A lot of people think Texans are a monolithic population. You know, we all wear cowboy boots, rope dogies, and such. But Texas is a big state –– so big, in fact, that a native North Texan like myself can be a totally clueless city slicker when the subject of the Fort Worth Stock Show comes up.

Case in point: Earlier today, a 12-year-old boy from Hereford won the Stock Show’s Grand Champion Steer contest with his European crossbred named “Lunchbox.” Upon hearing this, my first thought wasn’t: “Congrats to the kid on his big prize. He’s learning great lessons about hard work and responsibility.” No, my question was: “Who’s gonna break the news to Lunchbox after all that pampering?” Talk about a bittersweet victory. Sheesh.

By the way, I’m not some smartass vegetarian picking on a farm kid. I’m a weasely urban carnivore so disconnected from the realities of the U.S. food supply, I prefer to think my steaks are donated by cattle via painless, non-lethal surgery. And I definitely don’t want to hear that my beef once answered to a cute nickname like “Lunchbox.” (Do steers come like dogs when you call them? I have no idea).


However, I’m not enough of an animal rights crusader that I want to contemplate a future without Whataburger. So congratulations, 12-year-old Grand Champion Steer winner. But keep the details to yourself, mister.