Snap Judgement: All Is Not Always As It Appears…

by Texas Homesteader ~

More & more these days people hear a story and then jump on social media making sure everyone knows about this apparent injustice! But it’s important to get the facts before sharing a story. Jumping to conclusions is a big mistake because all too often everything is not as it appears. 

Come see a story that could have easily been misinterpreted. Remember, everything you see or hear is not always as it appears! #TexasHomesteader

Social Media Benefits & Drawbacks

I love Facebook, and I especially love our Texas Homesteader Facebook followers. I get much enjoyment out of social media interactions.  

And on my personal page I get to keep up with my family and our grandbabies and lots of friends. You know, stories about what they’re doing, the fun they’re having, etc. 

But sometimes my social media newsfeed is filled with half-truths being touted as true and shared over & over again. It frustrates me to no end!

Facebook - Friend or Foe? Get the truth before spreading rumors. #TexasHomesteader

I’ve been very open about my feelings that everyone has the right to feel the way they do.

Not everyone feels like me, and I’ll probably not have the same opinions as everyone else either. And that’s OK! 

But the thing that bothers me is someone hearing a shocking news story (oftentimes purposely tilted by the media) and then taking the ball & running with it.

They get busy spreading that rumor themselves, feeling there must have been a gross injustice done.

But just because you read about it online (or even hear about it from a friend or family member) doesn’t make it true!

Now I’m not aware of any falsehoods ever being spread about RancherMan or myself, that’s not what this post is about. But I’d love to give the perfect illustration of what I’m talking about.

I’d like to share a real-life example with you why snap judgement about a situation might not be as it appears.

A Call For Help

A couple of years ago friends of ours called frantically. Their heifer had apparently gone into labor early and was having difficulty calving. 

They were new to raising cattle and called us for advice. RancherMan & I flew into action.  

We gathered the tools we felt we’d need to help deliver the calf and raced to their fledgling ranch nearby.

When we arrived we found the heifer in a small grove of trees. She was indeed in trouble. But something looked very wrong to us, things just didn’t add up to it being her calving time. 

She’s a heifer so she’d never given birth before. But even so it appears she had no milk at all, her udders weren’t filled even a little. And she wasn’t springing either. And WOW does she look tremendously round!

So RancherMan & I assessed the situation & decided relieving that bloat had to be the first thing accomplished or she would surely die.

We tried to slide a tube down into her rumen to relieve the bloat, to no avail. The tube went down fine but there was no pressure release at all.  Hummm…

Heifer’s Needs Above Our Capabilities

We worked diligently on that heifer for about 45 minutes before I stood and looked my friend in the eyes.

“This doesn’t look good. It’s beyond our capabilities. This heifer needs a vet right now!”

But frantic phone calls our friends made before our arrival had already proved that there were no vets available for an emergency onsite ranch visit. So it was up to us to save this heifer. We’d need to get her loaded up & to a vet STAT!

Do What You’ve GOT To Do!

Her hubby ran for the trailer and backed it up as close to that heifer as he could. But since she was down in a grove of trees he could only get so close.

How will we get her onto the trailer?  She couldn’t walk or even stand. Heck she was so bloated that even laying where she was her back feet were hanging in the air and not touching the ground!

After a little discussion we started figuring the best course of action for getting her moved. Time was of the essence!

We got a heavy come-along and chained it to the trailer. Then we attached ropes & chains until it was long enough to reach the heifer. We attached that other end to the cow. 

Then as gently as we possibly could we inched her toward the mouth of the trailer. We were concerned about getting her up onto the trailer floor, but we knew she’d die if we didn’t get help for her soon.

It was ugly let me tell ya, and I’ll spare your tender hearts the details of it all. But after much effort from all of us we finally got her loaded up. I told our friends that we’d follow them to the vet and we all sped off.

Dire Diagnosis For Pregnant Heifer

When we got to the vet’s office the cow was still down, and still dangerously bloated. The vets were shocked at her appearance & worked on her right there in the trailer as long as they could trying to get the calf out.

Then they mumbled to each other something I’d heard before. Uh oh. I knew the procedure they were about to be forced to resort to. 

The calf was already dead. The vets had to get it out of the cow to save her life. But it wasn’t gonna be pleasant…

I took my friend aside and explained what was about to happen, trying to shield her from witnessing the procedure.

In the end they found that there was not one, but two calves inside the heifer. They were both dead and had been for a while. 

The cow wasn’t going into labor, her body was attempting to abort the dead calves. The ‘bloating’ we were seeing was actually not bloat at all, but gasses resulting from decaying calves inside her. Poor girl!

Video Would Have Deceived!

Now if someone had been videoing our heroic efforts to get this heifer loaded into the trailer it would have looked shocking. Especially to someone who did not know about raising cattle. And certainly to anyone who did not understand the gravity of the situation.

It would have looked like abuse. And it certainly would have looked like a callous disregard for this this poor animal.

But as it turned out, it was the only thing that saved her life. 

If we hadn’t gotten her to the vet immediately she would have died as well. But only after much agony.

All’s Well That Ends Well

As it turned out our friends diligently nursed her back to health. After several months of healing they placed her with their bull and she successfully bred. HOORAY

She’s never had a problem since and she’s calved several times since that awful day. How wonderful for my friends to look out into their pasture and see that favored cow peacefully grazing with her newest baby beside her.

Come see a story that could have easily been misinterpreted. Remember, everything you see or hear is not always as it appears! #TexasHomesteader

Story Is Not Always As It Appears

But this situation illustrates my point perfectly. 

If a family member or friend of yours described our actions to you, it would have sounded horrible. 

