Friday, February 4, 2011

The food we eat and the people we meet

This morning Tommy showed up for a visit around 10:00  with a 300 lb hog in the back of his truck.  This Saturday he'll begin butchering it, but not after saying a prayer over it.  James and I plan to watch him cut it up and make it into sausage on Monday.   We talked about respecting animals and recognizing where our food comes from.  As we talked he helped me wire some more fencing to our cattle panels.  I really enjoyed his visit.  I had just met him the day before at another friend's farm.

Tonight James and I watched a recording of Oprah.  Her guests were Michael Pollan and Kathy Freston.  I enjoyed listening to Mr. Pollan as he talked about knowing our food and where it comes from.  Listening to Kathy Freston talk about veganism made me bristle.  She took an Oprah family shopping for food that had no animal products in it to show them how you can live a vegan lifestyle and feel so much better.  If my grocery cart looked like theirs did when they were done I might have felt just as bad as if I filled my cart with meat from animals I didn't think were treated humanely.  Everything in their cart was in an aluminum envelope, a cardboard box or a plastic wrapper. No fresh vegetables.   It wasn't like they spent their time in the produce section.  I saw nothing healthy about they way she was teaching folks to eat.  Ok, off my highhorse.

After Tommy left, Ed and Joanie (Witty and Jimmy's previous owners) came over to look at one of my goats I'm considering selling.  Wouldn't you know it, 2 hours before they arrived she began acting like she was in labor.  She's not due till March 10th so I was  afraid she was miscarrying.  They didn't get a chance to handle her or see her at her best.  Not much I could do about that.  Once they left she seemed to feel more like herself.  I'm not sure if it was because of the molasses water I gave her, the shot of Banamine for pain or if it was just a matter of time till she was back to feeling more like herself. I kind of think she put on the act because she knew I was considering selling her.  After she and I spent some time cuddling I felt like maybe I should keep her.  How am I going to sell all those babies this year?

More company arrived after the Ed and Joanie.  It was my friend, Emily, who I bought the donkey from, her mom, sister, niece and daughter.  The donkeys behaved and showed how sweet they can be, but not after first playing hard to get.  I loved showing Chy and Shiloh off to them.

It was a great day hanging out with other people who love farm animals.  My goats, donkeys and chickens have introduced me to so many interesting people.


  1. Another thing that bothered me about the Oprah scene at the grocery store (besides all the packaging material) was its contrast with another comment Kathy Freston had made disparaging "fast food." Most of the things she said she loved and added to the shopping cart was "fast food," already prepared and ready-to-eat. Okay, maybe not quite as "fast" as McDonalds, but still not requiring much preparation. She also didn't come across as encouraging folks to check into what's in that packaged food, or to think about changing the lifestyle that says a meal must be ready in 5-10 minutes. Maybe her book treats these things differently, more like Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" -- but her presentation on Oprah didn't make me want to read her book.

  2. I agree. I watched this episode. It amazed me at how so many people think that animals should not be used for food. They acted like it was such a crime. Why do they think the Good Lord put them here? As long as they are treated with dignity before being harvested, I see no harm.
    Also, on a lighter note, thanks so much for letting us come by yesterday! My niece loved all of the animals! She my not have acted like it there, but she talked the whole way home about your farm! It sounds like you were a busy woman yesterday, lots of visitors!

  3. I actually turned off the Oprah show because of the same thoughts. Making food should be a "labor" of love, with thought and intention and care taken in every stage. Maybe we can't do that all the time, but if that is the main pattern we set, that's the thing our children will learn. Animals raised with love and attention, with healthy feed, are much healthier than much "health" food out there.

    Also, loved what you said about your Goat acting up because you were thinking about selling her. Echo (my pregnant goat) has spent every day since I put her on Craigslist pouting in the goat house. How can I sell her now when she's invoked the power of the pity party? And sell her babies? I don't see how. We're two sad goat merchants, aren't we?