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Distancing yourself from your dinner

Chicken stew

I've been reading a pre-release copy of Leigh Tate's Critter Tales and really enjoying following along on her adventures. My favorite part, though, is quite personal. Leigh's journey toward meat independence has Cat licking the plate cleanbeen quite similar to ours, and so her book helps me see how far we've come.

Not only do we kill a problematic rooster without excessive angst nowadays, we also cook him up into soup to eat that same night. This may not sound like such a big deal, but putting your birds in the freezer for a few weeks before eating them is one way to gain that emotional distance necessary to think of the meat as food. Huckleberry and Lucy have no problem with this mental contortion, but it's taken me a full nine years to get to this point.

October harvest

What's the next step in our meat-education journey? We're probably going to upgrade our goat herd if Artemesia has a daughter, keeping the new doeling while deleting Abigail. I'm having trouble thinking of our current milker as anything other than a pet, though, so I haven't yet crossed over the bridge of deciding whether it's better to take her to the butcher or try to sell or give away an okay-but-not-top-notch goat. Clearly, we still have some meat angst to work through before we'll be real homesteaders at heart.



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It's perfectly understandable to not want to eat your milker. You have spent allot of time with her and developed a bond. If she were mine she would move on to someone else that was interested in milk goats. She has value in the fact that she is already trained to milk and someone else may need a good starter milk goat.

Our livestock fall into two categories. Pets, this includes breed stock and milkers. Animals that are going to be here and usually have human names. Then there are the others, either for sale or butcher. If they get names at all it is just to keep some perspective. I have a hog named “Porkchop” and a young bull named “Porter” aka porterhouse. No misunderstanding their future destination.

Comment by Ned Tue Oct 13 12:10:59 2015

That's got to be a really tough decision. Some days I feel an attachment to your goats just from the pictures, never mind being there and taking care of them every day.

I'm guessing that saying it out loud (or in this case writing it down) is the first step toward making it real.

Comment by Brett Tue Oct 13 16:02:56 2015

One very unique homestead, $1,500 per acre, the opportunity of a lifetime