Livestock on Parade

Posted on June 2nd, 2010 by

Today we start with the Mundane Yet Remarkable Thing number one.  This happens to be livestock.  A very mundanely remarkable thing.  What is so remarkable about livestock, you ask?  Well, first think about livestock in America.  What is most likely to come to mind is the classic black-and-white Bessy placidly chewing cud in a serene green pasture surrounded by a white-picket fence.  In Tanzania, there are very few of these kinds of cows.  Instead the predominant breed here is what I like to call the camel-cow.  These cows have humps on their upper backs that remind me of camels.  There are also a fair number of long-horns in some areas of Tanzania. 

The Camel-CowThe Camel-Cow

Another common livestock in the States is chicken.  But here they wander around in peoples’ backyards instead of being confined to mass cages on industrial farms.  In the beginning we remarked on the  frequency with which we saw these birds (they seem to show up everywhere, from ditches to restaurants to buses), but now this has become commonplace.  Oh, and roosters don’t just crow at sunrise.  They do it whenever they feel like it.  MYRT One-2

The two other common livestock are goats and sheep.   These often graze the roadside ditches with cows.  This is the second remarkable thing that has become commonplace.  Livestock here are not restricted to pastures but graze wherever fodder is available which is often on roadsides.  Drive along any road and you’ll eventually see livestock busily munching roadside greens or plodding leisurely across the road. (Naturally, the more of a hurry you’re in, the more leisurely the livestock plod.) Initially we were intrigued by the herds crossing the roads followed by their herder but these days we hardly notice.


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