Sociopathic Serial Bully?  Serial bullies harbour a particular hatred of anyone who can articulate their behaviour profile, either verbally or in writing . . . in a manner which helps other people see through their deception and their mask of deceit. Serial bullies hate to see themselves and their behaviour reflected as if they are looking into a mirror.


"Yet, the prime rule of narcissism must never be forgotten: the narcissist uses anything available to obtain his (or her) Narcissistic Supply. Children happen to be more attached to the female narcissist because women are still the primary caregivers and the ones who give birth. It is easier for a woman to think of her children (or her own mother) as her extensions because they once indeed were her physical extensions and because her on-going interaction with them is both more intensive and more extensive.

. . .Devoid of the diversity of alternatives available to men – the narcissistic woman fights to maintain her most reliable source of supply: her children (or parents). Through insidious indoctrination, guilt formation, emotional extortion, deprivation and other psychological mechanisms, she tries to induce in them a dependence, which cannot be easily unraveled.  But, there is no psychodynamic difference between children as sources of narcissistic supply - and money, or intellect, or any other Source of Narcissistic Supply. So, there is no psychodynamic difference between male and female narcissists. The only difference is in their choices of sources of narcissistic supply."

Follow this link for an online Narcissistic Abuse Message Board.

"Nothing can prepare you for living or working with a sociopathic serial bully. It is the most devastating, draining, misunderstood, and ultimately futile experience imaginable." Tim Field, Bully on Sight

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Merry Christmas to All, and to All a . . . Happy New Year!

The close of 2007 is almost upon us, but as well the new beginnings of 2008 are around the corner. A new year to make new strides of improvement with our cattle and with ourselves. For me it has been one of the longest years I've lived in perhaps the last decade of my life. That may seem an odd thing to say, but it seems to me that the events of a given year in our lives sometimes have a sort of rush about them, or sometimes an agonizing delay.

I lost my Mom in early October, and I want to thank every one for the kind words of sympathy, and I pray and believe she is in God's Loving Care now and the stresses of the world are behind her. I also lost a cousin this summer and now this past week it seems I've lost my dog, Gabbie, who was a joy to be around, always a happy girl. She looks somewhat like a coyote, and I found out yesterday that many are being found around deer stands shot dead in their tracks. While I understand the need to control the population, I'm not so sure I agree anymore with this tactic.

I had the opportunity to see a humanely captured coyote napping in a trap in the back of a pickup yesterday. It will be taken to a hunting dog operation for use in training. I hope my Gabbie somehow has shared that same fate and someone will realize that she is a good dog, not a killing coyote. At the same time, I wonder, and perhaps hope just a bit, maybe hope really a whole lot, that the loss of Gabbie is my number '3' for this string of deaths in my family, and all will be well with those I love for many years to come.

That's an old saying I grew up with -- that death comes in threes. But I hope Gabbie is alive and well, and her disappearance is enough to count as my family's number '3'.

We had a really great annual meeting at Halliburton Farms in Bells this past month. Amazingly, a large number of people travelled great distances to attend. I don't think they were at all disappointed, and the level of enthusiasm and interest in the breed was contagious and heartening.

The speakers were both excellent and the attendees listened raptly and with great interest in their discussion. Perhaps best of all, everyone there got a bursting full large bag of what look to be perfect pecans from Morris and Jean Halliburton's very old and very prolific pecan trees. Lucky for me, Mike won the bidding as well on two bags of shelled ones which we are quite enjoying.

Not to be left out is the excellent catfish prepared by Morris' family. I could have eaten plate after plate if I'd just shut up long enough -- but the conversation was good and those who know me, know I get started talking and sort of lose all track of time and awareness of what's around -- though I did get a last piece from Dan Herrell sitting next to me -- sharing good catfish is something I consider tops on my list of good people traits.

Fortunately, Dan also let me have a warm cap he had extra with him, and on Sunday morning it was firmly on my head keeping me warm and dry as the sky fell out with a pounding rain and the air cooled down to high 30's, if not lower. Brrr. . . it was surely cold. Thanks Dan, and thanks to everyone who made the meeting a memorable one for all.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Not Good News for Turkey Day

H5N1 confirmed at second U.K. site

By Alicia Karapetian on 11/20/2007 for

British officials on Monday announced that testing confirmed an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in turkeys at a second site in the United Kingdom.

The outbreak occurred at a farm deemed a "dangerous contact" premise, which was placed under restriction following the first outbreak last week. (See British AI outbreak highly pathogenic strain: official on, Nov. 14, 2007.)

Officials on Saturday completed the culling of birds on the first infected farm and those placed under restriction.

An almost 2-mile protection zone has been established around the second site, and the existing surveillance zone has been extended.

British AI outbreak highly pathogenic strain: official
By Alicia Karapetian on 11/14/2007 for

British government officials on Tuesday announced that confirmatory tests showed an avian influenza outbreak on a turkey farm in eastern England was the highly pathogenic H5N1 strain.

In response, the some 5,000 turkeys, 1,000 ducks and 400 geese on the farm will be culled, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Hilary Benn told British Parliament in prepared remarks Tuesday.

"The health and safety of those involved in the operations are the priority, and a strict approach is being taken," she said. "All workers on the premises already potentially exposed to infection have been given Tamiflu."

The government also has restricted poultry movement, instituting an almost 2-mile protection zone and an approximately 6-mile-wide surveillance area.

