December 10th, 2012
04:15 PM ET
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Ask Joe Henderson any question and odds are he’ll give you a very thorough answer. But ask him how to save one of the most endangered breeds in the world, the Randall Lineback, he’ll give you a very short retort: You have to eat it.

Henderson, a Washington, D.C. real estate executive and farmer, raises around 250 Randall Linebacks on the rolling hills of his Chapel Hill Farm in Berryville, VA. And what exactly is a Randall Lineback?

“Well, we don’t know what to call it,” says Henderson.

First of all, it’s a cow. Its ancestry dates back almost 400 years to colonial America.

After that, describing it has been a challenge. Attempts have included the "beluga of beef," "rose veal," or the "pandas of the cow world." Plus, there’s a small debate over the name “Randall Lineback” as well.

But whatever you want to call it, one thing is for sure: the Randall Lineback cow is critically endangered, with roughly 500 head alive worldwide according to the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy. Several small herds are scattered around New England and the mid-Atlantic with some being used for minimal dairy production. The remainder, some 250 cows, live on Henderson’s farm in the Shenandoah Valley.

Surprisingly, things were much more dire for the breed less than thirty years ago when only 15 Randall Linebacks were left in the world. That’s a startling number considering the Randall Lineback was one of the most-popular all-purpose cows in New England during this country’s infancy. George Washington used the breed as oxen to haul captured cannons from Ft. Ticondergoa to Boston where he liberated the city from British control.

randall lineback newborn

As time progressed, the cows slowly dwindled in number due to the introduction of cattle bred for specific purposes like dairy and meat. Eventually, the breed found its way onto Samuel Randall’s Sunderland, Vermont farm in the early 1900s. This is where they became known as the Randall Linebacks, due to the distinct white line going down their backs.

When Samuel’s son, Everett, died in 1985, many of the Linebacks were sent to slaughter. Those last 15 were saved by a woman named Cynthia Creech, and her fascination with the heritage breed. She took them back to her farm in Tennessee where they had a difficult time acclimating to the hot weather.

Eventually Creech brought them to Henderson’s Chapel Hill Farm in Virginia. A short time later, Creech left the farm and Virginia for New England to pursue other opportunities. She sold a couple dozen Randall Linebacks to Henderson and took the rest with her.

Slowly his herd grew, but Henderson knew that in order for them to be prolific, the Randall Linebacks needed a job.

“Every endangered species must have a purpose to survive,” says Henderson. “And this animal’s job is [being] 520 lbs of meat to some of the greatest chefs in the world and ending up on your plate.”

But Henderson refused to let his cows end up on just any plate. He meticulously sought out chefs and butchers who knew how to use the whole cow and prepare it at a very high standard.

“The taste is completely different and you got to cook them completely differently. It is extremely rare. We’ll only sell about 200 or so calves this year and that’s it in the whole world,” explains Henderson.

One of the half-dozen chefs in D.C. Henderson trusts with Randall Lineback meat is Cathal Armstrong, co-owner of the Eat Good Food Group and executive chef of Restaurant Eve in Alexandria, Virginia.

“If we don't give it a purpose, it would disappear and that's such a sad tragedy when you look at them and see how beautiful they are. We need to keep things like this around,” explains Armstrong.

Even he has difficulty trying to describe Randall Lineback meat. Because of its extremely lean muscle structure, it does not look or taste like typical angus beef. He’s also reluctant to call it veal.

“We call it Randall Lineback on the menu,” says Armstrong. It appears frequently on Restaurant Eve’s ever-changing menu and is for sale at his upscale food market, Society Fair, just down the street.

He gets, on average, two whole animals a month from Henderson. The head and innards of the 8-month old calves are delivered the day after slaughter. The remainder of the animal is aged for two weeks before arriving on the butcher table at Armstrong’s shop. And he knows he needs to use every bit of the cow.

“It's really important and part of our responsibility to make sure that when an animal dies for a person to consume it, that we consume the whole thing. That's as responsible as we can be with something like this,” explains Armstrong.

The uniqueness of the meat requires chefs to cook it much differently than beef. The lack of fat, or “marbling”, throughout the muscle tissue can cause the meat to be tough and hard to chew if overcooked at a high temperature. Henderson believes the ideal internal temperature for Randall Lineback meat is 130 degrees, which is slightly cooler than medium-rare.

