Saturday, December 17, 2011

firecracker farm steer harvest this morning

First thing this morning I was at Firecracker Farm with a plate of apple cake and a card for Ian Daughton. The card said "Happy Steer Day!" and had the first ten dollars inside it as a down payment on the beef I ordered months ago from his steer. Today was Tasty the cow's harvest date and I was there with a few other folks to see the process, take mental notes, and talk to the butcher about an appointment for my pigs later this winter.

How I see and live with animals has changed so much in the past few years, and I am very content in my current practice of living with, and being the reason for, the death of the animals that feed me. It feels correct. Those hooves are not grotesque to me at all, no more than a filing cabinet is at the office. The metal cabinet is simply a part of the job, an object that is a small part of a larger process. Steer hooves are just one small part of an end of one animal's story. A story so complicated and interconnected with man it is insulting to me now when people pretend their meat never had legs to stand on. I am grateful for this animal in every sense. I'm proud of Ian and happy to support him.

As a farmer I now know death is not an ending. It's a continuation.

59 Comments:

Blogger chesapeake said...

You are one of the coolest people I (don't) know.

You inspire me all of the freaking time. Thank you.

December 17, 2011 at 3:01 PM  
Blogger Neal and Laura said...

Isn't it so strange going to a supermarket and seeing a whole ton of neatly packaged cuts of meat giving no indication that it actually came from a real animal?!

I really don't like killing animals when it comes time to do it. But I do appreciate the whole experience of raising, killing, and eating animals at our place... Wild picture!

December 17, 2011 at 3:09 PM  
Blogger Monique said...

Thank you for posting this and for feeling this way. I really do tire of people eating meat and "not wanting to think about where it came from." Then don't eat it!

I wish more people were like you (and like I aspire to be).

My first lamb crop will be ready this coming year.

December 17, 2011 at 3:13 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I'm harvesting my first lamb next week... I am ready.

December 17, 2011 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger Florida Farm Girl said...

While I applaud your wanting to know the details of how your meat comes to your table, avoiding the word "butchering" is still being evasive, in my book. Using the word harvest almost implies that you expect it to grow back again. Once its gone, its gone. I've seen my share and participated in to varying degrees in butchering hogs, cows and chickens. It was part of my growing up on a farm where we raised what we ate. It does give you an appreciation for those lives and they are never taken for granted.

December 17, 2011 at 3:48 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I use the word harvest. It implies. I harvest tomatoes knowing taking their fruit destroys the plant's ability to reproduce and survive where it grows. Those annual vegetables will not be born again, only through saved seed and offspring do they continue on. The same goes for a cow. When you harvest a cow, only it's saved offspring (calves) or seeds (frozen semen) live on. Just because one is saved in a jar and planted in living soil instead of saved in a freezer and planted in a living heifer doesn't make either one less of a "harvest" or change the truth that we human beings only live by consuming other living things.

It is bloodier, messier, and certainly harder to do than pulling a tomato plant out of the ground in October. But if you think you aren't butchering that annual vegetable, you are mistaken.

December 17, 2011 at 3:58 PM  
Blogger Kelpie and Collie said...

How was it watching the steer die?

December 17, 2011 at 4:34 PM  
Blogger Meredith A said...

I see meat as a once animal not an object akin to a cabinet. Hard for me to compare harvesting a plant that neither sees, thinks, or feels to slaughtering an animal with a will to live.

I appreciate your views though.

December 17, 2011 at 4:54 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I missed the killing of the animal. But the Daughton's said it was messier and worse than they thought it would be. It was a 30/30 at point blank range. It instantly killed the cow but it was a messy and bloody affair. The steer died instantly, and then was bled out through the throat.

December 17, 2011 at 5:09 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Thanks, Meredith A. I respect yours too.

December 17, 2011 at 5:10 PM  
Blogger 10a said...

