Cows frolicking through a pasture, right next to the mothers who birthed them. Young cows who never see a crate, a drop of formula, antibiotics or growth hormones. Tall grasses, misty morning fog, gently rolling hills. This bucolic scene isn’t something out of our imaginations—it’s how a typical day at our ranch looks. We believe that humanely raised veal = happy cows.
What makes us humane?
So what does the word humane even mean? Merriam-Webster tells us that humane is defined as “marked by compassion, sympathy, or consideration for humans or animals,” which is exactly how we do things here on the ranch. We consider the lives of our animals, and make sure that the entire lifecycle of each animal is considered compassionately. We feel that happy cows make for a better life for everyone, not to mention a healthier and tastier meat! So how does a typical day on our ranch look?
A Typical Day on the Ranch
Our Black Angus, Hereford, and Gelbvieh beef cattle are born all year round, to mothers who are destined to live out their long lives on the ranch. The cows wake up each morning in the pastures for a day of munching grass and hanging out with their moms. In fact, they are never separated from their mothers as long as they live on the ranch—which makes for happier cattle or cows and calves all around!
People tend to think of veal as “baby cows,” but in reality, our veal cattle are actually six months old at the age of slaughter—the same age as the pork you eat and much older than the 6-to-9 week old chickens you also eat! We would rather that our calves spend every day of their life happy and free to roam on the pasture, rather than in a crate or pen that confines their movement and diet. This is truly the most humane way to raise cattle for veal.
For us, humane means we have considered every aspect of the cow’s life, and chosen the path that tradition and our instincts tell us is the most honest and life-affirming way to ensure a compassionate existence for our cattle. We believe this is not only better for the cows, but better for the environment and for us as well.
Compassion is Goodness
I turn to the words of Arthur Schopenhauer: “Compassion for animals is intimately associated with goodness of character, and it may be confidently asserted that he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man.” At Rossotti Ranch, we strive every day to practice goodness by giving our cows the most humane life possible.