Wednesday, February 16, 2011

All Good Things Come to an End



I took the ram to be processed today. I decided he was going to be our freezer lamb when he was born last February. Some people ask if it makes me sad to eat animals we've raised. My answer is yes, it does make me sad. I teared up when I drove away after dropping him off. I get sad because I watch these animals grow and take care of them and get attached to them. Even though I get sad when they leave, I know it's worth it. I know each animal that lives here and provides something for us (milk, eggs, meat, etc) is well cared for. They live out in the fresh air and sunshine, and eat healthy food. They can run and play. They live much better lives than their counterparts in the bigger-is-better ag industry today.

I also know that we won't waste the meat we get from the animals we raise to eat. We use parts that some people might not think of using (like making stock with chicken feet). This ram's bones will come back for stock or for the dogs. His hide will be tanned and used as a rug or as a seat cushion. I know when we cook lamb, we will appreciate every single bite.

Since we only have an acre, we have to use our space wisely. I can't afford the space for male animals that can't produce for us. I couldn't use the ram for breeding since he was Purl's son. It doesn't make good sense to keep him around because he'd be taking up valuable space. I'm saving space for a natural colored ewe lamb. Hopefully Purl will oblige me and have one for me this year. ;-)

It's still going to be hard not seeing him out in the pasture every day. He was my love bug. He got hugs every single day. I'll definitely miss him.

9 comments:

Michaele said...

One thing that helps me accept this kind of thing is to tell myself they had lots and lots of good days and just one bad day.

Kim said...

I think you have a great attitude about it. Farm animals are fun but they are also food, other wise they are freeloaders. Of course, we haven't gotten to that point in our farming journey but the pigs are getting closer every day. You give me courage to face the inevitable well. Thanks, Katie.

Susan said...

Definitely the hardest part of farming. That handsome ram was obviously well-tended and well-loved. Good work- and big virtual hug.

Rosie said...

Well written Katie. Thank you for your honest words.

Becky said...

Great post, Katie. He certainly was a handsome boy. He had Purl's defined nose/face shape. I love how you appreciate what each animal contributes and use every part of the animal possible. You give those animals such a great life and this is their way of repaying the favor. Great job!
Fingers crossed for a natural ewe lamb this year!

Jennifer said...

It is sad... but your right the way you explain it, its farm life and he lived a good one. I feel the same way when we process our chickens.

katiegirl said...

Thanks for all the kind comments everyone!

Deb said...

You are such a dear heart and I know for sure that he had a great life! I love the way you opened up about the decision to send him for meat. I know you'll miss him but as is nature's way, there will be new babies that need your love and attention very soon. Luckily, animals have no idea of their fate and just enjoy the time they have in your loving and fun farm. I am so proud of you hon. Love you, Momma

Mark said...

He had a great life and was very well cared for. I echo your Mom in admiring your sharing how much you care. Now, when's the lamb-ka-bob BBQ ?

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