Florida Farm Girl, same here; I am not a native speaker, nor a farmer who knows the jargon, but 'harvestng' sounds odd here.
On the other hand you harvest apples by picking them, and harvest carrots by digging them out, so harvest animals by butchering them? Then the word makes sense again.

December 17, 2011 at 5:16 PM  
Blogger TransFarmer said...

I just had a conversation with my sister about having livestock on a future farm. She freaked out when I said I would butcher them, yet continued to eat her 3 meat tamales. When I pointed it out that her meal had a face at one time, she said, yes, but I never knew them.

That argument never made sense to me. Nor does the argument "would you eat your pet?" Probably not, but the neighbor's dog wouldn't be safe if it came down to eating pets in a crises or apocalypse.

I would rather know the meat was well cared for, had a life that was respected, and was slaughtered humanely. Good for you for knowing your food.

December 17, 2011 at 5:29 PM  
Blogger Alexandra said...

Very interesting. As someone who is still trying to figure out her views on consuming animal meat, I appreciate your views. When I bring up the possibility of raising my own animals for meat someday my friends look at me crazy and say they could never do something like that (while at the same time ordering chicken tacos at the restaurant we're at).

Anyhow, while working on the farm this summer I was thankful for the sacrifice their cow and two pigs had made. Tonight, however, I will eat my kale and onions while my family enjoys their supermarket burgers.

December 17, 2011 at 6:37 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

I just today ran across old photos from when my family butchered a hog in the back part of the garage back in the 70s. As I looked at it, I remembered that it was just part of everyday life and nobody thought much of it. Now days those photos would probably cause an outcry by some folks.

December 17, 2011 at 6:39 PM  
Blogger Mindy said...

I've slaughtered and butchered quite a few animals this year (pigs, ducks and chickens) and while I'll say it does get easier, I'll never view a pig's head I raised as an office accessory. I can understand how it can get more tolerable, but it's usually still sad. Personally, I hope I never lose that sadness - it helps me to appreciate the sacrifice the animal made for my family all the more.

December 17, 2011 at 6:46 PM  
Blogger onesilentwinter said...

comparing the butchering of a living animal to the harvesting of tomato no matter how well written your argument is, seems disrespectful to the animal and bit naive.

December 17, 2011 at 7:13 PM  
Blogger Karen L. said...

I respect your choices to eat meat and raise meat animals but, unless you were trying to make some sort of statement, I don't think the photo of steerless hooves was really necessary to make the point. Since you are a wonderful writer and great user of words, I am thinking you could have made this posting better with those words rather than an unappealing photo. Filing cabinets were never alive but the steer was ... not a good comparison. (I always thought people who were going to slaughter an animal for the meat never named those animals.) You are an interesting, focused, and hard working woman. Don't negate any of that by becoming too "over the top" about any of the farm jobs.

December 17, 2011 at 7:30 PM  
Blogger LMM in Idaho said...

Disrespectful and naive indeed. I am done reading this blog...

December 17, 2011 at 8:15 PM  
Blogger Goat Song said...

Well by dingy I'm proud of you, girl! How many others here can say that they've witnessed a bovine slaughter? It's not for the faint of heart.

I use the term "harvesting" as well, and feel the same as you. It's not naive, saying it's no different than harvesting fruits and veggies. You are harvesting meat that day. Duh, the term fits. I name my meat animals, and like them all the better for it. I just harvested a litter of fluffy bunnies four days ago. They all had names. They were all cute. And they all tasted good. :)

I was sorry to hear that some readers weren't okay with your pic of the hooves. I see absolutely no problem with that. It was, after all, an animal that once had feet! Meat is a touchy subject for folks. I know a lot of people who won't eat the meat if they had seen it alive, which I find rather ridiculous. If I'm going to eat meat, then I want to personally know the animal.

Keep up the excellent work, Jenna! :)

December 17, 2011 at 8:28 PM  
Blogger doglady said...

