As a farmer, I often get asked how it is that I can raise, kill and eat my own animals, especially when I have raised them from babies. How do you set emotional boundaries? Don’t you get attached to them?
The truth is, I’m a animal lover. That’s how I CAN raise them, kill them and eat them. I have respect for them and their life. The thought of eating chicken raised solely in a wire cage, where its feet never touched the ground and its face never felt the heat from the sun, completely repulses me. Commercially raised beef is the same. Being raised on manure covered paddocks, eating left over candy and soiled chicken litter may be cheap but it’s not a natural source of calories.
To me, continuing to purchase commercial meat is encouraging this type of market. It’s telling the food industry that “it’s ok, people are going to buy it anyways.” Well not me! I can’t do it! I can’t even bring myself to buy a grocery store chicken. How was it raised? Free range? Natural? Antibiotic free? Soy free? Did it touch the earth? See the sky? Was it cramed into a tiny cage where it’s feet grew into the wiring?
Yes, I know this is the industry standard. But the standards rub me morally wrong. I do not believe that these farming methods are ethical or healthy. Therefore, I will not support them. However, my family still has to eat. So as a mother, a homesteader and activist, I have to put on my big girl panties and raise my own meat.
Genesis 9:3 – Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
Take the chicken for example… When I grab 2 dozen eggs and put them into the incubator, I am very aware that these eggs will become fluffy, little, scutter butts running around my garage for 8 weeks. I will care for them, buy them the best feed and I’ll even bring them into the house and snuggle them. Because they are little beautiful lives that deserve love and attention. As the chicks get older, I will move them out to a clean, secure coop where there is fresh water and they can free range all day. I will give them slices of watermelon to keep them occupied during the hot long days. My kids will chase them around and feed them bites of their lunchtime sandwiches. I am also very aware that these chicks are food for my family.
When it comes time to butcher them and put them in the freezer, I know wholeheartedly that these chickens lived the very best of lives. They were loved. They were well cared for. They had food, water and shelter at all times and treats in between.
That is how I can eat them. They were raised to be our food. To nourish our family. Putting my own emotions aside to provide this chicken a great life and my give my family a healthy meal, is how I can raise them, kill them and eat them. This is how I set my emotional boundaries.
Turning my back to commercial raised meat practices is something I just can’t stomach. I’m not a cold-heartless farm girl. I’m a tough farm girl! A animal loving tough farm girl. That’s how I do my job. That’s how I feed my family. I love this book. It has given me the insight and knowledge I need to raise my own meat. affiliate link
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