“It’s perfect,” boasts Henderson. “You will love it, I guarantee it. If you try it, you will decree it is the best tasting meat you’ve ever had.”

Armstrong agrees, “When you look at USDA Prime and it has that intramuscular fat bred into it, that melts in your mouth. This meat does not melt in your mouth. You have to chew it, make sure you cut it into smaller pieces than you typically would with a bigger steak. But it does have a long, long, lingering delicious flavor.”

Is it a flavor will people around the country will come to enjoy? Henderson is working on that part. He knows full well that he cannot be the breed’s only significant steward and in order for it to survive and flourish, the demand for Randall Lineback meat must extend beyond the Capital Beltway.

“We have some excellent chefs in Washington. We have some excellent chefs in Philadelphia. We need to go to New York and knock on some doors and find the right couple of chefs or the restaurateur that thinks this is important, that’s it’s important to keep a tradition of cooking alive and that you have a level of cuisine that is so far superior to the steakhouse routine. If you do that, you save the animal, you save the cuisine, you save it all,” says Henderson.

He has already convinced chef Brad Spence of the Vetri restaurant group in Philadelphia to start buying Randall Lineback meat. And Henderson hopes a spark in demand creates a burning desire for other farmers to start raising the Linebacks.

“Ideally what you’d like to have is a satellite herd here, a satellite herd that serves New York, a satellite herd maybe up around Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, five, six, seven herd and then you save the breed,” explains Henderson.

Unfortunately, Henderson has been unable to supply demand down south in cities like New Orleans. The distance is too great for delivery and because the Randall Linebacks cannot handle hot climates, a satellite herd in the South would not work.

But, he says he has a friend in Alabama who raises Pineywoods cattle, another endangered breed, and sells that meat to chefs in Louisiana and other southern stops.

For now, though, Henderson will keep focus on sustaining his herd of rare Randall Linebacks…and maybe finding a better way to describe them.

“If you raise them right, you slaughter them right, you treat them right and you have chefs who are good chefs, they are the best tasting, ‘we don’t know what to call it’ in the world.”

Previously - 5 reasons to use endangered ingredients and Going to the ends of the earth to save food from extinction and 5 reasons to use heirloom ingredients



soundoff (120 Responses)
  1. Kanza Khan

    In my opinion if breed is danger of ending then we have to care for it .......... thanks

    March 16, 2013 at 10:56 pm |
  2. randall

    another way to help preserve them is to use them as milking animals or work animals. We raise a herd and milk them. And we sell the male babies as working animals. It is really important to preserve rare breeds of animals and plants! Diversity is the foundation of life on this planet.

    December 12, 2012 at 8:43 am |
  3. Berk Demirbulakli

    Don't you dare eat my sacred holy cow. I curse you!

    December 12, 2012 at 7:53 am |
  4. Rory

    You guys can eat it, I will wear it. Their hides will make attractive coats and boots.

    December 11, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
  5. El Flaco

    Why does anyone care if this breed is preserved? In a blindfold taste test, 98% of you carnivores could not tell the difference between cheap and expensive meat.

    December 11, 2012 at 9:21 am |
    • Bob Loblaw

      You're probably right and most couldn't tell the difference between grass-fed or corn-fed beef. Fortunately, I can taste and smell the difference so I would be one of the few who could tell the difference in a lineback versus angus. Angus is NOT the best beef in the world, but is has been successfully marketed as such.

      December 11, 2012 at 9:37 am |
      • STFU Cafe Maitre'D@Bob Sloblaw

        Food Snob!
        Bitter and Lonely Food Snob Party of One!
        Your table is ready!

        December 11, 2012 at 9:39 am |
        • Dillon

          What's your daily special frenchie? Horse shirt served by a lickazz?

          December 11, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • geeworker

      well I guess I'm part of your defined 2% for I can tell the difference between general run of the mill factory farm cut of beef and that of a range feed beef cattle

      December 11, 2012 at 9:40 am |
    • ShannonCT

      Biodiversity in agriculture is a good thing. If a disease comes along that starts wiping out our main breed of beef cattle or our main variety of banana, having other gene pools to turn to means we can still eat the foods we enjoy.

