This week we made our much dreaded trip to the grocery store...And I just could not do it...I could not bring myself to buy the over priced, questionable in quality meat from there...Not to mention knowing the questionable practices on Factory Farms and in Abattoirs. Not just here in the USA but from around the world...Come on we have all seen the disturbing and cruel images and videos from these places...
So we took the leap and called the butcher and this morning dropped off "Lamb Chop" the first of 3 ram lambs we intend to use for food for our family.
I should point out that "lamb" is anything under 12months old...Our rams are 9 to 10 months old...So those freaking out at the idea of a "little lamb" being food this is not the case.
So many people are shocked when we tell them we intend to butcher and eat our sheep...(well not all our sheep, we of course intend to keep our breeders)...These same people have no problem walking into the store and grabbing a packet of meat or buying a steak dinner at a restaurant...SO why is it different for us to butcher those we have raised ourselves?
Yes we have put a face on the meat, but they all have faces to begin with, just because you have not looked in their eyes or scratched their chins while they nibble treats from your hand, does not make the animals that end up in the stores anymore or less living creatures than those on my farm....The difference however is...Mine is healthy, chemical free and raised in a safe, loving environment...they are not neglected, tortured or crammed into little crates or dry lots where they are force feed food that was never meant to be eaten by any living creature.
My sheep know mine and hubbies voice and will come when we call...We talk to them and will scratch the offered ear, feed them treats from our pockets if they approach us out in the fields and make sure they well taken care of...I appreciate them and that their body will become good food for my family, so to honor that, I treat them with love and respect while they are here on the farm.
Eventually we hope to get to the place were we do it all ourselves...from birth to plate...In the meantime we have a wonderful butcher just 2 miles from here...Today Lambchop made that very short drive with us, I gave him one last scratch and an apple flavored horse treat and said goodbye...he was a little confused but certainly not stressed or upset...I know they will handle the job swiftly and humanly. To me this is a much better option than sending any of our animals off to auction where we have no idea the conditions in which they will life or die.
Next yr we hope to add a bully calf and maybe a pig or two to our property...With the money we are saving on our red meat we can afford to switch to buying from the Laughing Chicken Farm in the future when we want chicken.