No those hooves are not grotesque. They look like dog treats to me. My 3 GSDs are gnawing on cow bones fresh from the slaughter of a friends beef critter. Very happy dogs.
I too don't get the logic that it is better to eat faceless meat that had a miserable life than meat whose face you know had a good life.

December 17, 2011 at 8:33 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

I was not comparing a tomato to a cow, I was explaining that all living things, animal or vegetable, are harvested if they are raised and then taken from their natural state to be consumed by an animal, human or otherwise. Nutrients consumed to feed our bodies.

December 17, 2011 at 8:50 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

And I didn't compare the animal to a filing cabinet. I said the hooves on the grass were no more disturbing than a filing cabinet in an office, part of a larger piece.

Also this blog has shown many dead animals, from a pig carcass divided in half to a rabbit being gutted to dead trout to chicken feet on a bloody stump... These animals are food on this farm and I do not feel I should hide or apologize for their deaths. I wanted to share the realism of the day without a photo of a giant, hanging, skinned, headless beast.

December 17, 2011 at 8:55 PM  
Blogger redbird said...

Harvesting, butchering, even slaughtering—I’ve heard and used it all and when said and done as respectfully as you write it’s a great and time honored thing. Growing up we always named our animals that were later consumed. I’ve known ranchers kids with large herds who do the same. It almost felt disrespectful not to—like if we didn’t we weren’t really valuing the animal and giving it the best life it deserved before it served its purpose. Then of course some people can’t name the animal and that’s a personal choice. This way of life isn’t for all people, but this is after all Cold Antler Farm’s blog. Thanks for sharing Jenna.

December 17, 2011 at 9:23 PM  
Blogger redbird said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 17, 2011 at 9:23 PM  
Blogger beccaWA said...

I found the photo to be quite "sensational". It did not convey respect to the animal to me at all. I can't tell you the exact difference between this photo and, say, the photo of the pig, but somehow there is one. Possibly it is because it's not a photo of the process. It's not informational. Just sensational.

And yes, you did make a comparison between the filing cabinet and the steer.

I do read this blog quite a bit and usually enjoy it. But this post, no.

Not trying to argue. You don't have to defend yourself. Just my opinion. (everyone's got one...)

December 17, 2011 at 9:37 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

My brother & I both grew up butchering chickens, although the cows and pigs we had done for us. But as adults, I prefer meat I have raised, named, and processed to faceless grocery packages. He, on the other hand, will not eat any animal he has met.

It is interesting how the same experiences had such different outcomes.

December 17, 2011 at 9:53 PM  
Blogger Ruth @ Hope, Joy and Faith Farm said...

My animals (pigs, lambs, and steer calves) are raised with love and affection. I know that they will eventually be butchered, harvested, or "killed". We hunt, and my husband and I are careful, making sure the animal does not suffer. We are grateful for the healthy meat these animals provide. With your permission (and I will include your name), I would like to use the words in your post to help explain folks why we raise our own meat. The picture was not gross, or bloody or distasteful. If someone doesn't like it and refuses to read your blog anymore, obviously, they haven't been really reading it up til now, as you've been very real about the animals you raised. When an animal is raised for meat, there will be be blood, there will be bones and there will be sadness. The respect for the animal is shown in the care we give to it is on this earth. Thank you for keeping it real, Jenna!

December 17, 2011 at 10:23 PM  
Blogger CJ said...

I've been slaughtering animals (cows, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, etc) for 30 years or so. I'm not a religious person, but I usually think to myself a little thank you to the animal and hope for a quick and painless process.

I'm long past trying to talk about the process with people who feel the need to worry about respect or the fact that the animal was once alive - to each their own.

To me, it doesn't matter if you call slaughtering, butchering, hunting, abating, or harvesting - just another way of saying killing - which I'm fine with.

If push ever comes to shove - I know I'll be able to feed my family and I'll even offer a pork chop to someone who thinks I'm naive.

