a tale of tails, tenacity, and tedium, as told by me, usually barefoot and bellowing

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Not For Vegetarians...

One of the most difficult thing to know as a meat eater is all that meat had a face once upon a time.  As a farmer who lives off what we raise and what we can harvest in the wild we can't think of that. A chicken is merely dressing or dumplings or fried pieces. Calves are hamburger meat, roasts, steaks and innards. We save the parts: liver, tongue, mountain oysters and heart.  Same with deer.  Waste not want not.  But it's okay if you thank their spirit for feeding you or so I've been taught.
Today we said goodbye to Sir Loin.  He will feed us well as we have fed him.  It is the way.  We thank him.
Sir Loin's live weight was 1010 pounds.  
I had guessed around nine hundred.  
I hand fed him clover for the last time.
It's never easy.
He will return in sacks of wrapped servings
and we will forget he had a face.
We must.

26 comments:

A Quiet Corner said...

I know that is a way of life...I lived it growing up (angus)...it is hard. ...:(JP

Country Gal said...

Lots of good meat on that one ! I know what you mean , when we lived of of our live stock on the farm we all found it hard to load them up on the truck knowing what the end result is , but that is farm life they had a good life as they grew up . Thanks for sharing , so steak for supper tonight ? Have a good day !

Saucy Kodz said...

My Dad hunted, fished and trapped - that's how we ate. Sir Loin will proudly feed your bellies, as you did his - My Dad always thanked their spirit for providing. Its all good.

redhorse said...

Nice looking steer. We try to let them enjoy their lives as much as possible, which mostly means eating a lot of grass, then a stress free ending.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's why I can't eat lobster. It has a face.
If I had to kill my own food, I would indeed be a vegetarian.

Jo said...

As a vegetarian, I just had to visit your post today. I commend you for the way you raised, fed and cared for Sir Loin. As a South African born and bred, I grew up with meat mooing, baaing and clucking around me. I became a vegetarian twenty years ago for health reasons. My hubby says I'm the most open-minded vego he knows: I can fillet fish and meat, I cut up hind quarters of beef or legs of lamb almost hot off the hoof. I prepare it, cook it and serve it while I eat my lentils and rice alongside my guests!

Sandra said...

dear sister connected at the hip... i rarely eat meat and it is because it has a face. deer meat gags me or it did when i was 16 ... i would have to be a veggie farmer not a face farmer..

Artemis Grey said...

I can hunt animals and dress them out and eat them. And I can housesit for folks and feed their animals, and then eat those animals after they've been processed. But I don't know if I could raise them myself and then send them to be processed. But that said, I'm a horse person and I'd load all of the mustangs living in fenced dry lots out west onto slaughter trailers myself, because being torn off the range and forced into small lots to live, is no life at all. And at least if they were humanely destroyed, and their bodies used to feed other animals, their existence would have meaning, their lives would have mattered and they wouldn't have wasted away in pens. So then, perhaps I COULD raise animals, love them and care for them and knowing they'd had a great life, then thank them for the sustenance they've given me. Regardless, I've got great respect for you, and I know Sir Loin had a wonderful life and his sacrifice is greatly appreciated. Circle of life. As long as you respect your food, and the life it gives you, you've got the right of things.

ellen abbott said...

It's the cycle of nature. Eat and be eaten. People should know that those neatly wrapped parcels of meat were once living creatures. I mean they do know it but only intellectually, without the emotional knowing. I don't know if I could do it though. Raise a cow and then have it slaughtered.

TexWisGirl said...

i do think it is difficult, but you give them respect, too.

Farm Girl said...

I think that is the hardest thing about raising animals. He will dress up nice though.
I never name my chickens because I have found it is easier to eat them if they don't have a name.
When I used to raise steers for market, I used to say, it was hard until I got a check in my hand. :) When we raised steers to eat, I got to the point where I was more thankful for that full freezer filled with good meat.
You know it will be the best because you know what went into what he ate.
He really is a nice animal. I bet his meat is incredible.

Ginny said...

I am in tears now, truly crying. I do understand, yet it is hard. He was a pretty and gentle boy. And I know thanks to your blog that many who never knew him will remember him.

Lynne said...

Well said . . . difficult goodbye though, I am sure!
Circle of Life . . . Sir Loin was well cared for . . . and now you reap from the care . . .

Sandy said...

Time to fill the freezer!!!

Susan Kane said...

My younger siblings named our future freezer dwellers. Always something like Spot, Rusty, Blackie....Even they knew that hamburger would be on the menu. Circle of life.

LindaG said...

You raise them well and respect them. Just like the Indians did the creatures they hunted for food.

You have a lot of good meals coming your way, Gail.. :-)

What do you do with the parts? I know some people eat tongue. I've heard of rocky mountain oysters. The heart? Catfish bait? Just curious.

Have a good evening and enjoy what Sir Loin gives back to you in thanks. ♥

Far Side of Fifty said...

You are lucky to have the feed and the space to care for your meat before you eat it...healthy! Thanks for the get well wishes..and I love your pink boots...I have red ones:)

Dreaming said...

I am a softie. Butchering animals I had raised would be very difficult. However, I have enjoyed home-raised beef and lamb before…. and it is truly wonderful.
What do you do with some of the unusual 'cuts'?

Josie Two Shoes said...

I am glad that this essential reality of farm life hasn't hardened you to the point that you don't care. I can see in the tenderness of your words and pictures that it is indeed hard to say goodbye to Sir Loin, and that you are appreciative of the gift of his life to sustain yours. He was well cared for, his brief life was a good one. His life and his death serve a purpose. We should all be so blessed. Goodbye Sir Loin, hello freezer full of meat. It's all good.

gld said...

Beautifully said!

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