In the 1950s, he recounts, ranchers countrywide began to vastly step up the inbreeding and crossbreeding of cattle to produce the kind of meat that the market demanded. In the '70s, consumers wanted a fatty piece of beef, but now they prefer leaner cuts. "Man has improved the bovine," says Coleman, who disagrees with the common wisdom that the flavor of beef is directly related to the amount of fat. He insists that genetics and feed make the difference, and also says that stressed or overworked muscles may contribute to toughness in meat. So he strives to produce a kinder, gentler cow. For years now, he has been emphasizing European breeds like Angus and Limousin. Such a mix, he says, makes for a structurally sound animal with superior marbling, a straight back, and a "good, long stretch." As an example, he points out a four-month-old, 300-pound calf. "See," he says, "it looks like you're getting an extra T-bone there."