December 17, 2011 at 10:34 PM  
Blogger CJ said...

I've been slaughtering animals (cows, pigs, sheep, goats, chickens, turkeys, etc) for 30 years or so. I'm not a religious person, but I usually think to myself a little thank you to the animal and hope for a quick and painless process.

I'm long past trying to talk about the process with people who feel the need to worry about respect or the fact that the animal was once alive - to each their own.

To me, it doesn't matter if you call slaughtering, butchering, hunting, abating, or harvesting - just another way of saying killing - which I'm fine with.

If push ever comes to shove - I know I'll be able to feed my family and I'll even offer a pork chop to someone who thinks I'm naive.

December 17, 2011 at 10:38 PM  
Blogger Firecracker Farm said...

So interesting and surreal to read so many comments about today's butchering.
I posted about it too.
But now that I think about it, some may find my more photos even more offensive.
I hope not.
But like you, just sharing genuine experience.
Thank you for being part of it Jenna.

December 17, 2011 at 10:41 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 17, 2011 at 11:14 PM  
Blogger crashdown said...

The term "harvesting" seems a crunchy kumbaya yuppie joke word to me. Real livestock folks out west would make quite round mockery of anyone who used it. It's a pretend word for wannabe ranchers that has nothing to do with the blood and guts reality of what actually happens to the animals.

December 17, 2011 at 11:21 PM  
Blogger J.D. said...

In this case "Harvesting" serves as a correct description of the family's intent for the steer- to share some portion with others and put away some for the winter ahead, taking only what they needed.

"Butchering" sounds more indescriminant...to
Kill for killings sake...without purpose...without reverence..without intent nor conneection to that which will sustain us.

Buried deep within the term "harvest" lies gratitude for what we are about to receive.
IMHO!

December 17, 2011 at 11:47 PM  
Blogger The Sprouting Acorn said...

Jenna says: "Today was Tasty the cow's harvest date..."

Definition of harvest as a verb: "catch or kill animal(s) for human consumption or use."

Example: Today was Tasty the cow's KILL date...

Also, every state has a "deer harvest." Check your state's DNR website for the terminology and stats.

You would harvest/pick the cow just as you would harvest/pick the tomato.

You would butcher/slice the cow just as you would butcher/slice the tomato.

Sorry, couldn't help myself.

December 18, 2011 at 12:09 AM  
Blogger The Sprouting Acorn said...

And with that little rant, I should also have said Jenna is correct in her usage of the word harvest.

December 18, 2011 at 12:13 AM  
Blogger bree said...

Jenna, I am stunned by this written piece and the photo; both in poor taste in my opinion. You come across as cold and unfeeling with little reverence for the life of this animal. It is sad and you diminish yourself with this cold bravado.

December 18, 2011 at 12:29 AM  
Blogger TransFarmer said...

I enjoy the realities of farming that you post here. All too often, people have romanticized life on the farm without taking into account it's sometimes harsh reality. Many consumers are too far removed from their food. I appreciate your honesty and reality.

December 18, 2011 at 2:46 PM  
Blogger katiegirl said...

There seems to be some sort of contest here. Who can say they're the least offended by processing/butchering/harvesting animals? I don't think saying or acting like you're not offended or sad or affected at all by the killing of an animal is a good thing. I raise livestock for meat, and every time I kill one I get a little sad. I think it's normal to feel something when you're taking the life of another animal. I don't think one should necessarily have NO reaction to killing an animal.

And let's not forget, we're all different. Someone may eat meat (local, humanely raised, etc) and still not care to know the animal before it is processed. That's ok! Why does everyone need to be ok with seeing pictures of animals being bled out, cut up, etc? I don't see what difference it makes. My sister eats local meat, and last year I raised a batch of chickens for her and we processed them together. She didn't care for the killing part, but didn't mind the rest. Big deal. I killed, she plucked.

