It Really Shows

Thank you to Nicole Clark from St. George's University for this great Foot in Mouth Disease submission!


The Mountains Are Calling...

These stunning photos were submitted by Cambrey Knapp from Tufts!

Travel Size Nostalgia

High Altitude

Mama and Mini-Me


Thoughts on Cargill

An experience submission from Amy Zhang - Cornell University

Having read Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle in middle school and listened to Temple Grandin’s talk in the fall, I knew the theoretical aspects of how the meat that I consume is processed after the animal leaves the farm and before it shows up neatly packaged at a supermarket. Going to Cargill as a part of Ruminant Anatomy allowed me to witness some of the practical steps that are taken to slaughter and break down a cow. Walking into the processing facility, I was expecting it to smell like death and maybe decay just based on the smell of the Cornell anatomical pathology show and tell room, but was pleasantly surprised that the kill floor didn’t smell, not even the blood pit smelled like blood. From a food safety perspective, this makes a lot of sense, since these animals are stunned and processed on the same day and then undergo various rounds of refrigeration, so there really isn’t any time for the tissue to decay. I was impressed with the efficiency of the processing line, the lack of vocalizations in the holding pens and on the kill floor, and the fact that they truly do use every part of the animal, but not impressed that 15 minutes was the average amount of time that could lapse between stunning and exsanguination and that this interval could be as long as 30 minutes. I think I was most shocked to see the legs of the cows still kicking after the animals had been stun, even though I knew from neuroanatomy and ruminant anatomy that brain death had already occurred and that these “kicks” were just the last firings of the pelvic limb neurons.

During the Q&A, our tour guide mentioned that there was a backroom where fetal calves found during the slaughter process are exsanguinated. I had asked him what the fetal calf blood was used for, but he didn't know. I looked into this and it turns out that the fetal calf blood is made into fetal bovine serum (FBS) which I had previously used for cell culture during my time working in the pharmaceutical industry. This revelation made me realize that despite knowing what it takes to produce the food that I consume, I still experience some degree of disconnect between the animal products that I use and how they come into being.

Overall, I found the Cargill trip to be very enlightening and informative. As a potential future public health veterinarian, I enjoyed the opportunity to see the USDA inspectors examining the viscera and testing the bacteria load of the carcasses. I don’t think this is the career path for me, but I have gained a true appreciation for all the work that they do to ensure the safety of our food supply. I also appreciated the opportunity to see Temple Grandin’s facility designs in action and was glad to see that her parameters for measuring and minimizing cattle stress were being followed.


Mixed Reality

Check out these cool submissions from Tiffany Liem from UC Davis that blur the line between video games and reality featuring her adorable tortoise Jeremy!

Mario and KoopaJeremy and Prickly











Lego Jeremy


How are dogs and iPhones alike?

 A: They both have collar IDs!

Q: What is the name for a veterinarian who specializes in one species?
A: An M.D.!

Thanks to Lauren Engeman from Mizzou for these funny submissions!
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