For those of us in the cattle business, we already know our beloved bovines are pretty awesome creatures. The business is labor-intensive and expensive, and although making a profit is important, there’s something about the joy of raising cattle that keeps ranchers working far beyond reasonable hours, and a reasonable age of retirement.
Maybe it’s the pleasure of working with nature, seeing frisky calves play in the pasture, the pride of watching calves sell for top dollar in the fall, the challenge of improving on genetics, making a better beef product, or marketing that beef in new ways to consumers. No matter which sector of the industry you’re involved in, the cattle business is like no other, and the cows just make the work worthwhile.
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While this information is common knowledge for cowboys, consumers are starting to figure out just how cool cattle are, as well. Remember last summer when “fluffy cows” were all the rage on social media? People couldn’t get enough of those cute show calves with all of the hair.
While that trend has quieted a bit, cattle are getting attention once again on social media. This time, cattle are being celebrated on BuzzFeed, a popular community-run website that features fun lists folks scroll through such as, “The 100 Most Important Dog Photos Of All Time,” or “38 Epic Fails That Will Make You Feel Better About Yourself.”
Sound silly? You bet, but it’s strangely addicting. And it’s been neat to see that in the last couple of weeks, two new BuzzFeed lists have been all about the cows. Here is an excerpt from those lists:
1. 15 Common Meat Myths That Need To Be Crushed For Good
Created by the American Meat Institute (AMI), the list opens up with, “Meat: You love it and yet read so much false information online about it. Next time someone comes to you with these common meat myths, hit them back with the facts.”
The list debunks misinformation about meat plants, food safety, antibiotics, hormones, nitrates, grass-fed beef vs. grain-fed beef, “pink slime,” hot dog production, environmental impacts in beef production, superbugs and animal welfare.
2. 21 Reasons Cows Are Actually Awesome
Created by Lindsey Robertson, the BuzzFeed staff member writes, “Bonafide bovines are ahead.”
She cites cows’ lovable personalities, curiosity, long tongues, funny faces, furry appearance, perfect faces for selfies, and friendships to other animals as reasons why cows are pretty awesome. This list is more fun than informative, but the cute photographs certainly have drawn some attention on social media, endearing the beef industry to consumers who checked out the list.
Apparently, the site has found humor in the cattle business in the past. While they may be on the fanciful side, by talking about the light-hearted side of the business, we can better relate to our consumers who simply want to know more about where their food comes from and what ranchers are all about.
Here are three more BuzzFeed lists about ranch life and cattle worth checking out:
What do you think about these BuzzFeed lists? Do you think they help connect producers to consumers? Or are they too cutesy that they might make it hard for consumers to want to eat a cheeseburger after reading them? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of Beefmagazine.com or the Penton Farm Progress Group.
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