      December 11, 2012 at 9:56 am |
  6. GubnitSPY ♫♪

    Proof positive that "Destruction and Creation" are the same thing, if you are paying attention in life you will know this is true for EVERYTHING under the sun.

    December 11, 2012 at 9:06 am |
  7. MD

    Maybe if you stopped calling it Randall Lineback on the menu people will eat much more of it. I'm a 42 year old steak lover and until this day I had no freakin' clue what a Randall Lineback was,

    December 11, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • Andy

      You could have asked the waiter, but perhaps that's not something you're comfortable doing.

      December 11, 2012 at 9:33 am |
      • MD

        I'm actually very comfortable asking questions and quite open minded when it comes to trying new things. My point was when most people are looking at a menu they are far more likely to skin past a term like Randall Lineback. A better marketing strategy would be to list the cut of beef, then add an eloquent description of the Randall Lineback type.

        December 11, 2012 at 10:09 am |
        • ShannonCT

          I'm the opposite. Anything on a menu I haven't heard of before is something I want to try.

          December 11, 2012 at 10:15 am |
    • Sweetipete

      Exactly. I saw Randall Lineback on the menu, and I thought it was a marinated football.

      December 11, 2012 at 9:55 am |
      • Thinking things through

        Great chuckle, Sweetipete, at your response. At any rate, if I do see this on a future menu, I'm ordering. El Flako, I am one who can tell the difference between corn or grass fed beef, like some of the other respondents.

        December 17, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
  8. Jt_flyer

    I hope this breed survives. I saw a news clip the other day on the Randall Lineback. As cows go its a beauty but most important theyre part of our US history. A say eat-em-up and save the breed.

    December 11, 2012 at 8:27 am |
  9. Dan

    As soon as I see it on Vetri's menu, I'm booking a reservation!

    December 11, 2012 at 8:21 am |
  10. Jorge

    It's jaw-dropping to me to read that Americans have to learn to cook and eat lean, field-raised beef. My family moved overseas when I was a teenager, and my mother would buy lean, high quality beef from Argentina, Brazil and Guatemala for about half the price that more popular, greasy cuts cost stateside, and she would sear it and cook it to tender, juicy perfection. The stuff was really good for you too, never gave me the heartburn, bloating or stiff joints American beef does.

    December 11, 2012 at 7:53 am |
    • Jerv

      I bet your mother could cook her butt off with all those different places she was getting meat from. Yup, searing lean meat is the key to keeping it moist.

      December 11, 2012 at 7:59 am |
    • Hogan's Goat

      Why would your jaw drop to learn that people don't know how to cook a kind of meat they seldom see? Most Americans don't know how to cook a monkey either. Plenty of us eat leaner beef from family farms, and know what to do with it. But check out a picture of NYC or Chicago sometime; they can't raise cattle in the inner city and they get their beef from markets.

      December 11, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • markm

      Jorge, one culprit here is the US Department of Agriculture – they promulgated a rating system for beef where the fattest cows were the top grade. And they maintained it for long enough that the lean breeds were nearly eliminated. I grew up on a farm, and I quite well know how good grass-fed beef tastes, but it's darned hard to find it when you can't grow your own.

      December 14, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
  11. Jerv

    Very good read, thank you.

    December 11, 2012 at 7:42 am |
  12. michael

    Hey, am I the only person who knows that COW, references the female cattle, as opposed to a bull being a male? There are cow moose, cow elk etc. A female cattle that has yet to breed is a heifer, a sexually immature male or one who's been castrated is a steer.
    Calling an animal a cow identifies it's sex and breeding status.

    December 11, 2012 at 7:34 am |
  13. Conrad Shull

    My brother raises Berkshire hogs and his words are the same – to save this breed , people need to eat it. It's very good pork, BTW.

    December 11, 2012 at 7:22 am |
    • Jared

      True, but they are also highly inbred and often carry a stress gene that can kill them at any moment if they get too excited.

      December 11, 2012 at 8:31 am |
      • Jason

        Well that would make butchering a bit easier. Just yell at them and they drop dead. Saves some cost in machinery too.

        December 11, 2012 at 8:59 am |
    • Sweetipete

      And Berkshire Hogs offer a very tasty form of trichonosis too. Eat pig...risk parasites! Yum!

