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Feb 20, 2003 to Feb 6, 2013

The Strolling of the Heifers is definitely


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Comments | 21

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Interesting

For once I'd like to see the demographics of the respondents.

 
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I'm glad to see that no one -

I'm glad to see that no one - so far any way- thinks this event is good for the animals involved. Big crowds, loud, and hot, unforgiving asphalt. Certainly not a dream day for any animal. Which, I guess, could lead to another question.
If it's not good for the animals why are we still applauding them as they pass by?

 
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Elsie come home

You know I really love the event but have always felt the calves can't be loving the "stroll " as is it's name sake, especially on hard, hot asphalt in usually hot weather (spared this year), although I do think their care takers, young and old, manage an impressive job handling and presenting these newcomers, even when the calves become irritated and resist rearing elsewhere I sure wondering " where are you exactly leading me" and to no surprise become a little unruley at times with what must be such a totally bizarre and startling first time experience for them before cheering crowds.

During this last parade we changed up our vantage point and remained side lined up by the common when witnessing a sudden,terrible mishap with what appeared to be a young bull becoming spooked. Somebody had covered the storm drain with loose hay at the entrance where calves were being redirected in line onto the common grounds when the holder slipped falling hard straight onto his back. If that wasn't bad enough in reaction the young bull was spooked then trampled him and soon there after when things became totally out of control was taken down landing hard on his rear by another man who intentionally or not tripped the bull up maybe to momentarily disable him. Everybody in a long line of many onlookers taking pics gasped in disbelief of the shear force such an animal could have no fault of his own ( I'm sure there is a video of this out there somewhere) and the man did suffer and was definitely going to feel those bruises if not worse in the morning as he limped off.
This occurrence put my vote up with those feeling this is no picnic for the animals involved, they don't approve dogs at this event so why cows?? Let's admit this experiment has not worked so well, so how about just strolling of the agri-people instead and have a paper mache cow on wheels contest?

 
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A Crass Celebration

of our triumphant enslavement of another species.

 
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well...

Cows, Holstein or otherwise are mostly a man made/controlled developed/bred species and would not exist on the farm to begin without his/her intervention let's not forget.

 
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I'm very glad I didn't

I'm very glad I didn't witness this mishap. Terrible for all involved and seeing it. I've often noticed that the only animals that seem to be faring okay and, in fact, seem to be enjoying being out and about are the baby goats. These little kids seem to really love kicking up their heels and prancing around but I think it is the nature of goats- especially babies- to just enjoy the heck out of their lives. The rest - the cows,the older goats, the alpacas, all look miserable and wanting to be anywhere but marching down Main Street. If the point is to let people see the animals why not do something like the open farm days- run shuttles to a couple of nearby farms where the animals can be seen in their own habitat with grass and dirt under their hooves and no loud noises or random people crossing in front of them. Or,publicize the Retreat Farm animals more. There are some adorable and gorgeous animals there to see and even touch without traumatizing them. Someone is going to be badly injured some year and whether that's a young calf or a human child it's something that can be prevented.Lots of other things to see in the parade and in the 2 festivals without forcing a bunch of terrified animals to, once again, perform for humans.

 
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I agree

I agree, just look at this past commons pictorial of the young cows in parade, four close ups pictures in all of calves looking each a little bewildered, I like your solutions.

 
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Husbandry

The aptly named breeding of animals is mandate by the big cheese Himself in Genesis:

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”

Pretty creepy, huh.

 
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Being King of the Universe

is a tough job. It is easy to take cheap shots at the Lord, when you have not tried it yourself.

 
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Every creeping thing

I took your cue when you wrote, “A Crass Celebration of our triumphant (Man’s) enslavement of another species.”
Describing the (your) Lord’s word as “A Crass Celebration” sounded like a cheap shot to me.

{A now, back to our regularly scheduled programming.}

 
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A road paved with good intentions

Three times a year Brattleboro's population (really) explodes:
The Cow Parade
July 4th Fireworks
The Literary Festive

The only thing more congesting would be a visit by the president of the United States. Three out of four ain't bad. The Gallery Walks are tame by comparison.

If we could ask the cows if they agreed with KAlden's more pastoral view of celebrating Vermont's bovine culture, I imagine they'd agree. But we can't ask so we coax them to stroll on the hot tar with us and hope they know it is a road paved with good intentions.

 
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You know what they say about

You know what they say about the road to Hell, right?
Not sure good intentions justify what is- if not abuse- certainly causing misery and fright.I'm really surprised that youth organizations encourage and endorse this action.

