Unchecked growth, untended decline: population dynamics at a crossroads
Where people live affects us all, and policymakers need to pay more attention
Bulls sometimes must be separated from the herd. We don’t give as much thought to where people go.
(Photo by Phil Plante on Unsplash)
My neighbors up the hill rented a bull last week. Well, that’s what I heard, but it’s not quite right: They actually own the bull in question, it turns out, though he lives elsewhere most of the year so as to avoid, you know, too much of a good thing. A visit for a couple of months a year to my neighbors’ small herd of cows and calves is plenty of bull to keep the cattle family happy. Maybe you have relatives like that.
To further clarify, my cow-herding neighbor explained it to me: If the bull were to hang around with the cows all year, there might be calves dropping – that is, being born – year-around, rather than only in the springtime, when calving is less traumatic for all involved. And the same bull can only visit a herd for a couple of years, or maybe three, to avoid inbreeding. Then it’s time for that bull to trot off to another pasture. (Feel free…