      December 11, 2012 at 10:00 am |
      • ShannonCT

        Not a problem if you own a meat thermometer.

        December 11, 2012 at 10:16 am |
        • Sweetipete

          Uh oh, I think a parasite is eating your brain. It is a problem when this variety of pig is not recommended to be cooked Well Done. No skin off my nose if people eat these filthy animals and die of a parasites; the world is overcrowded anyway!

          December 11, 2012 at 10:33 am |
        • ShannonCT

          Cooking pork to 140-145F will produce a wonderful medium piece of meat that's free of any living trichonosis parasites.

          December 11, 2012 at 11:12 am |
  14. Ray

    What eating establishments or grocery stores carry the meat? It sounds great. I'll help!!

    December 11, 2012 at 6:06 am |
  15. HanValen5150

    I believe all animals should be eaten, including dogs and cats. People Eating Tasting Animals (PETA )confirms this belief.

    December 11, 2012 at 4:06 am |
    • Werewolf

      "I believe all animals should be eaten, including dogs and cats." Eat me.

      December 11, 2012 at 9:04 am |
    • Janice

      your an idiot

      December 11, 2012 at 11:38 am |
      • Idiot Police™@Janice

        I think you mean "you are" and not "your" which is the possessive.

        December 11, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  16. ShannonCT

    Good article. Made me think of Slow Food's Ark of Taste that is trying to save various endangered heritage breeds and heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables. Somethings for vegans and carnivores alike.

    December 11, 2012 at 3:51 am |
  17. Your Panties in Texas

    I am hungry. I want some. Yes, I am a steak lover.

    December 11, 2012 at 3:47 am |
  18. SixDegrees

    “It's really important and part of our responsibility to make sure that when an animal dies for a person to consume it, that we consume the whole thing. That's as responsible as we can be with something like this”

    Well, OK, I can't fault the sentiment here. But honestly, if you're concerned with making sure no part of the animal goes to waste, you simply cannot do better than today's hyper-industrialized CAFO butchering operations, which break down the animal nearly to the molecular level in order to wring every possible useful bit out of it, from hide to hoof. If "nose to tail" utilization is the goal, CAFO's blow small butchers and chefs away by a huge margin.

    December 11, 2012 at 3:09 am |
    • iRex

      Interesting, but I wonder how effective that could be for a breed that is so different an rare?

      December 11, 2012 at 4:37 am |
    • Michael Hunt, Esq.

      "break down the animal nearly to the molecular level"
      You do realize that this statement doesn't even make sense, right?
      Also CAFO does not mean what you apparently think it means.

      December 11, 2012 at 7:33 am |
  19. Laguna

    One important reason to save breeds like this is for genetic diversity. Its much the same as saving heirloom seeds of vegetables. The article implies that there was a time when a multi-purpose cow was valuable, as each person could use it according to their need, for example, labor, milk, or meat. In the current, industrialized form of agriculture, we have lost many varieties that people found useful, delicious, or tolerant of various conditions. As we lose more and more domestic animal breeds or plant varieties, we lose the resiliency provided by their genetic diversity. There may come a time in the future when we will not or cannot any longer maintain our form of intensive industrialized agriculture. This is as good a reason as any to save heritage breeds and heirloom seeds.

    December 11, 2012 at 2:50 am |
  20. Harriet

    Can't help but think that Northern NM and CO would be a great place for a satellite herd. ABQ chefs would love it! When I get the land I want up there, I'm gonna get ahold of this guy and see what I can do!

    December 11, 2012 at 2:05 am |
  21. RichardWhipperclitt III

    George Washington "used the breed as oxen." Did he know they were cows?

    December 11, 2012 at 12:53 am |
  22. Rusty

    Two points:

    1.) We're not trying to save a bald eagle or a panda here. It's a cow.

    2.) How much would I lay down for a Porterhouse to "save" this breed? $150?

    I'll take a half pound burger any day over that.

    December 11, 2012 at 12:03 am |
  23. ready

    Really the fate of all livestock in a peta or vegan dream future.