 
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Maybe this portion of the

Maybe this portion of the parade will eventually succumb to some other less intrusive form of representation for the young cows if there were to be public disapproval of hoofing it and ploping up Main eventually having to take the same road Barnum and Bailey did out of town now minus it's hoards of larger than life beasts more accurately put, captive, and subjected to a reduced atrophic lifetime of confined and stringent training for entertainment purposes, not so much a great way of celebrating their existence held fast under thumb, nothing wild and free there, in my point of view and I'm not PETA. I still believe farming can be and is a great way of life. I do think this is not so much an issue with horses used to encountering roadways, it's a completely different animal that can better adjust, but maybe some cows are more tolerant than others, it's a tough call.

 
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I am in full support of local

I am in full support of local farms. I faithfully buy food at the farmer's markets, I love my CSA, I enjoy visiting frarms and seeing the animals in their natural habitat. I grew up with farming in my life and rode horses in 4H competitions. Humanely run farms are the backbone of rural life. But, that's a different situation than forcing an animal that is already nervous and afraid to walk in the heat on asphalt with thousand of yelling and clapping people surrounding them. It's interesting that no one is commenting on here in defense of this action. That makes me think that we all recognize that this is an inhumane thing to do to these animals. Horses, I think, are slightly more adaptable to this kind of situation. Although, again, any horse would probably prefer to be back at home in the pasture or in it's stall. I don't think loud, large crowds are any animal's friend and I imagine being forced to perform for humans in that kind of situation is pretty frightening and miserable. One only has to look at the poor creatures pulling the NYC horse drawn carriages to see exactly what we inflict on animals purely for our own enjoyment.

 
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Shake , Rattle and Stroll

Can hardly imagine how the sharp, angular, gridlike construct of streets and buildings feels to the consciousness of animals, to say nothing of throngs of hyped-up celebrators. You're right, it's an elephant in the road, shows our capacity for benign hypocrisy.

Would love to hear from others on this since it's now a popular pillar of Brattleboro identity.

 
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Our evolutionary partners

I was hoping others would answer you and still do, but I wanted to clarify something.

The consciousness of our cousin animals in the wild is different from the consciousness of our domesticated cousins. For twelve thousand years the same animals we domesticated back then are pretty much the same ones domesticated now, including, our bovine cousins, horses and sheep. The domestication of cats and dogs began earlier during our hunter-gatherer period. In any case, the socialization of non-human animals began with the needs of both, them and us.

Charles Darwin, in The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domestication, describes a “third distinct stream of evolutionary mechanism—artificial selection”.

In all mammals, whatever the evolutionary selection processing, it involves both anatomical and mental evolution. That suggests there is no human hypocrisy involved. In this modern era, the evolutionary selecting relationships, including animal consciousness (how they think), are long established.

The horrors of domestication is not in the physical proximity of animals to human “gridlike construct(s)”, which by now are they are already accustomed to, but the potential for animal abuses, such as brutal slaughter and culling, physical abuses of pets and treating our cousins as chattel (not unlike how men treat women under patriarchy). We could have offered our evolutionary partners (including women) a lot more humanity.

I really don’t see “The Strolling” as abusive, and the “popular pillar of Brattleboro identity” is secure.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparative_psychology#Human-animal_relati...
http://www.pnas.org/content/106/Supplement_1/9971.full

 
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Where the deer and antelope play...

You're absolutely correct that the greater indignity is the incarceration and exploitation of animals. Our dependance on their slaughterhouse value. But, I don't for a minute believe domestication of native pastoralists was meant to include the urban environment, nor synergy with the energy of packed crowds exuding a festive mix of exuberance and gawking.

In that these tranquil cousins may counter our fervor with ambivalence, it may not be a big deal. But that don't make it best practice.

 
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Well if this unfortunate

Well if this unfortunate occurrence happened, Lord forbid, then the event would evolve into something like it's bovine alter ego " the running of the bulls" in Pamplona Spain, another world tourist attraction for all the wrong sadistic reasons to test a fool's bravery where the animals really have a chance to show how they feel about being corralled down street ways ( especially without the protection of"Jersey" boarders).

 
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The Russians?

Is it my imagination, or has this poll been removed from public view?

Who should be blamed:

  • Russian hackers
  • Khazarian Mafia
  • Cabot Cheese Co.
  • (write-in)
 
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Like magic

Each poll on this site is up for a determined amount of time and then a new poll magically appears. people can still comment on this or any previous poll.

 
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Yes, but

Affirmative, however in the past the poll has been easily viewable by clicking the 'results' tab. Now one must log in to see it. Or have I vermixed things?

 

iBrattleboro Poll

I'm predicting that the upcoming fall colors will be

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