OMAHA, NE—Saying the new wellness program would give livestock valuable time away from the slaughterhouse, international meat retailer Omaha Steaks announced Tuesday it would begin offering 18 weeks of maternity leave to its cows. “Starting today, if a member of our herd gives birth, she can take up to four and a half months to rest, recuperate, and bond with her brand-new calf before returning to work to become a delicious slab of beef,” said Omaha Steaks CEO Todd Simon, adding that the pilot program, which put dozens of new mothers out to pasture, had helped the cattle retain their high standards of fat content, marbling, and fork-tenderness upon their return. “Gone are the days of going into labor and then immediately being asked to produce our juicy, vacuum-packed, ready-to-cook cuts of filet mignon, T-bone, and ribeye. Here at Omaha Steaks, we understand that when cows get to spend quality time with their little ones, it makes for better beef, better flavor, and better rates of customer satisfaction. Plus, it’s better for the calves, who when the 18 weeks are up get shoved into a tiny crate for our award-winning veal.” Simon went on to say that Omaha Steaks had also started a paternity-leave program that allowed bulls to take off six weeks for every 1,000 cows their semen is used to impregnate.