    December 10, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
  24. Moo

    Can we please neuter the people who believe the only way to save endangered animals is to eat them? Sick of reading that dumb logic. Anyway, it's a cow, what is stopping these people from creating a herd and selling the meat? It's really not going to be difficult to find buyers. For the purity of the breed however, if it matters, get professionals who will breed and care for specific members. The geniuses who believe in saving endangered animals by eating them aren't smart enough, all they will see is dollar signs and push for mass breeding and weaken the breed.

    December 10, 2012 at 11:42 pm |
    • jayne

      I agree, it's a silly line of thinking and very flawed GO VEG!!!

      December 11, 2012 at 1:19 am |
      • Al

        I'm pro-choice, and my choice is to eat meat. You can eat veggies all you want, but don't preach to me about going veg.

        December 11, 2012 at 2:19 am |
    • bbrooker88

      Are you serious? You think they'd be around if you just "let them go" off into the wild??? This isn't a wild animal. It is a domesticated animal for human use and in this case, it's true, if you don't use it, you'll lose it.

      December 11, 2012 at 1:38 am |
    • Matrix

      Think logically about your position. If we did not eat this breed, there would be no merit in paying fortunes to keep them alive. It's not free to raise these animals. If you released them into the wild, hunters and predatory animals would wipe out their numbers in a matter of months. They would be extinct very quickly because they are not adapted to living in the wild.

      December 11, 2012 at 7:46 am |
    • 2Birds

      Although well intentioned your response is naive. If the cows aren't valuable to farmers they won't shell out the money and the time required to raise and keep them. I respect vegetarians and their decision to abstain from meat, but please understand that most people do not adhere to your lifestyle. Giving the cows a market value is the only way to convince farmers to raise them and perhaps the only way to keep the species healthy (15 head, even 500 head isn't healthy).

      December 11, 2012 at 8:58 am |
    • Jason

      If you DONT eat it there is no money in the venture and it will stay at the barely sustainable level it is now. Economics.

      December 11, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • Hogan's Goat

      "Anyway, it's a cow, what is stopping these people from creating a herd and selling the meat? It's really not going to be difficult to find buyers." Did you read the article? They are expensive to keep as pets. They were all going to slaughter but someone saved 15. Unless there is a reason to raise them, they will all die without breeding and the breed will be extinct. Are you going to pay for them all to be kept alive as pets?

      December 11, 2012 at 9:08 am |
    • Moo

      And of course the comments get silly. Nowhere did I say I was a vegetarian or set them free in the wild. There is no shortage of gullible people who will buy meat from a unique breed of cow. Look at the money people pay for quality meat from Japan. There is a small amount that makes it to market but it is the most desirable meat in the world. If this piece was about someone who cared about the breed and cared about quality meat, it would have been interesting piece. Instead, he got on a soapbox spewing his none sense beliefs.

      December 11, 2012 at 9:30 am |
  25. seraphim406

    How about that? I would drive by this very farm in Berryville when I lived in Winchester, VA. I was always taken aback at how unique and absolutely beautiful these cows were. I could never find any info about them and here i find them on CNN and me living in PA. Hope to be able to try some.. Wouldnt mind one as a pet either.

    December 10, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
  26. Patrea Pabst

    I raise a genetically lean, tender beef – Piedmontese, from Italy. used to be rare, but its now the fastest growing breed around. tender enough to eat with a fork, 26% proteins, 1% fat, and incredibly delicious. The anti-angus. http://www.beavercreekpiedmontese.com. and yes, you have to kill them to eat them but that is there purpose. there are always been the predators and the prey. we just do it extremely humanely.

    December 10, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • RichardWhipperclitt III

      Their purpose according to whom?

      December 11, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • STEVE

      killing and eating them doesn't sound to humane to me as a vegetarian.

      December 11, 2012 at 1:47 am |
      • mmi16

        Celery & Spinach hate you!

        December 11, 2012 at 5:37 am |
      • Matrix

        If we all went vegetarian, most domesticated animals would be extinct within a few decades if not sooner. People aren't going to pour money into keeping these animals alive and serve no further purpose to us.

        December 11, 2012 at 7:48 am |
      • Jason

        Don't eat meat if you don't want to, but don't talk to me about cruelty. These animals are bred as meat factories. That is their only purpose. They barely even resemble their ancestors and can't even mate W/O human intervention. Biological Machines.

