Friday, August 29, 2008

Simple Sophistication?

A circle journal topic I recently received. This one is really hard for me. I started by looking up the exact definition of sophistication in websters - three choices:
  1. the use of sophistry : sophistic reasoning b: sophism, quibble

  2. the process or result of becoming cultured, knowledgeable, or disillusioned; especially : cultivation, urbanity

  3. the process or result of becoming more complex, developed, or subtle

Well - next it was time to look up sophistry or sophistic - here we go:

Sophistry gives me: subtly deceptive reasoning or argumentation; sophism

Sophistic yields: of or relating to sophists, sophistry, or the ancient Sophists or plausible but fallacious

This search is getting me nowhere - I had more of an idea before I looked up a definition. So, how about plain old sophisticate (root word)?

1: to alter deceptively; especially : adulterate

2: to deprive of genuineness, naturalness, or simplicity; especially : to deprive of naïveté and make worldly-wise : disillusion

3: to make complicated or complex

Well - after a lot of thought and all, the picture to the left represents simple sophistication to me. My husband wasn't quite sure, but did smile when I explained (btw - he is a ruminant nutritionist).

Why would I choose a cow? (The cow here is wondering the same thing.) They tend to look like the least sophisticated animals in the world.

She is a beautiful machine/animal. Think about these facts:

Cows can produce milk and meat to feed human populations. Calcium in milk is crucial for bone development just as protein is necessary for building bodies. Our youngest was iron deficient at one time, an increase in red meat, over time, helped his body adapt. (Eating meat is much safer than the iron supplements we had to provide to him for almost a year.)

Her intake looks like dried grass (hay) and little else. Humans would not eat it. She eats her hay and then ruminates.

She has billions of microbes inside her rumen. These microbes can eat grass and hay. These microbes break down the structures into smaller bits that the cow can absorb (utilize). 19 billion bugs per mil of rumen fluid. A cow has 100 liters of rumen fluid on average (remember 1l = 1000 ml). These bugs produce the microbial biomass that cows need. For this cow, her microbial biomass is proabably on the 4 to 5 pounds of mass (this is only an estimate). This mass is protein her body needs to carry out all of its complex functions.

This particular cow, Charolette is her name, raises some of the biggest calves every year. She is very tame and the kids love her. She is 14 years old and just ruminating (chewing her cud) after a big meal.

I found this website that can help explain the rumination process further

Anyway - after being provided with something as simple as hay, Charolette's sophisticatedly designed body processes it into something more complex, milk and meat. So Charolette is my simple sophistication topic. (Pages will follow - she did well for her photo shoot, but now I need to get the pics developed)

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

That was very interesting. I can't wait to see the pages that follows. :)