Thursday 1st November 2018
Preparing to say farewell
The ominous skies suit our mood because today we brought the cows up to the Collecting Area ready for the abattoir run first thing in the morning. The pigs are going too but our emotions about ‘their’ final journey are a little more in check.
We have lots of discussions on Celebrating Smallholding UK about how we all feel as we send our animals off for meat. Many of us agree that the fact we feel 'bad' is good because it shows we care and the day we don't care, is the day to stop!! It is important that we question our reasons for raising meat, that we never take it for granted but equally it is important that if we 'change our minds', we have a jolly good reason for doing so.
We 'mind' about Sage the steer going more than the pigs because over the two years we have had him, we have developed a relationship with him, we have got to know him as an individual animal and not just part of the herd. We are also aware that we have managed without beef for nine years and that our lives do not depend on eating it now. Having the pigs for a shorter time does make a difference, as does the fact we like cows more than we like pigs (sorry pig people)!! AND, whilst we both agree the smallholding life has led to us eating too much meat (because it is there..), neither of us would like to do without pork!!!
So there we have it, tears will be shed over Sage but not much over Spotty and Notso (as in 'not so spotty'), although in all three cases we are very aware that in choosing to end a life, we are acting purely out of self interest rather than necessity!!! This however makes us lucky and principled about the food we eat, it does not make us uncaring!!!