I don’t know how to say this gently. I’ve spent the past 24 hours stewing on it, but there isn’t one. So I’ll be blunt. Baab went for slaughter today.
Would it be better if I said she was culled? Processed? Butchered? The end result is the same. Slaughter is, I think, the harshest word for killing an animal and therefore the most appropriate. That something must die so I can live is a very harsh reality. Even the most staunch vegan is responsible for the deaths of bugs and pest who feed on produce. It’s the circle of life. It’s just never felt quite this personal.
While this day wasn’t unexpected, it came somewhat suddenly. The decision to take the sheep in was made yesterday at lunch. We loaded them on the trailer this morning and tomorrow Steve will pick up the meat. Just like that.
Baab lived a good, albeit strange life. She was born in February, shortly before I arrived at the farm. Her mother wanted nothing to do with her so Ryan put her in the chick shed and we bottle fed her until she could eat on her own. She was raised with chickens and always believed she was one. Even after she outgrew the broiler houses, she always preferred the company of hens to her fellow sheep. She spent her last weeks with the layers and Chicken-dog. This is where she was happiest.
All of the animals here at Wyebrook are respected and treated well, but Baab was genuinely loved by everyone and will be missed. In a way I am glad she went in today. Normally we take in animals on Mondays when I’m not around. I was able to go spend some time with her this morning and to say goodbye. I’d be lying if I said it was easy. Or that I didn’t cry. Or that I’m not crying now. So I’ll end this and leave you with some of my favorite memories of my sweet Baab.