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Dairy cows were introduced to by English settlers in the early s. Meat cows were introduced by Spanish settlers.
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Cattle were kept primarily for dairy production and were slaughtered and eaten only when they could no longer be maintained through the winter. This pattern was long established As early as live cattle were driven to Boston, where they commanded high prices By the nineteenth century, the United States was famous for meat-eating as England had already become by the seventeenth century Chapel Hill NC] p.
Americans have no doubt always preferred beef, but what they actually ate was necessarily that which was available, and for the first three centuries of white history in America, what was most readily available was pork.
At the beginning supplying this demand presented no problem, Each settlement was capable of raising for itself as much beef as it needed But the population of the East Coast increased rapdily; its inhabitants discovered they were not quite as rich in space as they had thought; and much of the land could be better employed for other purposes than grazing.
If Americans were to eat beef in the quantities to which they wanted to become accustomed, more spacious grazing lands had to be found. They were found, on a scale which once again seemed unlimited, in the Far West There is a story which attributes the discovery that the West was ideal for cattle raising to the mishap of a heavily loaded governmental ox train which was blocked by blizzards in Wyoming toward the end of the Civil War.
To save themselves, the drivers abandoned wagons and oxen. Returning in the spring to salvage anything that might be salvageable, they were amazed to find theri oxen not only still alive, but well fed and healthy Texas not only had food for cattle, it had the cattle, waiting to be taken, whose ancestors had been imported by the Spaniards in the sixteenth century and abandoned in Texas, where they had drown wild and become "more dangerious to footmen than the fiercest buffalo.
The first Texas herds were thus composed of wild cattle, captured at considerable risk to life and limb, which in the next generation would become domesticated as the famous Texas Longhorns.
They were very far from being the best beef critters in the world The original Spanish stock had come from dry parched country and their descendants had retained, in another dry parched country, the ability to stand up to hot Texas summers and to make do with a minimum of water Taken in hand by the Western cattlemen, the herds multiplied and prospered The legendary epoch of the cattle trails, the routes over which herds of Longhorns were driven north to the markets, dates back to before the Civil War.
These movements occurred on a prodigious scale, hardly comparable to the placid processions of fifty or a hundred head which had earlier moved north from Georgia or east from Ohio New York] p. Until the early s Texas ranchers had held great cattle drives of hundreds of thousands of lanky longhorns, urging them along a mile Chisolm Trail from San Antonio direct to the stockyards of Abilene, at a rate of about a dozen miles a day.
From Abilene they were taken by rail to the new meat processing plants in Chicago and Kansas City. But when the Great Plains were cleared of bison and the Indians who had depended upon them, the new land was opened to range cattle.
What happened then was that the land Texans sent their cattle to the plains on the hoof to rest and fatten up before the last, easy journey to the stockyards, while new ranchers went into business on a massive scale, financed by the capital poured into the industry by American and foreign investors.Fukuoka | Japan Fukuoka | Japan.
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