Turning Back the Pages: A bunch of bull-oney

While looking in the November 29, 1962 edition of the Golden Star, I found the following article written by Manny Martin.

Martin wrote column’s for several newspapers including one in Calgary. We lost him in 1997.

“Attention All Bull Shipper!” Reports have it that the farmers around the district are thinking of abandoning the natural method of reproducing milking stock. The idea being that artificial insemination will be just as satisfactory in getting their cows in the family way.

This is but another link in the chain of scientific advancement creeping into our modern way of life. This is, I think, sound reason to take a good second look at this particular phase of mechanization.

Not only will it put the bull out of a job. But it is quite possible, in fact probable, that it will change our complete social arrangement.

A good herd bull has always been considered as a sort of status symbol among the farmers. The more bull a farmer could make available, the higher his stock in society.

This will soon be a thing of the past. No longer will a good line of bull be considered an advantage. The day may be fast approaching when it will become a distinct disadvantage. Even just a little bull will no doubt make the owner as a peasant among farmers.

It is my prediction that a lot of bull shippers will soon be the victims of the scientific elimination of their well-known lines. It is the passing of an era.

This isn’t the worst of it by any means. The theory of the birds and the bees and flowers is being scientifically shot full of holes.

The time was once when this theory could be expounded to the younger generation and have readily available examples without getting into too much detail to substantiate the evidence.

Now if this policy of anti-substitantionalism is allowed to continue we will find ourselves in a good deal more difficulty when it comes to supplying the answers to certain inevitable questions. How can anyone explain away the complicated process of mechanical germination of livestock? We will be hard put to show the proof of the pudding.

Think of the rapt attention you would receive by starting out a story with “Once upon a time there was an Artificial Insemination Unit.” The youngster would soon guess, quite correctly, that we are a little bit light on the top story. It is enough to give me the opinion that a bull in the barn is worth two in the test-tube any old day.

The farmers should give this proposal no little thought before horning in on the bull’s natural territory. There could be widespread and unforeseen effects. For one thing, I am willing to venture that a certain canned milk company would have to change the familiar motto on their cans.

No one can tell that a cow could remain long contented while bringing a calf into this world without having an idea who the father was.

Modernization is one thing, but for a farmer to start horsing around with a bull is quite another. I am reasonably sure that any self-respecting bull is going to take a dim view of having his livelihood taken away from him.

The proponents of this outrageous idea argue that it would enable them to instill offspring of the best stock in the country into their herds without the expense of keeping a bull in the farm. This may be true, and it would be a good enough reason if the local bulls had been lax in their duties. Since this has never come to my attention, and is probably non-existent, I cannot buy that as a valid excuse.

The fact is that the valley farmers want to play sugar-daddy to every young heifer in the Columbia Valley and are willing to put all bull aside to do it.

And what [about] all the bulls that are going to be without jobs? Well, if all the bulls in Canada were laid end to end it would sure make one… pile of hamburger.

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