CATTLE INDUSTRY VERSUS FARMING

   Westerns celebrate the cattle industry; only rarely do they celebrate farming. The cowboy is a glamorous character while the farmer is typically a strong laborer (often ethnic) trying to sustain a family on a homestead. Historically, farmers and cowboys in the late 19th century were merely itinerant agrarian laborers. But on-screen, vast stretches of grazing pasture and clumps of herding cows needing little attention from the ranchers appears more appealing than stretches of farms with workers struggling over their plows.

Historical Dictionary of Westerns in Cinema. . 2012.

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