Monday, July 26, 2010

Toughest Farming Day Yet

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. 


Wishful thinking said...

I too would have a hard time, but they have been raised and loved and treated so very well. Not many animals get to live like this. Keep strong! You are doing a great thing!! Love your farm and your blog!

megan/mason said...

I couldn't do it. Your post almost made me cry, which is why I don't eat meat. I have a huge amount of respect for people like you who eat meat from animals that have been so lovingly raised. It's such a strong thing to be able to do. It's a true shame that all animals aren't treated with the same dignity and respect.

Marie said...



Becky said...

I don't blame you for having a hard time with it. A year and a half is a long time to care for an animal that you will end up eating.
You have cared for those animals so well. They've lived a better life then they could have dreamed.

katiegirl said...

I second what Becky said. It's always hard knowing you're going to be processing them for meat, but knowing they had a better life than what their stockyard cousins had makes it a little easier.