I don't get the whole contest over who can be the least bothered by butchering pics. Big whoop. Not everyone wants to see it, and that's ok. I think they should be able to click the little "X" in the corner and leave the post. But I also think it's incredibly rude to just call them names because of it.

And I think it's the responsibility of the farmer to know how to market his/her products. Would you show up at a farmer's market to sell your meat and then post pictures of the processing? Nope, because "most people" don't want to see it, even if they do eat meat. We (those who raise our own meat) don't have to "one up" people and "brag" about how cool we are because it doesn't bother us much.

December 18, 2011 at 4:21 PM  
Blogger ican said...

@katiegirl - exactly! Thank you so much for your thoughtful and articulate comment.

December 18, 2011 at 5:46 PM  
Blogger steak and eggs said...

What a can of worms you have opened Jenna. Oh well! To each his own. Glad you put the post back.

December 18, 2011 at 6:51 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

attagirl - thanks for keeping it real & sticking it back in there - no matter what.

December 18, 2011 at 7:53 PM  
Blogger bree said...

Katiegirl,
I appreciate your thoughtful post. Thank you for speaking for people like me and others. The hatefulness of some posting on this delightful blog is depressing. You give me hope.

December 18, 2011 at 9:01 PM  
Blogger Brittany Aukett said...

yay for this post being back, way to stick to your guns!
Yes this is part of the circle but im sure Jenna cared about and treated this animal well, and took it out of this world with just as much compassion as she showed during its life.. why you can eat a burger and write a post complaining about the picture I just dont understand.. stop being so disconnected from your food, remember that your burger or steak came from a mooing cow..so judge her again and understand that.. YOU FAIL!!!

December 18, 2011 at 9:42 PM  
Blogger Kyler and Sylvia said...

Great to see this post back, Jenna.

December 18, 2011 at 10:07 PM  
Blogger Kyler and Sylvia said...

Great to see this post back, Jenna.

December 18, 2011 at 10:10 PM  
Blogger macbew said...

I'm glad to see this post back up. And that your not letting others keep you from posting what you choose on your own blog. Keep posting just like you always have.

December 18, 2011 at 10:57 PM  
Blogger Jerusaleme said...

Amen Jenna!

I thought this post was great. The reality of life on a farm for me as a child was tossing calf nuts at each other. Playing war with the legs and hoofs of dead animals and knowing we were eating Bouncer or Sarah or what ever name a animal had. It was awesome and I think your fighting the good fight. Keep it up!

December 18, 2011 at 11:03 PM  
Blogger Michael Kilpatrick said...

As a farmer who has done my share of harvesting/butchering/killing/eating let's talk this through.

I don't really think there is any of us who really "enjoy" the process of killing and processing animals for food. Every year we do our chickens, turkeys, pigs, deer, and every so often a steer. For me, it's a time of mentally shutting down my brain, doing the task, and then turning back on at the end of the task. Yes, I love the process of raising our own meat, seeing them express their chickeness and pigness and knowing that they where "happy".

Now for terminology. You pick kale, we gather eggs, we fish for salmon, we slaughter animals, we hunt deer. But this is all harvesting food for our tables. We kill the animal and then butcher it. "butchering" is the process of taking a full animal carcass and breaking it down into chops, ribs, steaks, hamburg etc. The entire process would be well described as harvesting meat for our table.

Another peeve of mine is the fact that we Americans in general are so wasteful with our food. Most of our customers don't use the giblets from the turkeys. And don't want the lard, trotters, ears, or organs from their pigs. And the hides end up in the compost pile. Find out how to cook those more unusual parts and use them. They are very tasty!!!

December 19, 2011 at 7:51 AM  
Blogger Kevin and Beth said...

Yahoo for putting it back up. I really can't believe that people will gladly buy the best leather boots and eat burgers like there's no tomorrow but are offended when you write a post about where it comes from. People would be much better off if they had to work for their food, not buy it off a shelf. It's real and thanks Jenna for having the courage to keep it real.