        December 11, 2012 at 9:06 am |
        • ShannonCT

          The fact that they're bred for their meat and don't resemble their ancestors doesn't mean they are any less likely to feel fear or pain. A beagle doesn't resemble his ancestor any more than a cow does. How many people would say a beagle is just a biological machine that can be mistreated without regard to its mental state? Claiming that we have no moral obligation to the animals we raise is a failure to recognize the similarity between the human brain and the brains of other animals.

          December 11, 2012 at 10:06 am |
      • Hogan's Goat

        A vegetarian's role in a world containing animals is going to be that of Elmer Fudd. Either you eat, or the rabbits do; so you end up killing them and letting them rot. Soon they are all dead and you can eat your carrots in peace. Next, the birds have to go, and the insects . . .

        December 11, 2012 at 9:35 am |
  27. Jimh77

    I'd love to put this meat on my grill, Low indirect heat for 4-5 hours till 130'F is reached and let it rest for 5. I'll bet I can make this mighty tasty! Then try it smoked. I just may give this chef a call and have him ship me some.

    December 10, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • twalk

      Would be much better as a pet.

      December 11, 2012 at 12:56 am |
      • Jared

        Cows really don't make good pets. They are good for eating though.

        December 11, 2012 at 8:36 am |
  28. Butterfly Goddess

    Cows being slaughtered http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ach2hmBT0jQ
    If you are going to eat meat, then you should have to watch how your meat ends up on your plate. Anybody that thinks there is nothing wrong with murdering animals so they can stuff their fat, nasty faces will hopefully be punished if there is an afterlife. Perhaps they should be reincarnated into the animals that they have eaten and the animals they have worn so they can endure the exact same kind of torment these helpless animals go through. Vegans are they only ones that deserve to go to heaven and anybody that thinks animals where put here by God for them to eat must believe God is SATAN.

    Watch the movie Earthlings and stop being such selfish, immature, devil loving fools!!!

    December 10, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • atroy

      Any one, vegan or not, who doesn't know how to use relative pronouns should burn in hell.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
      • Butterfly Goddess

        Anybody who is so into the petty things you seems to care so much about when there is so much suffering in this world , are completely worthless. The world would be so much better without you.

        December 10, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
        • Hogan's Goat

          " The world would be so much better without you." Same to you, only twice. You are squeamish about butchering, we get it. All life is cannibalism of some kind; we are still eating the dinosaurs. There are plenty of us who can kill a chicken, pluck it , and fry it up without crying; it's just a chicken. If I am ever reincarnated as a chicken per your evil curse, please kill me quick so I can get on to the next incarnation.

          December 11, 2012 at 9:43 am |
      • twalk

        stupid comment. you should feel embarassed.

        December 11, 2012 at 1:00 am |
        • Butterfly Goddess

          Too bad you mother didn't have an abortion.

          December 11, 2012 at 1:02 am |
        • VladT

          Aw, the peaceful nature of Vegans on this forum always surprises me. Love the cow, but wish a meat eater's mother had an abortion.

          May your spirit run free like the mighty cow

          December 11, 2012 at 9:40 am |
        • Jerv

          I know right, VladT? All this love and compassion for animals and such vile contempt for their fellow man.

          December 11, 2012 at 10:40 am |
        • Truth™

          I just love the "tolerance" of the far left. Just as long as you agree with them.

          December 11, 2012 at 10:48 am |
    • Bob Barker

      I was a vegan until I read the drivel above. The price is WRONG, Butterfly– and now it is time to fire up the grill.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
      • Butterfly Goddess

        You too are worthless. I pity the people who have to stomach your presence everday!

        December 10, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
        • Hogan's Goat

          "You too are worthless" Same to you, only twice. You are an awful argument for veganism: "Be like me, crazy and hostile!" You should know that lack of protein is the weak point in a veg diet; you have to eat beans a ll day to get as much protein as there is in a chicken wing. Without protein, you get stupid, and obviously this is happening to you. Telling us we are evil because we eat food just makes you look stark raving crazy; you are the one who has food issues, not us.

          December 11, 2012 at 9:52 am |
    • Dolphintam

      Thank you for that post and ignore the haters.

