If you were born a Black Angus bull calf in the U.S in the year 2020 chances are 100% you were created to be someone’s dinner. In fact there is even a restaurant chain named after their prized beef – the Black Angus Steakhouse. On average 39,000,000 cattle are slaughtered for food each year in the U.S and it’s probably safe to say if you had the choice you’d probably rather be born something other than a prized beef cow.
Norman When He First Arrived
And this is where we meet Norman, a Black Angus calf born just before Thanksgiving on a cattle ranch in Central California. You could with say with some certainty his future as meat a product was predestined but when Norman’s inexperienced mother abandoned him in the field where he was calved Norman inadvertently won the lottery. A kind ranch hand saw Norman alone, hungry and cold so he picked up the tiny calf and took him home. He started bottle feeding Norman and grew attached to his sweet demeanor. The ranch hand knowing that Norman would someday weigh over 1500 lbs, decided he’d better find him a more suitable home. He introduced Norman around his rural neighborhood and a family with a few acres, two mini horses and a barn took him in. The family continued the round the clock bottle feedings and even halter trained the young calf. It seemed that Norman was on his way becoming a treasured family pet, that is until his new family discovered he needed a costly lifesaving hernia surgery.
That’s when they called Alma Bonita. The family told us that they couldn’t afford the surgery and that maybe they had made a mistake taking in an animal that was going to weigh more than a full grown horse. It was clear to us we were Norman’s last hope.
Norman’s predicament touched everyone’s heart at ABAR and we knew we could reach out to our amazing supporters for financial help with his medical needs. On New Year’s Eve we set out with our trailer to do our first ABAR cow rescue.
Little Norman was even more precious than we had anticipated. Once at home we read him bed time stories for our YouTube audience ( see them here ) continued his bottle feedings and good manners training.
The next week we posted a Go Fund Me appeal on Facebook for the $500 surgery. What happened next surprised us all – we raised close to $1500 for little Norman. The surgery was extensive but Norman recovered quickly.
Norman Getting Dinner
Today Norman has a lifetime home with Alma Bonita Animal Rescue. He lives in a paddock with Nellie the goat who is making a recovery of her own. They compete for cookies when the tours arrive and play chase with dogs Bonnie and Clyde. When he gets a little bigger Norman’s job on the farm will be that of weed control . Cattle eat a more adventurous and varied diet than horses and Norman will happily keep the brush grass down and ABAR will be safer from wildfires.
And when it comes to luck, we think we are the luckiest people in the world for having Norman in our lives.