Content warning: animal death and injury.


This conversation was recorded at a local bar while working as a cowboy at a nearby ranch; the artist was present at the table with the cowboys telling the story. To those unfamiliar with agriculture, parts of the conversation may sound shocking. However, working with livestock means dedicating one's life to the wellbeing of animals, and it is highly likely that the cows mentioned in this film were raised by the cowboys from birth. To lose a cow, even to something as arbitrary as lightning, is never a happy event no matter how long one has worked in agriculture. It can sometimes feel like a reflection on one's ability as a rancher: even when nothing could be done, there is often a sense that the animal could have lived if something had been done differently. While the cowboys in the conversation may sound callous, it is more from the need to make a funny story out of a traumatic event as a coping mechanism. These are events that people outside of cattle ranching are unlikely to have insight on, so discussing them with other cowboys is vital to processing them healthily.

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