I recently went to Arizona to eat some BBQ and drink 12 packs of Fresca, drive through river beds, trot ignorantly on a stubborn horse (groin = bruised), and of course, photograph cattle branding.
Although I am not a big advocate of red meat, I wasn't squeamish during the dance of burning leather, even though the smell permeated for a few hours after the event. I met some amazing cowboys who have been working the land their entire lives, and much to PETA's amazement, confessed a sense of respect for the animals. Unlike most of the cattle in the country, detrimentally being fed corn and forced into claustrophobic pens, these rodeo cows roam fresh Arizona soil and eat actual grass... and now they have an aesthetic sear to match their posh lifestyle.
Click on the photo above for the entire gallery.