December 19, 2011 at 8:56 AM  
Blogger Jenn said...

I too am glad you put the post back up. Butchering/killing your own animals is not romantic, it's not fun and it's certainly not pretty or clean. I also raise and butcher my own livestock to feed my family and butchering day is NEVER a day we look forward to, but it's a day that does happen. I don't care who you are, taking a life is hard. But when you take it to feed your family, you honor and respect that life so much more.

I am honored for the opportunity to be able to raise food for my family, to know how it lived, know how it died and know how it is appreciated after death.

I am pleasantly surprised by the new appreciation I have for all the meat we eat, whether it's home grown or store bought. It's more than just simply food, and the sacrifice made by that animal, whether it was one I personally knew or not, is one I don't take lightly.

We now eat less meat than we ever did before, surprisingly, because of the work and the sacrifice it does take to raise and kill your own food. It's not simply running to the store and buying a package of faceless, hoofless, skinless, hairless, clean and sanitized flesh. It's so, so much more than that now.

I do believe the disconnect between meat and the living animal it came from speaks volumes about why Americans, overall, eat far, far, far more flesh than our bodies actually require.

December 19, 2011 at 11:33 AM  
Blogger alewyfe said...

That picture is stark and startling, but not offensive. My first thought once my brain had processed what I was looking at was, "here we go... going to be interesting comments on this one". As a former vegetarian and now thoughtful omnivore, I think it's really good for us to be fully mindful of where our meat comes from. I grew up eating mostly beef and pork from our farm (chicken came from the store as my grandparents got tired of losing them all to predators... my stepmom now has laying hens but not meat ones) and occasionally venison from family members who hunted, and any fish they could catch. I stopped eating meat for about 4 years (roughly coinciding with college) as the vegetarian food in the dorm was generally better, and then I lost my stomach for industrial meat, or any meat for a while. My first intentional meal as an again meat-eater was to buy a cornish "hen" and roast it... I wanted to be sure that if I was going to eat meat again, that my first meal back on the wagon would be something undeniably animal- I wanted to really own that decision and make sure that's what I wanted. It was. I don't buy much meat because the meat I agree with is hard to find and cost-prohibitive... I will eat industrial meat if it is purchased by others, or when dining out, because I don't want to offend or for it to go to waste... but try to use my consumer dollars to support the producers who are doing things right. We have a chest freezer now, and I look forward to being able to fill it with local pork and beef (and to hopefully raising some meat birds next year).

I recently replied to a "hen for adoption" listing on a local chicken listserv... but the woman who had rescued her (there is a large cemetery here where poultry are abandoned after presumably being used in Santeria rites?). She was an austrolorp (dual-purpose breed) of unknown age or laying status... I said we could take her as long as she was healthy (to protect our other hens)... but we ended up not getting her as the rescuer only wanted her to go to someone who wouldn't EAT her. I was honest with her about our views (we weren't looking for Sunday dinner, but if she wasn't producing after a pass to get settled in and for the days to lengthen a bit, we would eventually cull her), and it was no big deal to not get the hen... I wanted her to be able to make an informed decision. I didn't ask if she was a vegetarian, but she said she'd gotten attached to her. We view our chickens as livestock, not as pets like most folks here... while they are very well treated with organic grain, veggie treats and free-range time, and a new "chicken palace" of a coop we salvaged from a friend who is moving... once their laying days are done they're going into the stock pot. We can't afford to feed animals that aren't producing, and don't have space to keep them and their replacements. When that time comes I will be sad, but also happy that I got to ensure that they lived a good life, were able to indulge their instincts yet kept safe from predators, and finally will have a quick and merciful end (if you think slaughtering an animal is cruel, you should see how it's done in the wild- nature is not a "humane" place). Yet, the average person mindlessly eats meat and either doesn't want to know where it came from or knows and doesn't care. I applaud you and everyone who is conscious of the impact that their choices have, and does what little or lot they can to make those impacts positive. Thanks for your honesty and guts (er, or hooves?), Jenna!

