vice

By Arthur White

Mainstream Manifold, a ten-year-old Holstein bull living in Guelph, is a creature of routine—”set in his ways,” as barn supervisor John Balkwill puts it.

Manifold works on a rigid schedule: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday are his collection days. It’s always the same ritual. Early in the morning, he’s led out of his pen and into a rubber-floored room under rows and rows of soft fluorescent lights. “He likes someone standing beside him when he’s doing it, trying to get him motivated,” says Balkwill. But the 2,700 pound bull with the cookies-and-cream coat won’t do it with just anyone. He’s got his favourite handlers. Alex Moir, who’s worked with him for years, says Manifold can get “a little cranky.” It takes a team of two to get him to perform. But Moir doesn’t hold it against him. “It’s just his nature,” he says.

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Arthur White is a first-year Master of Journalism student at the Ryerson School of Journalism.