      What a horrible article this is, when I read the heading I was horrified but when I actually read the article, it was a million times worse. So many people are just so desensitized to the fact that a calf is a BABY!! They refer to these sentient ,intelligent and peaceful creatures as objects put on this earth just to satisfy the cravings of selfish,in-compassionate humans who can and SHOULD eat plant-based diets.

      I watched the movie "Earthlings" 6 years ago and immediately embarked on a journey to eliminate animal-based foods from my diet.Two years ago I became a full-fledged vegan and couldn't be happier. Best thing I have ever done; for my health, for the environment and most importantly, for the animals. All I can say is that whoever eats dairy,meat,fish or any other animal-based product is not only putting toxins into their bodies, but the misery and suffering these animals go through (and no, there is no way to "humanely" slaughter an animal, they feel fear,stress and everything we would feel under those circumstances) and bad karma too.
      I hope the day comes when we can respect the other beings that share this planet with us instead of abusing and torturing them just to put poison into our bodies.For more information, watch "Forks over knives" and "Meet your meat". Thankfully, meat consumption keeps going down and maybe not in my lifetime, but I truly hope we can all see animals in a different light someday,not just as food,entertainment or for other frivolous,cruel purposes.

      December 11, 2012 at 12:05 am |
    • Ari3s

      And what about you Butter-tard? Who tolerates you brainwashed, peta-fed and disease riddled mind? Sure there are problems with the current sustainability of the cattle industry but for you to choose animals over people? Something tells me you were a cow in your past life. For you to wish ill on other humans is not solving the problem, it's exacerbating it. Go take a public relations course or something and then come back to the forums.

      December 11, 2012 at 1:27 am |
    • bbrooker88

      When you use a nickname like "Butterfly Goddess" you ability to have any credibility whatsoever is greatly diminished.

      December 11, 2012 at 1:43 am |
    • Skinning Humans

      Most people who sign up as organ donors don't realize how their body is used. Flesh cut off, bones removed and ground up... it's pretty crude, but like the slaughter houses not much is wasted and it's sold for profit.

      December 11, 2012 at 3:51 am |
      • Hogan's Goat

        "Flesh cut off, bones removed and ground up..." Who told you such a crazy thing? That's just nuts. Hey, want to buy a bridge in Brooklyn?

        December 11, 2012 at 9:45 am |
    • CurmudgeonTx

      Well, according to history, pre-historical paintings on walls of caves, and the Bible...man always has eaten meat. If you don't like it, you can always eat your own diet, but don't complain about others and their right to choose.

      December 11, 2012 at 4:45 am |
    • Rich

      If there's reincarnation, then after they do the cow gig they'll get to be something else with no memory of bovinetude. Anybody not OK with that?

      December 11, 2012 at 6:15 am |
    • Neil

      Majority of people understand that a cow gets killed by a giant nail gun to the head then gets ripped apart. We are omnivores, not herbavores. I will eat meat regardless of what happens. We are on the top of the food chain so we eat meat, vegitables and other things. Besides a vegan burrito taste horrible. I will stop eating meat and support the idea of not killing cows if you invent a replicator that can produce a rib eye that has good marbling and is juicy. If you can do that, you can easily do chicken and "save" the animals. Then we can release them into the wild where they will suffer from wolves and millions of jobs are lost in the cattle industry.

      December 11, 2012 at 7:08 am |
    • kvo

      "Vegans are they only ones that deserve to go to heaven and anybody that thinks animals where put here by God for them to eat must believe God is SATAN."

      Seriously? You may want to step off the soapbox for a bit and spend some time actually reading the Bible.
      They weren't vegans in Biblical times and animals were often used as sacrifices.

      Genesis 9:3: Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.

      Romans 14:1-23: One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him.

      Leviticus 11:1-47: These are the living things that you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth. Whatever parts the hoof and is cloven-footed and chews the cud, among the animals, you may eat.

      So what was that about God not putting animals on Earth for food?

      December 11, 2012 at 9:15 am |
      • ShannonCT

        Why don't you both stop appealing to a religion whose holy book is so full of errors and contradiction that it is worthless for discussing modern moral issues.

        Got an argument to make for or against eating meat? Use actual evidence.

