Texas branding, a photo from the Boing Boing Flickr Pool


Don’t try to understand 'em.


If you treat yourself like a dumb animal, I appreciate letting me know to steer clear in such an easily-herd way.


They should heifer post a new pic so we can see how it healed.

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Only two things come outta Texas…

Eh. It’s no weirder than scarification, and only somewhat weirder than tattoos.


This may explain the high rate of septicemia in Texas

I thought one of the things about Texas was that they were SO independent – of Washinton, and big gummint, etc. So why is this big texas tattoo dealie using the official USPS code for the state?
Do I care? no.

Here’s some Texas branding as well…

Clichés and stupid legislation?


That’s in Oregon, isn’t it?

Sometimes three.

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The conspiracy is far deeper than that, I’m afraid. That looks like ISO 3166-2 to me!!

I have still not adjusted to the fact that there are people who want to be here.

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Surely it could just be a tattoo drawn with a texture to look like branding?

I would think anything done with an actual red-hot iron would be fraught with serious problems like potential infection, and even if it does go right, surely it wouldn’t ever end up looking so well-defined? Human flesh isn’t cattle hide, after all.

I halfheartedly recommend googling some information on the subject if you are really interested. It’s definitely not my style, but they don’t always come out horrifying for the end user.

Is there an ‘RX’ on the other leg?


Branding, and not just of cattle, has a long, deep roots in Texas history. 1

So in one sad sense, this women is keeping some (bad) old traditions alive.

At UT Austin in the 80s, people who wanted to indelibly mark themselves used extremely cold branding irons. I believe dry ice was preferred coolant.

A super -cold iron causes a “freeze” burn which results in a permanent scar. I was told this method has lower infection risk and does not generate the horrible smell of singed flesh. I was also told freeze-dried burns were less than painful hot burns. As I never met anyone with two brands, I did not find that last claim credible.

1 A famous and cruel example was the branding of members of the San Particios Battalion


Although I have never been branded, I have scarring from both cold and heat. I can easily believe that cold burns are somewhat less prone to infection, but the difference is going to be fairly minor, really. In both cases the upper, destroyed layers of skin slough off and expose suppurating flesh beneath. Then if you don’t protect that oozing mess, it can be colonized by airborne pathogens. But if you seal it off completely from fresh air it doesn’t heal as quickly or as well (at least in my experience).

I don’t know, it’s a national chain restaurant.