December 19, 2011 at 11:53 AM  
Blogger polly said...

tomato, tomatoe, harvest, butcher, cabinet, cow. i'm grateful for both the free & open discussion generated and your resolution in reposting this, Jenna.

whether we agree with you or not aren't we lucky to be able to have this interaction in this day and age? a little discomfort ought to be welcomed - both in staunchly viewing the cow and killing that we may eat, and speaking about tense subjects that we may live enlightened.

i think there are better, more respectful ways to voice one's disagreement than a couple of posts above, and in 'someone else's house' as well... boo.

i think our country needs to have this discussion so what you are doing is very helpful, albeit sometimes uncomfortable. for every opinionated lecturer i see you also have 3 or 4 people who support and agree with you and furthermore feel grateful for your lead until we are able to join in.

December 19, 2011 at 12:50 PM  
Blogger polly said...

where the heck's the 'like' button?

December 19, 2011 at 12:51 PM  
OpenID Lady Falderol said...

Polly, but this isn't someone's house. It's a public space. When you share your experiences online, you can choose to engage in arguments or to ignore them - but you can't complain because people aren't agreeing with you 24/7 It's really disappointing that people whose opinions clash with the majority here are villianized for their perspectives. The reality is that Cold antler's blog dissidents are about 99% more respectful than the vast majority of internet contributors. Privatize the blog, shrug off the remarks you don't like, or let the conversation flow--but getting upset when people disagree politely is going to make internet life pretty hard.

December 19, 2011 at 4:20 PM  
Blogger daughter of the wind said...

Looks like a good meal of hooves and corn is going to waste there!

December 19, 2011 at 8:07 PM  
Blogger greendria said...

Great post. Real. True. Thoughtful.

The picture and the words: a relevant part of the story of coldantler. Part of the reason I read here, and why I keep coming back.

December 20, 2011 at 8:55 AM  
Blogger black cat said...

i love u jenna - u rock...i do not raise or kill food animals, and i do eat meat...but i would much prefer hand raised to store bought any moment of the day. your picture was a poignent reminder of the cycle of life, we all are born, we all die, very few of us have a choice in how we go...to raise an animal in caring for consumption is concious humanity. after all humans have been harvesting animals for sustinence for a very long time. only in the last century we have become so deeply dissacoicated from the food chain, and that fall from the farm is evident in so many aspects of american life. thank you for being you, and showing the realism and beauty of what it takes to be reliant on community contribution not commodity distribution...if anything, hopefully the people who object, will go to bed thinking about food and their place in the cycle. every step of evolution starts with a thought, a seed planted in the mind, awaiting its eventual harvest. love chella

December 20, 2011 at 12:33 PM  
Blogger Kella B said...

i agree, those hooves totally look like some dog is about to sneak in and slink away with them, lol.

please don't self edit too much. :)
your posts are real. whether funny or serious.
btw, i get the more of an icky feeling seeing vaccuum packed meat in rows sitting on a shelf than i do from seeing that photo. i grew up poor(in money) and my step dad would hunt kangaroos, foxes, rabbits and feral pigs, to bring home either meat or money. Looking back i think a man who shoots, cleans, guts, skins and butchers an animal is going to be sooo much more careful when that meat is going into the pot for his 3 hungry little girls, or the soft fur is going to be a rug for their bedroom floor. compared to someone being paid barely enough to survive and working for a big anonymous coorporation.

December 21, 2011 at 10:26 PM  
Blogger brazos2 said...

From all the positive responses above, hard to believe you received otherwise. I'm also a bit envious, as I am not allowed to raise stock for "harvest". However, I am still working on it :)

December 22, 2011 at 11:36 AM  

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