Stories of life on our farm in Northwest Georgia where every day is an adventure in this beautiful spot that God has entrusted to our stewardship.

How Can We Bear to Eat Our Own Animals?

Some months ago we were discussing our little farm with some new friends.  At the time, we still had the pigs, although slaughter-time was drawing near.

Our friend (let's call her Mary) said that she could never eat one of our pigs; even though she would never see it, the thought that we had raised it and then had it killed would make it impossible for her to eat it.  She said that if we ever invite her over to dinner, please don't serve her pork.

Okay, I said, we could have chicken instead.  But when Mary found out 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 very quick and easy death compared to the thousands of chickens or pigs crammed into factory farms which have horrible lives and more horrible deaths."

"Surely not the ones we buy at our local Bi-Lo?" said her husband, whom we'll call George.

"Absolutely!" I replied.  (Unless you buy 'natural' or 'organic' meat from Whole Foods or Earth Fare, you can figure that any meat you buy in any of our local grocery stores came 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" beef just for them, when we have a freezer-full of our own humane, pastured meat???  Or even more ridiculously, would I go buy "mistreated" chicken or pork???

For a rare change, I was on Facebook today and saw one of their ads that pop up according to information you have told FB about yourself.  I just got a glimpse of something about Tyson mistreating pigs before it disappeared.  So I went searching on Google.  Such a modern woman!  :)

Pigs playing together

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 you 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! In case you haven't noticed, I'm showing you a different way through these pictures. And if you argue that everyone can't raise their own animals like us, I'll agree--and I'll also encourage you to check out the farms in my blog list. There are many, many of them out there 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, moaning 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, the Creator of all animals who made man stewards of them, to watch this video all the way through.  I really mean that!

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 this 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 more meat in grocery stores unless I drive all the way to Whole Foods or Earth Fare 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.

I'm also going to get Herb to watch this horrible video so he will understand why Kara and I keep insisting that he buy organic milk (until we have our own).  And I'm going to do everything I can to help him get our milking parlor built!

Siobhan says, "Now go watch this video, Meet Your Meat!"

After you've seen it, I believe you will understand how we can bear to eat animals 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.