Benn's department was informed of a large number of turkey deaths at the farm Sunday. Preliminary tests conducted Monday showed the presence of the H5 strain, and further testing, which revealed the strain was H5N1, was completed Tuesday.

The United Kingdom last faced an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in February when 159,000 turkeys were culled at a Bernard Matthews farm.

Check out this Day-After-Thanksgiving Stew Recipe

This sounds like an really tasty recipe for a Mexican style beef stew provided this week to National Cattlemen's Beef Association members. Check out those ingredients and add them to your grocery list, sounds like a winning combination of seasonings. For the less adventurous, a good old-fashioned soup bowl should work just fine. . . .

Easy Day-After-Thanksgiving Stew

Wondering what to serve the day after Thanksgiving to a houseful of hungry family looking for an encore? Whip up hearty Mexican Beef Stew to satisfy those day-after stomach grumblings!

Mexican Beef Soup in Tortilla Bowls

Prep time: 25 minutes
1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 large onion, cut lengthwise in half and cut crosswise into thin slices
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cans (10-1/2 ounces each) beef consommé
1 can (15-1/4 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
1 cup water
6 medium (8 inches) flour tortillas
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro


Heat Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add ground beef and onion; brown 4 to 5 minutes, breaking beef up into 3/4-inch crumbles. Pour off drippings. Season beef with cumin and pepper.
Stir consommé, corn, tomatoes and water into beef. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes.
Meanwhile gently press tortillas into 6 individual microwave-safe (2-cup) soup bowls. Microwave, 3 bowls at a time, on HIGH 5 to 6 minutes or until tortillas are slightly crisp, rotating and rearranging cups halfway.
Stir cilantro into soup; spoon soup into tortilla bowls. Garnish as desired; serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 478 calories; 19 g fat (6 g saturated fat; 8 g monounsaturated fat); 76 mg cholesterol; 1102 mg sodium; 40 g carbohydrate; 2.6 g fiber; 34 g protein; 5.6 mg niacin; 0.4 mg vitamin B6; 2.4 mcg vitamin B12; 4.6 mg iron; 20.8 mcg selenium; 5.8 mg zinc

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Traditional Breed Beef (British White) and Pork in Demand in England

Traditional Breed Beef and Pork in Demand

(Excerpt - Please follow the link above for the full text of the article)

“Shaun bought the British White cattle because they were a traditional breed and he felt there would be a market for them. Also, at the time he was running the farm on his own and the cattle are naturally-polled and are easily handled.

“At the time the breed was classified rare but now the Rare Breeds’ Survival Trust has them on the minority list with around 1,500 breeding females in the country.

“The Middle White pigs are an endangered breed and the Saddlebacks which came last year are classified as at Risk by the Rare breeds Survival Trust.”

British White cattle at
Savin Hill

All Cattle born at Savin Hill are finished on the farm at between 24 to 30 months old and such has been the demand for the meat that the Partingtons have developed good relationships with other British White breeders around the country who now supply them with finished animals to the same standards as their own.

“We were unable to cope with the demand for beef with our own cattle and by taking them off other breeders this has encouraged people either to expand their herds or to go into the breed.

“Our over-riding philosophy with the business is about pure traditional native breeds and sustainably farming in this country which is something that a lot of people are struggling to do in the current climate of change.

“By us creating a market for a quality product, consumers can support these breeds and hopefully encourage sufficient numbers of the animals and make it viable to farm them in this country.”

With the cattle taking at least three years to produce (from conception to the final cuts of quality meat), the small acreage at Savin Hill has not been able to cope with the demand, but the faster turn-around time for the pigs has enabled them to develop this side of the meat business. “We have won several awards for our Middle White home-produced pork which is all born, bred and reared on our farm”. Michelle and Shaun Partington
with Middle White piglets

Pigs are eight to 10 months old at finishing with the Middle Whites weighing 65-80kg and the Saddlebacks will be 85kg-plus.

Meat has always been sold direct to get the best price through farmers’ markets and fine food fairs in Lancashire and the Manchester area and now there is an increasing demand for wholesale meat direct to restaurants which Michelle plans to develop.

On average, one head of Savin Hill's cattle is put through the system each month but this can rise to up to 10 during November and December when other breeders help meet the demand.

A further six pigs on average are used each week.

Michelle’s partner Paul Etherington, who has 20 years’ experience as a butcher, cuts the meat in the on-farm premises to include shin, skirt, loins, legs and belly.

Quality ready-prepared meats are also sold such as loin of pork stuffed with basil and fresh sage, pork fillets wrapped in pancetta, stuffed belly pork with apricot and ginger.

The Saddlebacks are used for bacon and their trim is used in the sausages which have around a 90 per cent meat content. They are made without preservatives or artificial flavourings and colourings.

Meat from the Middle Whites, a traditional pork pig, will continue to be used for the fresh pork cuts and the trim will go into speciality pies including Pork and Lyth Valley Damson.

“We all love to eat good food – it’s an important thing for us. My mum’s side of the family were in farming. Her grand-parents used to sell eggs and milk on Blackburn market.

“We have been brought up to think that quality food is important. These days there are too many flavour enhancers, artificial preservatives and colourings being used in foods,” says Michelle, who enjoys being able to talk to her customers about what is in their products and how the meats are naturally-reared.