        December 11, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • Jason

      BFG:
      Yes, we are aware that cows can move and go moo. We are further aware that they are forced to stop moving and mooing so that we may consume them. Cow becomes food = alive becomes dead. Thanks for your crazy rants. You made my day. Now I am going to McDonalds to eat a cow fried in it's own juices.

      December 11, 2012 at 9:18 am |
    • mmm tasty beef

      aren't you just a joy to be around.

      December 11, 2012 at 10:05 am |
  29. Ben

    As a point of order: You'll find that it was General Henry "Ox" Knox, not George Washington, who brought the guns of Ticonderoga to Boston – performing a miracle of logistics that enabled his more famous superior to break the British siege of Boston Harbor. (Knox went on to be Washington's Secretary of War and had at least two forts named after him, as well as a number of Knox Counties, Knox Townships, and so forth around the country.)

    December 10, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
  30. MashaSobaka

    Sounds delicious. I like the tougher, less fatty cuts anyway. Meat you actually have to chew is the most flavorful.

    December 10, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
  31. mofo

    All we need is China to get a taste for something and they'll be happy to wipe it off the planet. What a great culture that embellishes their appetite for disgusting parts of animals while extinguishing them at the same time.

    December 10, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
  32. Nik without a C

    Its disgusting to Vegans and Veggie people. Poor Animal, How about the Animal making them get rid of Slaughter houses.

    December 10, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • greg90814

      How do you know someone is a Vegan? They will TELL you...

      December 10, 2012 at 9:35 pm |
    • greg90814

      PS... if you're a vegan, you probably shouldn't be reading articles about animals raised for slaughter...

      December 10, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • atroy

      Hey Vegan, my food poops on your food!

      December 10, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
      • Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

        LOL – I will cherish this one.

        January 31, 2013 at 3:08 pm |
    • Jared

      Nik without a C,

      If it weren't for people who eat cattle, chickens, and other animals there wouldn't be enough organic fertilizer for your organic foods.

      December 11, 2012 at 8:46 am |
      • ShannonCT

        If that were true, the Jains would have died of starvation thousands of years ago.

        December 11, 2012 at 10:13 am |
  33. Marcia

    That really is a beautiful cow.

    My uncle used to carefully raise Holstein/Angus crosses and slaughter them at just under a year. Very lean meat that you had to be careful when cooking, but absolutely delicious. We used to buy a side from him, boy I miss that.

    December 10, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • AleeD®

      How dare you post a positive comment when vegans are being slaughtered all around you? It's like watching a rose bloom in the midst of a pile of Lineback poo. ;)

      December 12, 2012 at 7:11 am |
  34. Loreeeebeeee

    Seriously? Who cares? Let the breed go. What is the point of keeping a breed intact for just eating?

    December 10, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • Raiderfn31

      I care. It's a beautiful breed, and I would love to eat some. Variety is a very important to me. It's sad that you don't see the importance.

      December 10, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • NonJewsAreAnimals

      ...eating it?

      December 10, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Audrey Nickel

      I agree. Ooooo...we have to save it, so people can eat it. Sure, wouldn't it be a tragedy if it were to die off and people who eat meat couldn't eat it anymore....

      December 10, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • Ben

      Congratulations! You have answered your own question, which the ancient Tibetan masters teach us is the first step on the road to true enlightenment.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • whynot

      Why not keep them around, we keep you around for when we need someone for just complaining.

      December 10, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
  35. Matt McClure

    As noted in the title but not in the article this is a breed, not a species, but the article is correct that if you want a specific livestock breed to not die out it must have a purpose beyond pasture ornament. Since the animals are harvested at <1 year of age I wouldn't expect them to have much marbling, same thing would occur in a 8 month old Angus calf, as the marbling is really laid down in the last few months before it hits mature weight of ~1300 pounds.

    December 10, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • BKS

      By not in the article in the title, did you miss: "But ask him how to save one of the most endangered breeds in the world, the Randall Lineback, he’ll give you a very short retort: You have to eat it." At the end of the first paragraph? The point is to save these heirloom varieties before we can no longer enjoy them. There is no comparison in taste between the industrial crops to an heirloom crop. Or we can just keep eating the industrial, GMO gabage that fills our plates now...?

      December 12, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  36. Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

    Tasty meat!!!!

    December 10, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
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