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The struggle of raising animals, with love, for the slaughter

user profile picture Judith Horvath Dec 29, 2022
18
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Let’s talk about the psychology of raising an animal for meat, and how to face that. We’re going to look at the bigger picture, and the effects on the family and children; both short term and long term.

I like to call it harvesting, not to be PC, but because it’s what I’m doing. Butchering is a term that means taking a life. Granted, that’s part of the harvest. But this bigger process – the harvest – is about converting energy from one form to another, and gaining sustenance and food from another source. It’s not focused on the killing at all.

I encourage people new to livestock farming, to enter into the relationship with their livestock with this “purpose” in mind. People ask me, “how do you decide which animals to cull? I struggle with that choice every year.” My answer is, “let’s view this from a different angle. These are meat animals, right? Well then, we are going to stick to our plan and these animals will fulfill their purpose. We might select for which ones we keep for superior production and future breeding stock.”

In other words, “inferior” animals are not penalized with harvest. The outstanding ones are retained for perpetuation and for sustainability. The continuation of the cycle.

These are not noble wild creatures on the endangered species list. These are domestic animals selected for specific traits over millennia. The ones that I raise are some ancient breeds like Icelandic sheep. And to preserve them, you must eat them.

Without even getting into the matter of nutritional density of pasture raised heritage meats and the benefits of eating an animal raised like this, I’m going to mention the experience of this slow cuisine and the enjoyment thereof. Unless we embark on this endeavor, none of us will ever experience the difference between factory farmed (CAFO) meat versus the delicate flavor of a grassfed primitive breed of low lanolin lamb, hogget, and mutton so mildly flavored that a 4-year-old ram tastes as good as yearling ewe!

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Top Comment

Beautiful
Outstanding and eloquent commentary on the subject of harvest . Thank God for strong women in this era of weak men .
Anonymous Author by wschwartz
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