Even if you’d seen it with your own eyes on VIDEO it doesn’t mean you know the whole story. What you’re being told or seeing on video could very easily be misinterpreted.

News Stations Often Tilt Stories To Enrage Viewers

It’s the same with news stories. Although conclusions can easily be jumped to, what you’re hearing doesn’t really mean there’s a crooked scandal going on. It doesn’t mean someone is just after the money and doesn’t care about the results of their actions on others. 

It could very well mean you’re seeing only part of the story. (oftentimes purposely shown or told to you that way for another purpose such as ratings, etc.)

The part you’re not seeing is sometimes the part that makes it all make sense…

Come see a story that could have easily been misinterpreted. Remember, everything you see or hear is not always as it appears! #TexasHomesteader

Fact Checking Stories Before Acting

But this is a good reminder for all of us. Be sure to check things out for yourself before plastering a partial-story character assassination of someone else on social media. 

Of course you have the right to either like or not like another’s actions. But get all the facts before you decide how you feel about it or pass on that half-truth juicy gossip about someone in your community to be further misinterpreted by even more people.

Please, please, PLEASE! Research for yourself before you jump on the rumor bandwagon & spread false malice about someone else. 

Otherwise you may very well be just as guilty of character assassination as the person who started the rumors in the first place. 

Always remember – not ALL is as it appears!


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8 thoughts on “Snap Judgement: All Is Not Always As It Appears…

  1. Evelyn Edgett

    I understand exactly what you are saying–it drives me NUTS when folks join in on a ‘discussion’ and take sides when they don’t have a clue as to what is really happening. One other thing that makes me nuts on Facebook is when people repost stories without even trying to check the facts. For crying out loud, it takes literally seconds to research if something is true or not. If I read ONE MORE POST that Facebook will start charging if you don’t repost, cut and paste, or stand on your head and stack BBs, I may scream.

  2. Patti

    I have volunteered for over 25 yrs with animal rescue and if anyone thinks that taking an animal away from it’s owner is an easy feat they’re sadly mistaken. ( This was not directed @ Tammy’s cow, just a general statement) I have been in court more times than I can count on, on behalf of an abused animal and I mean abused! Whether it’s a dog that could barely stand up because he was so full of ticks he was anemic, 40 pounds under weight and the collar that was embedded in his neck was still there ripping his hanging skin. Or the horse that had his legs chained sawed off while he was still alive because the owner was “tired of him getting out of his pen”.
    Like the ASPCA, or any other animal welfare group you will have good and bad just as you do with animal owners. When I hear that the “little rescues” are pushed aside because of ones like the ASPCA I wish those people would do their research first. Some of those little rescues are not licensed to go into certain situations and can make matters worse. Many of those smaller rescues are made up of volunteers who have no formal training regarding state laws and regulations. (Their services are greatly needed and appreciated!!)
    Do people have a problem with people like me probably and I don’t care!! I’m a Vet Tech who could make money at this and choose to donate my time for the ones who have no voice! Tammy’s post hit home because as she knows there is 2 sides to every story and it goes both ways. I hope people do their research before they donate to any charity. I can tell you that from my experience that most animal welfare groups are there for the animals who have no voice!!
    Tammy , you saved a life, If it wasn’t for you that cow would have died a very painful death!! Thank you!!

  3. Patty

    I think the media is at fault for a large part of the problems happening today. I can’t remember who said it but I think it is: Believe half of what you see and none of what you read. As long as we are talking about this . . . I have cancelled several blogs because they got so political and not in a nice way. I subscribe to blogs to learn about decorating, cooking, gardening, etc. etc. etc. NOT political rants. Kind of like the one I just gave. Sorry but thanks for reading.

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      LOL Patty, but I love your saying “Believe half of what you see and none of what you read”. Good advice indeed. ~TxH~

  4. Cindy

    Very well said! Do your remember the days when the media reported facts, not opinions? I’m glad the heifer is okay! I love your blog!

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      RancherMan & I talk about that all the time too, Cindy. Back in ‘the day’ the news hour was filled with facts of the day for you to disseminate how you felt about one topic or another. But now it seems the media tells us what they want us feel, even if it’s not the whole story. ~TxH~

  5. JW

    Amen! You can thank today’s media for this. Their morbid drive for ratings and the almighty dollar is the reason you only see what they want you to see. The ASPCA is just as bad with their god like attitude that no other organization is as good as they are when in fact they are also just about the money. The saddest part is there is no one to monitor these groups. They run uncontrolled showing, saying and doing what ever they want, many times destroying a smaller organization using the exact same tactics you wrote about. Only a little over half of ASPCA donations actually go to animal welfare, the rest is overhead, salaries and advertising. Thanks for having the courage to write this article. The mass public has no idea what the working rancher does to care for their animals. I wonder how these groups would react if the tables were turned?

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      You’re so right JW. Sometimes I think if the media isn’t sparking some sort of outrage (even when there’s none to be had) they feel they’re not doing their job. As this post demonstrates perfectly – just because you hear or even see something in person or on video – even though the facts are true, you don’t know why it’s justified and even applauded.

      But it’s deeper than that. Gossip. Oh how the tongues fly with each new person spreading the ‘scandal’ without knowing the facts. I’ve been witness to this on my own personal FB page recently, friends sharing an outrageous story and other friends picking it up & sharing it too – all shaking their heads over the shame of it all. I begged them not to crucify this person until they knew the whole story but all were adamant they were justified in exposing this horrible person and this horrible thing he did. Of course just a day or so later the other side of the story came out fully vindicating this man, but the damage had already been done to his reputation. How I wish people would quit looking for a reason to be outraged! Or at least get the whole story before jumping on the bandwagon blindly. ~TxH~


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