Sunday, September 11, 2016

Baxter Black: Keeping up the cowboy image

The livestock business has an effective symbol that has withstood the loving treatment of Hollywood, Nashville and Madison Ave. It is now under attack by the Anti-Livestock Industry. It is the cowboy.

Hollywood made heroes of cowboys who always got the bad guy, practiced safe shooting and could leap on their horse from a burning train! Then Hollywood gave us the urban cowboy who could disco and wore a straw hat made of oatmeal, rattlesnake heads and sweepings off a chicken house floor!

Nashville turned us into four-wheel drive cowboys. Yodelers with pompadours who drank too much and looked like a cross between Elvis and a Philipino bus!

Madison Avenue has given us chain smokers and cologne called ‘Stetson’ and ‘Chaps’ (as in, that sure chaps my butt!). All designed for men who don’t wear socks.

Through it all the public's image of cowboys has remained positive. The Anti-Livestock Industry has had a tough time tarnishing our symbol. It’s been hard for them to portray the American cowboy as a money grubbing, animal abusing land raper. They whack away at it persistently, often using the ruse that the cowboy is a vanishing breed. That he no longer exists and therefore, this symbol that everybody loves has no connection with the modern livestock business. This myth continues to be promoted to the point that we are often asked if it is true our way of life is dying.

To this I reply, ‘No. Of course not! Who do you think is takin’ care of the cows?’ But, they say, we never see them.

There is a good explanation as to why you never see cowboys.

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