Today has been a bit different. The change in my day job to full time Emergency Room Doc has let me spend more time on our farm, and today I got to help with taking our pork and beef to the slaughter facility. I’ll admit to being a little squeamish about this and to even loosing a little sleep, but as I eat meat and don’t plan on stopping up I got and off I went to help out.
There is a lot of work that goes into getting beef and pork processed strait from your farm. Our job started yesterday when we had to load our pigs onto the trailer. Then, we had to fix them food, water, and warm bedding for the night. Today, we had to get up early like 430 AM (I know – not dairy early but early for me) and load our beef cattle onto the trailer in separate from the pigs. This way, with a divided trailer, we can transport the animals safely to the facility. The off we went.
At the slaughter facility, we had to go over the cuts of meat, whether or not I wanted bones ( I did), if we wanted hearts/livers/tongues (we do) and verify the age and health of our animals. Then, we unloaded. And well, you know what happens next.
I respect people who choose not to eat meat for religious reasons, health reasons, or even personal choice. But what I cannot defend is people making food animals human like. They are not. As a farmer, I raise my animals as humanely as I can. They feed MY children. I am going to make the best choices for them and you that I can. I want to be able to pass this lifestyle of beef farming down to my children.
I’ll admit, I got squeamish when we pulled in to the slaughter facility and looked at my husband in a quick panic asking if we had to stay till the animals were dead. He reassured me that we did not. While I had no problem going over my cuts of meat, I just did not yet have the nerve to stand by and assist in the actual kill. Let me or my child go hungry a few days and I would quickly change my mind.
The benefit of a plentiful and safe food supply is that we have time for other pursuits like arts, literature, education and we don’t all have to grow our food. A farmer grew it for you. I wish that as a society we would spend less time complaining about how they grew it.
I hope to be less squeamish the next time I have to go with Brian to the slaughter facility – but trust me I won’t be Squeamish cooking it.