Monday, Monday

Mondays are normally my day off so I’m not around when the guys take the animals in for slaughter. Steve is out this week so I offered to come back early to help Ryan catch everyone.

It’s a strange feeling catching an animal to send it to its death. I am not used to it. Maybe it is because I don’t do it on a weekly basis, but I suspect it is something you never get used to.

The feeling is hard to explain. It’s not regret or guilt. The animals have been raised for this. I know we have done our best to give them a good life. It’s not just about keeping them healthy so we can make money from them. We care for and love these animals. They are precious. They make Wyebrook what it is. If you took away the animals, you could still have a butcher shop, market and restaurant here, but it wouldn’t be the same. The animals give it personality.

Sending one to the slaughterhouse is unsettling.  Disquieting is a good word. Few people have experienced looking into the eyes of an animal they know they will later eat. Most meat processors do their best to keep customers from facing their food. A package of boneless, skinless chicken breasts at the grocery store bear no resemblance to an actual chicken. It’s easy to forget that it was once a living, breathing creature.

But it was. And I don’t think that’s something we should forget. I don’t think we should be so separated from the real source of our food. Burgers don’t grow on trees. Sausage doesn’t magically appear on grocery store shelves. These products come from real animals.

Could you eat an animal you actually knew?

6 thoughts on “Monday, Monday

  1. This is well said. I don’t think sending an animal to slaughter is something a person should ever get used to, or take lightly. It his, however, part of what makes a farm (and a herd) alive and healthy. I have that disquieting feeling every time we do it.

    I have chosen to deal with it in the opposite way some folks would. Instead of refusing to eat the meat of any animals I knew and raised personally, for the past few years I’ve limited myself to eating only meat from animals raised on this farm. I do eat fish from our pond and deer from our woods, but the only pork and chicken I eat is from animals raised here by me. So I understand fully the cost of getting that meat to my plate and I value it as it should be valued. I’m convinced that if everyone in this country could only eat meat from animals they raised themselves, then we’d a lot less meat, but animals would be raised a lot more humanely.

    Thanks for this excellent thought-provoking post.

    • Thank you for your kind comments! I am with you. I prefer to eat animals I’ve had a hand in raising. Like you said, it helps you fully understand the cost. It is far more than a grocery store price tag.

  2. Never say never, but I really don’t think I could eat meat from an animal I knew – much less kill it myself. Thank goodness other people are willing to do it.

  3. Well said. We’ve raised and butchered many animals ourselves and sent others to the butcher and your right. It is disquieting, and in a way that people who have never done it have a hard time grasping. I think it’s because when you know that you have raised an animal well and given it a good life there isn’t guilt or regret and that’s something that is hard to grasp until you are in the moment. That said, the pigs were the most disquieting for me – the extra intelligence behind those eyes (as compared to lambs and chickens anyways) made it more unsettling, and we didn’t do them ourselves and I find that to be a little harder. I know there life has been great, and we did lots of research when picking out a butcher but it’s different. —- You’ve got me all rambling and pensive now and I’ll I meant to say was “Well said!” 🙂

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