For The Love of Cows
Today we visited the San Mateo County Fair. Lots was the same as last time - Johnny rode a pony, I had cotton candy, and John carried the bags and made sure everyone is having as much fun as humanly possible. This year, however, Johnny isn't the little tyke used to be then, and Julian is out of my belly and into his stroller, like a boss.
It was very sunny, very loud, and very busy. The Fair is an all-American tradition I have come to enjoy and look forward to, as it is a nice change to our usually quiet and low-key weekends once every Summer. We don't go out much, but when we do, it better be worth it. The fair didn't disappoint; there were carnivals for the kids, rides for the adults, an array of animals to pet and feed and admire, arcades and shooting ranges that are colorful and exciting to look at even though I don't care too much about trying them out, and of course the food stands.
Deep fried twinkies? Yes, please. A surfer tribute band blasting from the stage at noon? Definitely. Hanging out with llamas and deer and pygmy goats? Absolutely.
The farm livestock part of the Fair has an actual purpose; there are rabbit competitions and bidding for chickens and cows at an auction. As a vegetarian and an animal rights activist I am never too fond of watching those, yet I can see that for the most part the animals look happy and are well taken care of. They have proper pen space, adequate access to food and water, and they seem to appreciate the attention and the petting. And best of all, the ponies at the pony ride pavilion live on a pasture and only work 40 days a year. They are not tied up to a ring in the middle, and they circle about at their own pace.
I love ponies, and I love all animals, but let me tell you, cows have a special place in my heart. While the majority of the Fair-goers would not hesitate to eat a beef burger or two, I believe it is good for the kids to meet the animals up close and personal, and make the connection between what they see and what they eat. Cows are beautiful and smart creatures with feelings and gorgeous eyes.
After all, it is almost impossible to eat something once you realize that it has eyelashes.
Anyway, here are the pictures. I haven't had such a great opportunity to go incognito in a crowd and take street photography inspired shots in a long time.
What a fun weekend!