I tried to write this post last night but I couldn't because looking at these photos made me cry. Actually, I am crying now, too. Today is the day our two steers, Rueben and Lasso, go to the processor.
Everybody tells us you shouldn't name any animals you plan to eat, but honestly, I don't think having a name or not would make a difference, we would still know them as individuals, and how can you not name them when you have so few?
We spent the weekend giving them extra attention and cow cookies. We let them into a new pasture with fresh yummy grass and gave them some of the new, sweet hay our farmer friend Bill delivered.
They have grown into such handsome animals. Last weekend when the AI technician came to breed Lariat, he noticed Reuben and remarked how he is a good looking Jersey steer---and is going to make excellent, lean beef.
So far, Cadence seems to be handling this impending event much better than I am. She comforted me, reminding me that when they were calves we made a contract with Reuben and Lasso, promising that we would feed them, shelter them, brush them and give them treats. We would lead them to green pastures and protect them from harm and love them, and in a year and a half, they would let us eat them. Now it is time, the contract is up--but the time went too fast.
This is truly the most heart-wrenching aspect of farming. I think from now on, when I can face eating beef, I will eat my hamburger or steak with a lot more reverence.
I am going to miss looking out the window and seeing four amiable bovines ambling across the yard.