I hope you're hungry!
I know my opening headline is a little weird, but I was looking for a way to calculate just how many cattle we have in Texas.
In case there's any doubt, Texas is the top cattle-raising state in the U.S. with about 12.7 million as of 2012. Coming in at number two is Nebraska followed by Kansas, each with about half as much as Texas. Rounding out the list are California, Oklahoma, Missouri, Iowa, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Colorado. Just to give you an idea of the difference between us and Colorado, it's almost 10,000 head.
This now brings us to the population of Texas. Texas hit about 30 million people in 2022 (that sure 'nuff is a lot of folks!).
Now let's have some fun. Let's say we had to eat all the cows in one day. As much as us Texans love a good barbeque, it's not going to happen, not now and not ever. If we do a little basic math and divide the 12.7 million cows by 30 million people, we find that each of us would have to eat about 42% of a cow (go check my math please).
Let's go deeper into our beef dinner. It's hard to narrow down how much usable meat you get from a cow because they vary so widely in weight. I've seen numbers range from 400 to 800 pounds. So do you think you could eat 40% of either of those numbers? If you think you can at all, you might just want to try the Big Texan challenge that uses just a 72-ounce steak (about 4.5 pounds).
Suffice it to say, Texas raises a lot of beer and makes a lot of dairy for us and the rest of the world.