Homesteading, Organic Gardening, How to Farm, Preparedness, Self-Reliance
Our friend (let's call her Mary) said that she could never eat one of our pigs. Even though she would not be at our house in time to see the pigs, the thought that we had raised them and then had them killed would make it impossible for her to eat one. She requested that if we ever invited her over to dinner, please don't serve her pork.
Okay, I said, we could have chicken instead. But when Mary found out that we slaughter our meat birds ourselves, she was even more horrified. She could never eat our chicken, either.
"Well," I said, "at least our animals have a wonderful life and a quick and easy death compared to the thousands of chickens or pigs crammed into factory farms where they lead horrible lives and have even more horrible deaths."
"Surely not the ones we buy at our local grocery store?" said her husband (whom we'll call George.)
"Absolutely!" I replied. (In our area, unless you buy "natural" or "organic" meat from one of two specialty stores, you can figure than any meat you buy in any grocery store comes from factory farms.)
The time is drawing near when we may be hosting a meal at which George and Mary will be present. I have agonized about what to serve. They've refused to eat our chicken or pork. We don't have any of our own beef (yet), but would I really go to the store and buy "mistreated" meat just for them when we have a freezer-full of our own humane, pastured meat?
For a rare change I was on Facebook and saw a pop-up that appears because of things I have told FB about me. I got a glimpse of something about a major meat producer mistreating pigs before it disappeared. So I went searching on Google.
There I found a movie for which I will include a link at the bottom of this post. I'll give you two warnings in advance:
1) It's on a website called "ChooseVeg" whose goal is to convert you to vegetarianism. I am not and will never be a vegetarian. I believe ChooseVeg is throwing the baby out with the bath water. Yes, their featured factory farms and slaughter houses treat animals in such a way that makes me glad there is a Hell--and hope there's a special corner there reserved for every person who appeared in this video! But there is no law that says animals MUST be treated that way. And if you argue that everyone can't raise their own animals for meat like we do, I'll agree--and encourage you to check out the many farms that are humanely raising natural meat, milk, and eggs for conscientious consumers.
2) The other warning is that the video is extremely graphic. If you're like me, you'll probably be clapping your hands over your mouth and exclaiming in horror, all the while thinking longing thoughts of Hell! But if you ever intend to eat a bite of meat (or eat an egg or drink milk) again in your life, you owe it to your self respect and to God, Creator of all animals Who made man stewards of them, to watch this video all the way through. Especially if you have ever asked, "How can you eat animals you raised?"
I have made several decisions and resolutions:
I am no longer agonizing over what to feed George and Mary. I will unapologetically serve them our chicken or our pork. I'll warn them in advance and let them know that if that is not agreeable to them, they are welcome to bring something from home.
And then I'll encourage them to watch the video. Ignorance may be an excuse--until someone tells you the truth. There is no excuse for willful, blind ignorance of the truth!
I'm not buying any beef (while we grow out our steer) in grocery stores unless I drive all the way to one of the specialty stores and pay their exorbitant prices! Those prices are worth a clear conscience. I will picture our happy, content animals as I drive an hour there and an hour back--or I'll fix pork or chicken instead!
I'm also going to get my husband to watch this video so he will understand why I keep insisting he pay the price for organic milk (which we can buy locally) until we have our own. And I'm going to be his faithful assistant in building our milking parlor.
Our heifer says, "Now go watch this video, Meet Your Meat!"
After you've see in, I believe you will understand how we can bear to eat animals that we have raised and taken care of--precisely because we have raised and taken care of them!
This is one way we fulfill the responsibility of stewardship given to all human beings by God the Creator when He commanded Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to "rule over the earth."
Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." New International Version (1984)
This is called the Cultural Mandate, and we are doing our best to fulfill it as stewards of God's Creation. What you saw in that video is the antithesis of the Cultural Mandate. God never intended for human beings to do that to His Creation. It is that simple.